News

Presentation: Use of living marine resources in Iceland - 6/1/2017

Presentation made by Dr. Grimur Valdimarsson Senior Advisor

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The hunt for Marine data in an imperfect World - 5/24/2017

Presentation made by Dr. Grimur Valdimarsson

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New legislation on home sharing to take effect in Iceland - 6/22/2016

The parliament of Iceland (Althingi) passed a Bill amending legislation no. 85/2007 regarding tourist accommodation licensing (Icelandic: Lög um veitingastaði, gististaði og skemmtanahald) on May 31st, 2016. The new legislation will take effect on January 1st, 2017. Read more

Fisheries in the Arctic: Lessons to be learned - 4/1/2016

Presentation made by Dr. Grimur Valdimarsson at the Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromso, Norway 24-29th of January where he discussed what lessons can be learned from developing global fisheries as new areas in the Arctic open up for fisheries development. 

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Road Map for Tourism in Iceland - 1/14/2016

Over the past years, the rise in the number of tourists visiting Iceland has far exceeded forecasts and the sector is expected to continue to grow. In order to support the successful development of tourism in Iceland, the minister of Industries and Commerce, who is also the minister of Tourism, and the Icelandic Travel Industry Association joined forces to shape a long-term tourism strategy with an emphasis on sustainable development.

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Iceland – All Year-round - 12/2/2014

Iceland – All Year-round (Ísland – allt árið) is a marketing initiative that aims to even seasonality in tourism and increase profitability from the industry in Iceland. The initiative aims at an international, integrated two-year marketing campaign for the destination Iceland under the brand of Inspired by Iceland. Read more

Continued impasse on Mackerel - 10/23/2014

Annual consultations between the Coastal States on the management of the mackerel stock in the North-East Atlantic were held in London on 21-23 October 2014. The scientific advice from ICES on total allowable catch for 2015 was presented and reflected a strong status of the stock. Scientific research also demonstrates continued massive presence of the stock in Icelandic waters. Regrettably, however, parties failed to reach an agreement on a comprehensive management of the stock as one coastal state was not in position to agree on a share for Iceland which other parties had consented to.

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Positive results from the co-ordinated Nordic Mackerel Survey - 8/28/2014

The marine research institutes of the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland and Norway have issued a report on the annual co-ordinated mackerel trawl survey in the Nordic Seas which was conducted in July and August as in previous years.

The total estimate of mackerel biomass is around 9 million tonnes which is similar, while slightly more than in 2013. The distribution, however, is somewhat different as the north- and westward migration is markedly greater than has been measured before. 
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Catch Quotas in Icelandic waters in accordance with scientific advice - 6/27/2014

The Icelandic Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, Mr. Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson, announced the total allowable catch for all stocks in Icelandic jurisdiction for next fishing season in Iceland today. The Minister follows exactly the scientific advice given by the Icelandic Marine Research Institute for all species, as indeed he did last year.

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NORWEGIAN-ICELANDIC JOINT STATEMENT ON NORWEGIAN SPRING-SPAWNING (ATLANTO-SCANDIAN) HERRING - 6/26/2014

The Ministers are surprised that the EU and the Faroe Islands have had ”long and intensive negotiations” on the Faroese catch level of herring in 2014, without consulting the other parties concerned. Read more

Iceland announces a restrained and responsible mackerel quota for the 2014 season - 4/22/2014

The Icelandic Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture today announced Iceland's 2014 mackerel quota, setting the catch quota at 147,574 tons. This represents a 16,6% share of the total mackerel catch recommended by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) – or just 11.9% of the 1,240,000 tonnes recently decided by the EU, Norway and the Faeroes. Read more
Golden redfish/Gullkarfi

Fisheries Management Plan – Golden Redfish - 4/1/2014

The management of fisheries in Iceland is the responsibility of the Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture. The management is based on law. Regulations are issued annually and they can be different between years.

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Golden Redfish fisheries managed with catch rules - 3/25/2014

The government has approved the proposal submitted by the Minister of Industries and Innovation to the effect that Golden Redfish fisheries within Icelandic territorial waters should henceforth be managed by means of catch rules effective for five years and that such rules are to be reviewed in the fifth year. This decision is in accordance with government policies on responsible fisheries management focusing on sustainability and economic use. The catch rules are based on ensuring good Redfish catches in the long-term by annually harvesting a moderate proportion of the stock according to stock assessments and the recommendations of scientists in the field. Read more

The EU, the Faroe Islands and Norway take full responsibility of overfishing. The Minister's response to the tripartite agreement on the mackerel issue - 3/13/2014

Yesterday, the European Union, Norway and the Faroe Islands reached an agreement on the total allowable catch and sharing of quotas of the mackerel stock. Iceland was excluded from  the agreement following a meeting in Edinburgh last week at which Iceland stressed the importance of  reaching an agreement in line with the advice of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). The agreement, in which the three parties allocate themselves a total of 1,047,000 tonnes this year, is valid for five years. This allocation exceeds the advice of the ICES by almost 18%. The EU and Norway have allocated solely for themselves 890,000 tonnes, which is the maximum advised total allowable catch for this year.

