A final report has recommended that the Directorate of Fisheries in Iceland seek to impose administrative fines for major fishery violations
The Project Board for Improved Control of the fishery resource has submitted its final report to Kristján Þór Júlíusson, Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture.
The Minister appointed the project board in March 2019 to discuss the comments and suggestions made in the National Audit Office’s report from December 2018 on the Directorate of Fisheries ‘inspections and to make proposals for improvements in the Directorate of Fisheries’ operations, especially with regard to procedures and emphases.
Furthermore, the project board was tasked with assessing the financial needs of the Directorate of Fisheries in order to be able to fulfill its role according to law, and finally to provide suggestions for necessary changes in laws and government directives concerning the role and tasks of the agency to ensure efficiency in its work.
The Minister appointed a consultative group to support the work of the project board with representatives of all parliamentary parties in Althingi, institutions and the main stakeholders in the fisheries sector to advise on how to improve monitoring of the utilization of fishery resources.
Results of project management
Some of the key proposals in the project board’s report are:
- The Icelandic Coast Guard will be entrusted with an increased role in the implementation of maritime surveillance, but the Directorate of Fisheries will be responsible for the administrative part of the project and will be responsible for its risk management after consultation with the Icelandic Coast Guard. The responsibilities and division of tasks of the Directorate of Fisheries and the Coast Guard in maritime surveillance will be defined.
- That risk management and risk policy be implemented in maritime surveillance and weighing of marine catches.
- Increased requirements will be made for equipment that is useful in monitoring the re-weighing and home weighing of marine catch.
- The Directorate of Fisheries will begin experiments with the use of camera systems for surveillance, both on board ships and in ports. Also consider more technological innovations that could save costs and strengthen surveillance in the long run.
- The aim should be to increase cooperation between the Directorate of Fisheries and the industry on the utilization of the information collected in the high-tech systems created by Icelandic fisheries companies.
- To establish a single comprehensive system of sanctions for breaches of fisheries legislation so that all the same powers are always in place to respond to any breach in the most effective way.
- That the Directorate of Fisheries in Iceland to be authorized to impose administrative fines for major violations of fisheries legislation.
Proposals are submitted for a change in the definition of related parties.
Source: Icelandic Directorate of Fisheries