Anger as Iceland trebles fishing licence fees –

Anger as Iceland trebles fishing licence fees Published:  25 June, 2012

ICELAND’S trawlers owners have warned that the passing of new Government legislation almost trebling the cost of fees and tariffs for new fishing licences will have serious repercussions for the industry.

The Icelandic parliament known as the Althingi, has approved the bill on fishing tariffs – effectively licences allowing trawler companies the right to fish in Icelandic waters – but have postponed for the time being at least legislation on fisheries controls and marine conservation zones.

The industry faces tariffs of around 13 billion Icelandic kroners – or some 84-million euros. A special group will monitor the impact of the new fees which will be re-evaluated after one year of operation.

But the Federation of Icelandic Fishing Vessel Owners (LIU) has come out strongly against the new fishing tariffs, stating that the “increase will have serious consequences for the individual companies and communities” as pointed out several times in the past.

Branding the new catch fees as a form of taxation,  the owners said they went too far and when fully implemented they would effectively wiper out any profits from fishing “No other industry has to meet similar income,” said the LIU which has accused the Government of failing to listen to the industry.. “Such taxation creates no value for the economy but also reduces the ability of companies to create value.”

However, Iceland’s Fisheries Minister Steingrímur J. Sigfússon described the  agreement as a breakthrough, adding he was disappointed that the proposed changes to the fisheries control system were not approved.