Municipalities in Iceland’s largest salmon farming region have called for taxes received from the aquaculture industry to be directly given to local communities, instead of into the central government fisheries fund.
The Mayor of Ísafjarðarbær in the Westfjords, Arna Lára Jónsdóttir, stated that the region is in negotiations with the government over the proposal, in the hope of reaching a positive resolution.
Jónsdóttir has told officials in Reykjavik that work needs to be completed in the region to support the expansion of the industry and local people know what needs to be done and how best to do it.
Currently, Icelandic communities that have fish farming operations receive a percentage of the tax collected from the aquaculture industry. In 2021, it was estimated that ISK 150 million (€1.1 million) was received by local communities. Although, that figure will grow as the industry expands.
Jónsdóttir hopes the work carried out to improve infrastructure in the area will allow them to welcome the growing population and their families. While another regional official Þórdís Sif Sigurðardóttir, who is the mayor of Vesturbyggð, says there has been little development in recent years, highlighting the need for communities and industry to work together to effectively develop the fish farming sector.