The Alþingi is under pressure to reconsider a bill that will significantly alter the mackeral quota, which will set limits for the next five years. And not everyone is happy with it.
More than 30,000 people are now listed on a petition protesting the bill. The petition is worded:
“We undersigned challenge the president of Iceland to refer all laws approved by [the parliament] where the fisheries resource is disbursed for more than one year at a time to a national referendum while there is no clause on the national ownership of natural resources in the constitution and the nation has not been guaranteed a full charge for the resources’ exploitation.”
Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, has tried to explain the Alþingi’s position, saying that there were many different interests to balance, though some remain skeptical, with accusations of certain parliamentary members benefitting.
He also argued that there is constant uncertainty in the market, dealing with other states, hence the reason to set longer periods for the quota fix. But the group are pushing for a referendum to determine whether the parliament has the right to set quotas beyond a year.