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Statement from Mr. Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson, Icelandic Minister of Fisheries - 3/6/2014

The Icelandic Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, Mr. Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson, regrets that the meeting in Edinburgh yesterday on the management of the mackerel stock concluded without an agreement. It is evident that the opportunity to reach an agreement for the 2014 fishing season has slipped away.

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No Legal or Scientific Basis for Pelly Amendment Certification of Iceland by the US Department of Interior - 2/13/2014

Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture of Iceland, has expressed disappointment with the Pelly Amendment certification of Iceland by the US Department of Interior due to Iceland‘s international trade in whale products. 

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Iceland declares disappointment with the results of the mackerel negotiations - 2/8/2014

Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson Iceland´s Minister of Fisheries has expressed disappointment that negotiations on mackerel between the Coastal States in London this week have not resulted in an agreement between the parties.

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Mackerel Negotiations ended without an agreement - 1/31/2014

Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson Iceland´s Minister of Fisheries has expressed great dissapointment that negotiations on mackerel between the Coastal States in Bergen this week have not resulted in an agreement between the parties.  These negotiations were suspended but the parties agreed to continue consultations. Read more

Almost all Greenland sharks caught on Icelandic fishing grounds are by-catch in fishery for other species.  - 1/29/2014

The only large shark utilised for human consumption in Iceland is Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus), which is according to IUCN listing not vulnerable or endangered.
Almost all Greenland sharks caught on Icelandic fishing grounds are by-catch in fishery for other species.  Discarding is forbidden by law, thus all sharks caught must be landed and recorded.  
IUCN recommends research on historical catch data of this species to determine any population declines as a result of the fisheries. Read more

Orkustofnun grants a third licence in the Dreki Area - 1/22/2014

The licence is granted to CNOOC Iceland ehf. as operator with 60 % share, Eykon Energy ehf with 15 % share and Petoro Iceland AS with 25 % share.

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Sustainable whaling in Icelandic waters 2014-2018 - 12/18/2013

The Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, Sigurdur Ingi Jóhannsson, in collaboration with the government of Iceland, has determined the whaling permit for 2014-2018. The permit is based on the advice of the Marine Research Institute of Iceland at any time over the next 5 years. Read more

Statement from Government of Iceland Regarding Recommended 2014 Mackerel Catch Levels - 10/7/2013

Last Thursday the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) has issued its recommended 2014 Northeast Atlantic mackerel catch level. The 2014 total catch limit is set at 889,886 tonnes, a 64 percent increase from the 2013 total. According to Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, Iceland's Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, “Recent data shows that the mackerel stock is in strong shape ... and Iceland will continue to work hard for an agreement between the coastal states in order to secure sustainable management of the mackerel stock.”
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Investment Agreement between PCC and the Government of Iceland regarding silicon metal smelter plant - 10/4/2013

The Minister of Industries and Innovation Ragnheiður Elín Árnadóttir signed the Investment Agreement on the construction of new state-of-the-art silicon metal smelter plant that will be located at Bakki in the northern part of Iceland close to Húsavík. 

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Statement by the Government of Iceland on EU threats against the Faroe Islands and Iceland - 8/16/2013

Iceland is a major stakeholder in relation to the management of various shared fish stocks in the North-East Atlantic. Icelandic fisheries management policy has for many years assured the sustainable utilisation of marine resources, unlike the EU common fisheries policy.

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Cooperation and diplomacy, not illegal sanctions, are needed to manage the mackerel stock - 8/9/2013

In an article published today in The Wall Street Journal Europe Minister Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson outlines Iceland's stance on the mackerel dispute, including key messages around the migration of the mackerel and the need to find a science based solution through diplomatic means. It also stresses Iceland's willingness to negotiate and find a fair solution.

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Statement from Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, Iceland's Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture  - 8/1/2013

We are disappointed to see that the EU chose to impose sanctions on the Faroe Islands for its herring fisheries. We don't believe this is best way to settle these types of disagreements between friendly countries.

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Statement from Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, Iceland Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture - 7/16/2013

Iceland continues to call for a fair, reasonable solution to the dispute over mackerel catch levels.

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Consulting Committee deliver it's recommendations regarding á subsea interconnector for electricity between Iceland and Europe to the Minister of Industry and Trade - 6/26/2013

The committee's mandate was to analyse the economical, technological and environmental aspects along with the legal environment and relevant treaties. Read more

Sustainable whaling in Icelandic waters - 6/14/2013

Iceland attaches great importance to the principle of sustainable use of living marine resources as the sustainability of these resources is essential for the long-term prosperity of the country. Whaling in Icelandic waters is only directed at abundant whale stocks, North Atlantic common minke whales and fin whales, it is science-based, sustainable, strictly managed and in accordance with international law.

