PLANS to expand Iceland’s still fledgling aquaculture industry have received overwhelming backing from one of the country’s leading political groups.
The liberal-conservative Independent Party, which is largely supported by fishing businesses, passed a resolution at its annual assembly stating: ‘Aquaculture is an increasing part of the Icelandic fisheries industry, which offers increased opportunities for value creation.’ The move was adopted unanimously.
The government is currently working on a long term plan to develop Iceland’s fish farming sector over the next decade, but it is a move which has divided opinion in the country, particularly from sports fishing groups and some sections of the conventional fishing industry.
Most coastal communities, however, say they would welcome investment because it creates jobs in areas of unemployment.
The Independent Party resolution said: ‘Aquaculture is an increasing part of the Icelandic fisheries industry, which offers increased opportunities for value creation.
‘When it comes to further development, good practice should be emphasised, along with measures to minimise the impact on ecosystems and ensure proper future generations.’
The resolution said development must be sustainable and take into account all the various environmental, operational and social factors.
It should also be based ‘on the advice of the most talented scientists and internationally recognised methods of aquaculture and environmental protection’.
It saw no reason why a broad consensus on future aquaculture growth should not be achieved.