Shock as Iceland salmon farming licences revoked
TWO Icelandic coastal communities have expressed dismay after licences to allow a major expansion of fish farming were suddenly revoked.
Late last year, the Icelandic Food Administration gave the green light to the companies Fjarðarlax (owned by Arnarlax) and the Arctic Sea Farm to produce up to 17,500 tonnes of salmon in Patreksfjordur and Tálknafjörður, both in the Westfjords region.
But the country’s Environmental and Natural Resources Complaints Committee has just overturned that decision. It argued that an environmental assessment by the companies and the administration’s planning agency on the impact of the proposed developments did not have a sufficiently sound basis or the right information.
Fjarðarlax had planned to develop facilities to produce 10,700 tonnes of salmon, while Arctic Sea Farm had been granted a licence for 6,800 tonnes. Both companies are thought to be seeking legal advice.
The ruling has brought a sharp response from the affected communities, which together barely number 1,100 inhabitants.
They said in a statement that the decision would have ‘an enormous impact on employment and business’ in the area.