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Statement from Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, Iceland's Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture - 6/13/2013

“We were pleased to welcome EU Commissioner Maria Damanaki to Iceland last week to discuss the ongoing debate over mackerel fishing rights in the North Atlantic. At the meeting Iceland expressed its sincere willingness to return to the negotiating table as soon as possible in order to find a fair solution to this dispute ...

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FISHERIES MANAGEMENT PLAN - ICELANDIC HADDOCK - 6/10/2013

The management strategy for Iceland haddock is to maintain the exploitation rate at the rate which is consistent with the precautionary approach and that generates maximum sustainable yield (MSY) in the long term.

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FISHERIES MANAGEMENT PLAN - ICELANDIC SAITHE - 6/10/2013

The management strategy for Iceland saithe is to maintain the exploitation rate at the rate which is consistent with the precautionary approach and that generates maximum sustainable yield (MSY) in the long term.

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Iceland Responds to One-Sided Decision by Marine Conservation Society Regarding Sustainable Mackerel Fishing - 5/16/2013

The following statement has been issued by Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, Minister of Industries and Innovation, Government of Iceland, in response to the Marine Conservation Society's decision to re-list Icelandic mackerel as a ‘fish to avoid'. The Marine Conservation Society's decision unfortunately does not factor in Iceland's continual requests for collaboration with other Coastal States (the EU, including Scotland, as well as Norway and the Faroe Islands) to set sustainable catch levels or its own 15 percent reduction in its 2013 mackerel catch.

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RESPONSE TO EUROPEAN FISH COUNCIL MEETING, 14 MAY 2013 - Statement from Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, Minister of Industries and Innovation - 5/14/2013

With the European Fisheries Council meeting in Brussels today to discuss mackerel catch levels, Iceland continues to ask the Coastal States to return to the negotiating table to reach a fair solution to this dispute. Mackerel is a precious resource for Iceland and our fellow Coastal States, including the European Union, Norway and the Faroe Islands. We must work together to protect the mackerel stock through sustainable fishing levels based on collaborative scientific research.

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Response to notification from the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) of formal investigation of Iceland's investment incentives scheme - 4/30/2013

The Ministry of Industries and Innovation has expressed its objections to the decision by the EFTA Surveillance Authority, ESA, to open a formal investigation of the implementation of the scheme providing incentives for new investment in Iceland. Read more

Iceland Lowers 2013 Mackerel Fishing Quota by 15 Percent in Line with Scientific Recommendations - 2/2/2013

The Icelandic Ministry of Industries and Innovation today announced the country's 2013 fishing quota for mackerel, lowering the catch to 123,182 tons. This represents a 15 percent cut from the 2012 quota, in alignment with scientific recommendations from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), an international non-governmental organisation that promotes scientific research on the marine environment.

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"A fisheries stand-off won't solve the problem" - 1/24/2013

"We are ready to sit down with Scotland, and all the Coastal States involved, to discuss the facts behind this debate. We all need to ensure the mackerel stock remains at a healthy level for generations to come" says Steingrimur J. Sigfusson Minister of Industries and Innovation in an article in The Scotsman. Read more

STATEMENT FROM THE ICELANDIC MINISTER OF INDUSTRIES AND INNOVATION - 1/18/2013

It is with disappointment that we now learn that the EU and Norway have again claimed 90 percent of the scientifically recommended 2013 total mackerel catch, leaving only 10 percent for the other Coastal States, Iceland and the Faroe Islands, as well as Russia. Read more

No More Fishy Solutions to the Mackerel Dispute - 12/12/2012

In an article in in Wall Street Journal Steingrimur J. Sigfusson, Minister of Industries and Innovation says that we need a science-based solution that ensures a fair share for all and safeguards all parties' environmental and economic interests.

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Norway participates in exploration for oil and gas in Iceland through Petoro - 12/3/2012

The National Energy Authority of Iceland (NEA) has today finished processing two applications for licences for exploration and production of hydrocarbons in the Dreki Area. The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in Norway has today, 3 December 2012, notified NEA of their decision to participate in both licences to a 25 % share in accordance with the agreement between Iceland and Norway. 

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Undirritun viljayfirlýsingar um sæstreng

Memorandum of Understanding on energy cooperation. - 10/31/2012

Great interest in an electricity interconnection between Iceland and the Faroe Islands

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Iceland Statements Regarding Coastal States Negotiations on Sustainable Fishing of Mackerel - 10/24/2012

The meeting between the Coastal States of Iceland, Norway, the Faroe Islands and the EU in London on the management of mackerel fisheries was inconclusive. The Icelandic delegation was lead by chief negotiator Sigurgeir Þorgeirsson and the round of talks took place on 22-24 October 2012.

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Two new Bills based on proposals from the Group of Three on Financial Stability in Iceland. - 10/17/2012

Framework legislation on financial stability needs to be adopted to enhance and preserve an efficient and effective financial system in Iceland for the public good. Read more

The Ministers letter to Nature Conservations - 10/5/2012

The Minister of Industries and Innovation, mr Steingrímur J. Sigfússon sent a letter to the World Wildlife Fund and the Iceland Nature Conservation Association ..........

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