Iceland President: Climate change affecting fish stocks


Iceland President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson has said climate change is hugely impacting the fish stocks in the Arctic.

He explained that with the sea ice melting so quickly, a new ocean was being created that, for the first time since humans have inhabited the Earth, will result in a “monumental transformation”.

Ólafur Ragnar, who was speaking at a Google Workshop Maritime Awareness conference in California, explained that climate change has already led to large migrations of fish stocks. He noted that the ongoing mackerel dispute between Iceland, Norway, the Faroe Islands and the EU demonstrates how Arctic nations and other countries must deal with migrating sea life in a new way.

The president revealed that Iceland had decided that marine management, ocean resources and fisheries and other key issues will be among the topics discussed at the Second Assembly of the Arctic Circle in the Icelandic capital Reykjavik later in the year. He also noted that his country’s knowledge of managing the seas could help other countries protect stocks and produce profitable fisheries.

Ólafur Ragnar explained that Iceland has been able to do this through its Marine Research Institute and by adopting a policy of protecting fish stocks by ensuring each ship has its own transferable individual quota. He acknowledged that this policy has caused controversy as it can negatively impact some ports if vessels, and their quotas, are moved away; however, he pointed out that it has led to his country having the best stock management in Europe