Icelandic fisheries minister Kristján Thór Júlíusson has allocated additional quota to the coastal fishing fleet.
According to the Ministry, this is a response to a significant increase in the size of the coastal fleet this year. In July last year the Minister set aside approximately 31,000 tonnes for special purposes within the fisheries management framework, under which 5.3% is held back from each species to support coastal communities, for longline incentives, coastal fisheries and other purposes.
This included 11,000 tonnes allocated to the coastal fishery, and this was the same amount as in the previous year.
The Ministry has been in discussions with the National Association of Small Boat Owners since May this year when this year’s coastal fishery began and it became clear that there would be a larger fleet fishing under this structure.
There have been concerns that the coastal fishery could be brought to an early close this year as available quota could run out.
The Ministry has transferred all the remaining quota available from the 5.3% held back to the coastal fishery, adding 720 tonnes to the coastal fleet’s catch opportunities this year. This year the coastal fleet has 11,820 tonnes available in total, the largest amount allocated since the fishery was established.
According to the Ministry of Fisheries, the Minister has no powers to increase the quota any further during this quota year.