Global, Regional and National Perspectives
New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series
Edited by Nigel Bankes, Irene Dahl and David L. VanderZwaag
Chapter 11: Iceland: aspects of the legal environment relating to aquaculture
Aquaculture, including mariculture, is a growing industry in Iceland leading, inter alia, to an increasing demand for the planning of marine areas and for fish farming operating permits. Although the legislative reaction hitherto has been lagging behind the current demand, some precautionary measures already have been taken to prevent genetic pollution by closing some large marine areas permanently for salmonid fish farming. Furthermore streamlining of the permitting procedure (one-stop shop) has recently been introduced, which will benefit those that apply for operating permits and should increase the cooperation of the relevant public authorities as well. Against this backdrop the objective of this chapter is to outline and discuss the main aspects of the Icelandic legal environment relating to aquaculture. The current legislation reflects a diverse preventive and precautionary approach and, to a certain extent, an ecological approach. Furthermore recent legal amendments signify what could be categorized as a first step towards a holistic and integrated management approach of marine-based fish farming. From scrutinizing the legal environment it is clear that the relevant legislation is in transition and, even though some of the most important acts were changed in 2014 (applicable from the beginning of 2015), the necessary administrative regulations have at the time of writing not yet been adjusted, although the larger strokes have been made clear by the central legislator (Althingi).
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