Minister of Fisheries Einar K. Gudfinsson announced yesterday that there are both economic and ecological arguments for reducing the cod fishing quota for the next fishing season, but remote fishing communities will suffer as a result.
“Both the Marine Research Institute’s report and the report [released yesterday] from the Economic Institute at the University of Iceland are to be taken seriously,” Gudfinnsson announced, as reported in Fréttabladid.
“I find this a very hard decision. I realize that I have a great responsibility, because the consequences of a cut to the cod fishing quota will have the biggest impact on areas that have the hardest time dealing with the ramifications,” Gudfinnsson continued.
The Economic Institute at the University of Iceland concluded in their report, undertaken on behalf of the Ministry of Fisheries, that it is economically beneficial for the nation to reduce cod fishing extensively, supporting a recent report issued by the Marine Research Institute, which concluded cod fishing should be reduced to save the cod stock.
The Economic Institute recommended an even greater cut in the cod fishing quota than the Marine Research Institute, which proposed a 63,000 ton cut.
“We won’t take this dive without proposing various counter measures to the problems which will surface in the communities where the quota cut will have the worst consequences,” Gudfinnsson said.
Ragnar Árnason, the chairman of the board of the Economic Institute at the University of Iceland, said its conclusion is very clear. Árnason said if the Ministry of Fisheries follows the cod fishing quota proposed by the Marine Research Institute, the cod stock can be restored quickly and the catch is unlikely to collapse.
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