The Icelandic Seamen’s Association has stated its opposition to a parliamentary proposal to relax rules on so-called coastal fishing.
The Pirate Party’s Gunnar Guðmundsson has put forward a plan to extend the coastal fishing season from four months to eight, as well as raising the limit on how much they can catch.
Under Icelandic law, anyone can apply for a license to catch a set amount of pelagic fish from May to August each year, outside the country’s strict quota system.
Each person or company can only apply for one license per boat, and the license supersedes any other quota allowance for that boat. In other words, it is not intended for full-time fishing ships or major fishing companies.
The coastal fishing model is designed to help small fishermen in small fishing villages. For many individuals and communities, coastal fishing has become an important component of the year’s income.
The longstanding trend, small rural communities argue, has been for the normal fishing quotas to concentrate among a slowly-decreasing number of large fishing companies, mainly benefitting the larger towns.
The Icelandic Seamen’s Association is critical of the proposal because it says increasing the market share of small-time coastal fishermen would take valuable market share away from those who catch fish for a full-time living, RÚV reported.