This issue of foreign ownership in the Faroese fishing fleet has prompted a flurry of international calls to the Faroese authorities as Dutch and Icelandic governments begin to question the new policy announced as part of the Islands’ fisheries reform.
The reform bill now making its way through the Faroese parliament is expected to make some far-reaching changes to the country’s fisheries management regime, including the plan to eliminate foreign ownership in fishing companies. Those companies with foreign ownership will have to make changes within a four-year transitional period to abide by the new legislation.
The two major Faroese companies affected are JFK, part owned by Dutch company P&P, and Framherji which is partly owned by Icelandic company Samherji.
There is concern, and companies affected by the proposed reforms are reported to have sought legal advice on the situation, as well as having brought high-level political influence to bear.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is reported to have already spoken to his Faroese counterpart Aksel V. Johannesen on the subject of P&P’s part-ownership of JFK and Icelandic Foreign Minister Guðlaugur Thór Thórdarson has also been in touch with the Faroese authorities concerning Samherji’s stake in Framherji.