The fleet of the Federation of Icelandic Fishing Vessel Owners (LÍÚ) is currently docked at the country’s piers in protest of the government’s bill on changes to the fisheries control system and fishing tariffs.
Icelandic trawlers. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
Chairman of LÍÚ Friðrik J. Arngrímsson calls for a solution that parties of interest and specialists in the industry can agree to, Fréttablaðið reports.
“I am not familiar with having rejected meetings with fishing vessel operators,” said Minister of Fisheries Steingrímur J. Sigfússon. “I will not be coerced […] and will neither let people benefit nor suffer from actions that I myself find questionable.”
Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir stated in parliament yesterday that the actions of the fishing vessel owners are illegal, which was confirmed in a statement issued by the Icelandic Confederation of Labor (ASÍ).
However, LÍÚ maintain that their actions are legal. “ASÍ refers to a legal paragraph that concerns work stoppage, a shutout in our case. If we launch a shutout—which I hope we won’t have to—it would affect fishermen and laborers, which is exactly what we’re trying to avoid. ASÍ is turning things upside down. I think they should rather work alongside us in this case to protect the interests of wage earners,” Friðrik said.
Steingrímur stated that the quota bill is not at all supposed to affect the interests of wage earners. “The case primarily concerns a common ownership of the natural resource and that a fair tariff is paid for its exploitation.”
Click here to read more about the controversial quota bill.