MP: Fishing Quota System Strangles Seaside Towns Skip to content

MP: Fishing Quota System Strangles Seaside Towns

olinathorvardardottir_althingiMP for the Social Democrats Ólína Thorvardardóttir said at parliament yesterday that the fishing quota system is depriving seaside villages of their livelihood, referring to the situation in Flateyri in the West Fjords where the local fisheries company, Eyraroddi, has gone bankrupt, laying off a large part of the workforce.

“Implementing radical changes to our fisheries control system cannot be stalled any longer; the system is strangling the settlements,” Thorvardardóttir said, according to Fréttabladid. “It is yet another blow to formerly blooming seaside villages.”

Eyraroddi was founded to use rental quota after the owner of a company which used to be the pillar of the local employment market sold 90 percent of the quota in Flateyri and moved away.

Thorvardardóttir said the situation in Flateyri shows the consequences of the quota system in a nutshell as it is closed to newcomers and quotaless companies like Eyraroddi wither away.

“In this case free handline fishing would have helped and then I’m talking about completely free handline fishing of small boats,” Thorvardardóttir added, pointing out the irony of Flateyri being close to rich fishing waters which the inhabitants cannot take advantage of because they don’t have a quota.

Minister of Fisheries Jón Bjarnason and MP Lilja Rafney Magnúsdóttir, both members of the Left-Green Movement, agreed with Thorvardardóttir.

However, Bjarnason stated that Flateyri had received the maximum distribution of regional quotas and that other companies besides Eyraroddi can take advantage of that.

Magnúsdóttir commented that the inhabitants of Flateyri had built up the fisheries companies and fishing industry. They had a full right to employment and secure living.

Click here to read more about Eyraroddi’s bankruptcy and here to read about the controversial quota lapse system for which Thorvardardóttir has campaigned.

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