Minister of Finance and former Minister of Fisheries Árni Mathiesen said those who criticize the fishing quota system forget to mention that many have fished beyond the recommended quota which is the cause of over fishing.
On Sunday, the Icelandic National Day, the speaker of the Althingi parliament Sturla Bödvarsson and Einar Oddur Kristjánsson, an MP for the Independence Party (Sjálfsaedisflokkurinn), criticized the system, saying it had failed to save cod stocks and failed to save small fishing villages in Iceland, Morgunbladid reports.
Mathiesen said Kristjánsson’s criticism was groundless because the latter had personally campaigned for “drilling holes in the quota system,” requesting fishing allowances beyond the Iceland Marine Research Institute’s recommended quota. Therefore the system did not function the way it should have, Mathiesen concluded.
Fishing vessel owners have different opinions of the “black” report recently released by the Institute, proposing a drastic cut in the cod quota.
Magnús Kristinsson, a fishing vessel owner from the Westmann Islands, said the proposal does not make any sense and recommends the Institute’s report should be ignored, while Einar Valur Kristjánsson, the managing director of the fish processing plant Gunnvör in Hnífsdalur in the Westfjords, said the report should be taken seriously.
The Economic Institute of the University of Iceland will release a report in the next few days on the likely impact of a cut in the cod fishing quota on fishing villages.
At the beginning of next month Minister of Fisheries Einar K. Gudfinnsson will present his decision on quota for the next fishing season.
Click here to read yesterday’s story about the fishing quota system.