Case closed, say fish farmer’s lawyers.
The Icelandic Court of Appeals has confirmed the District Court of Reykjavik’s ruling and dismissed the claims of the owners of salmon fishing rights in the river Haffjarðará, Akurholt and Geiteyri, against Arnarlax – the biggest Iceland salmon producer, the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority and the Environment Agency of Iceland.
“The fishing right owners had demanded that the fish farming licenses of Arnarlax in Arnarfjörður would be annulled. Arnarlax, an Aquaculture Stewardship Certification – ASC certified company, is the largest farmer and producer of salmon in Iceland. But the Icelandic Court of Appeals, Landsrettur, confirmed the District Court of Reykjavik’s ruling and dismissed the claims. Landsrettur’s ruling is the final decision of the Icelandic courts,” said Kristín Edwald, Supreme Court Attorney and Partner, LEX law firm, representing Arnarlax.
The fishing right owners did not have any particular legitimate interest in pursuing their lawsuit, which is a ground for dismissal according to Icelandic procedural law.
In addition to their own cost according to the court ruling, the fishing right owners have to pay all legal costs to Arnarlax, the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority and the Environment Agency of Iceland, both before the District Court and the Court of Appeals.
“In essence, the Icelandic courts held that the owners of the salmon fishing rights had not suffered any loss due to Arnarlax’s operations and that they had not proved that the operation would specifically harm their interests,” added Edwald.
“Arnarlax has since 2009 been through a complicated license application process with the Icelandic National Planning Agency (www.skipulag.is), Food and Veterinary Authorities (www.mast.is) and Environmental Agency of Iceland, Umhverfisstofnun (www.ust.is) where same interest groups have provided their comments and pressed charges through every step of the process and ruling committee,” she added.