Earnings drop 50% in two years

Published by FiskerForum, 27-06-2017 · info@fiskerforum.dk

According to the Akranes Trade Union (Verkalýðsfélag Akraness), a combination of Iceland’s strengthening currency and falling fish prices have seen crew earnings drop significantly. The union has compared earnings by crews on several trawlers to come up with its findings.

According to the Union, catch values for fresher trawler Helga María have fallen from ISK1.30 billion in 2015 to ISK855 million in 2016, and there are similar patterns to be seen for the catch figures of other trawlers.

‘It is clear there are many aspects to the huge gain in the ISK’s strength, and one of these is that seamen’s earnings have fallen by 50% over two years,’ the union states.

‘It has to be remembered that this drop in earnings also affects the tax situation for the state and local authorities, as well as trade and services in communities where fishing is a key part of employment. The situation is now arising in which it could become increasingly difficult to man fishing vessels if there is no change to the exchange rate and an increase in the price of fish.’

The Union has urged the Icelandic government to persuade the Central Bank to reduce interest rates and abolish index linking of home ownership loans.

‘Icelandic home owners know exactly what happens when the exchange rate fluctuates and those homes will bear the brunt as their index-linked debts can change rapidly,’ the Akranes Trade Union’s spokesman states.

‘There is a serious problem here that clearly must not be allowed to threaten our main export industry as the ISK continues to gain strength.’

Source: Verkalýðsfélag Akraness

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