Icelandic Fisheries Minister Svandís Svavarsdóttir has presented a draft to ban bottom fishing from ocean areas around Iceland

Icelandic Fisheries Minister Svandís Svavarsdóttir has presented a draft to ban bottom fishing from ocean areas around Iceland

Icelandic Fisheries Minister presents a draft for the protection of ocean areas from bottom fishing

Icelandic Fisheries Minister, Svandís Svavarsdóttir has submitted a draft regulation in a consultation portal on the protection of areas from demersal fishing. 

The draft is based on a report that the Norwegian Marine Research Institute submitted to the Ministry in 2021 and discusses the protection of vulnerable benthic ecosystems in Iceland’s fishing territorial waters.

Bottom fishing is proposed to be banned in a total of eighteen areas, apart from fishing for pelagic fish with floating casts and purse seines. By protecting these areas, almost 2% of Iceland’s economic zone is protected from bottom fishing.

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The report details the existing knowledge of the areas and the grounds for protection. The characteristic types of vulnerable ecosystems are also defined and the conditions an area must meet to be considered vulnerable are defined. The report is an important input for the next steps, which will focus on protecting vulnerable ecosystems in a targeted way.
The regulation covers all areas protected from bottom fishing in Iceland’s territorial waters.

Three new areas are also specified where bottom fishing has not been banned before there is a reason to protect it. The regulation also lists five areas where all fishing with a line and bottom casting is prohibited. Those areas are already included in the regulations on protected areas off Iceland and most of them have been closed to the aforementioned fishing ever since 1971. Also, ten areas for the protection of corals have been included in the regulations, but bottom fishing has been prohibited in some of them for almost twenty years.

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Icelandic Fisheries Minister presents draft to close areas from bottom fishing

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