UN criticises Icelandic fishing quotas

Iceland has been accused by the United Nations Human Rights Committee of disregarding the rights of two fishermen in Iceland by refusing to allocate them the fishing quota they had applied for, reports FishUpdate.com.

Erlingur Sveinn Haraldsson and Örn Saevar Sveinsson, the two fishermen, chose to fish in a boat with no quota after their applications were denied. The Icelandic Supreme Court ruled against them.

The committee ruled that the 26th article of the relevant UN treaty, declaring that all types of discrimination are prohibited, had been violated by the Icelandic authorities. The Human Rights Committee urged Iceland to instate a system of fisheries control that heeds international law, and to fully compensate the two fishermen.

The committee said that the quota system is unfair because it provides advantages to original recipients of permanent quotas. The verdict is nonbinding, but Einar Gudfinnsson, Minister of Fisheries, said it was being seriously considered.

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