A total of 51,296 signed a petition protesting Minister of Fisheries Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson’s bill on the distribution of the mackerel fishing quota, which makes it the fifth largest petition in Iceland’s history. The collection of signatures concluded at midnight.
The petition protests the minister’s original intention to distribute the quota for six years. Ruv.is reports that its organizers will now submit the petition to President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, who has the right to veto bills.
However, Sigurður had already agreed to amend the bill in response to the protest.
The petition, online on thjodareign.is, reads:
“We undersigned challenge the president of Iceland to refer all laws approved by Alþingi [the parliament] where the fisheries resource is disbursed for more than one year at a time to a national referendum while there is no clause on the national ownership of natural resources in the constitution and the nation has not been guaranteed a full charge for the resources’ exploitation.”