Coastal fishermen slam Ministry quota adjustment

Coastal fishermen slam Ministry quota adjustment

Coastal fishermen’s associations in Iceland have slammed the Ministry of Fisheries’ decision to adjust this year’s coastal quotas calling on the Minister to review his decision.

In spite of a decision to adjust the coastal quota upwards to 9000 tonnes this year, a 400 tonne increase, the decision to alter the weighting to reduce the amount of fish available to the south and south-west coasts has triggered angry responses from fishermen’s associations in the southern region and in Snæfellsnes in western Iceland, while the National Association of Small Boat Owners (NASBO) has called for a 2000 tonne increase in the coastal quota so that the fishery is not closed before the four-month season ends for boats operating under the coastal regime.

‘Árborg, the association of small boat owners in the south of Iceland, protests vigorously at the Minister’s decision to reduce the quota available for Area D and to transfer this to other areas,’ said chairman Thorvaldur Garðarsson. ‘May and June have been difficult months in the last two years and the region needs all the quota it can get. We call on the Minister to reverse this decision.’

Snæfell, the small boat owners association in the Snæfellsnes district, also announced its disappointment with the Minister’s decision.

‘The Association regrets that at the same time that fishing grounds are packed with fish that the opportunities for coastal fishing are reduced yet again. Snæfell calls on Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson to strengthen coastal fisheries by ensuring that uninterrupted fishing can take place under the present regulation. Active coastal fishing for four days each week each summer should be a priority for the Minister,’ the association said in a statement.