Cod stocks showing signs of recovery – Fishupdate.com

Cod stocks showing signs of recovery Published:  16 December, 2008

HOPES that Iceland may soon be able to send more cod to Britain rose this week with the new that cod stocks are showing promising signs of a marked increase.

Iceland’s normally conservative Marine Research Insitute has just completed a major survey which paints a brighter pictureon stocks than had normally been expected.

The cod stock is now higher than at any time since detailed surveys began in 1996; and a full 10 percent higher than in both 1998 and 2004.

Last year Iceland cut their catch quota by a massive 60,000 tonnes after the Institute said the fishery was in danger.

Fridrik J. Arngrimsson, managing director of LIU, the Federation of Icelandic Fishing Vessel Owners Association said: ‘This is the best news we’ve had in a long time. This survey does not mean that the cod stock is as big as we would like to see it. We of course need to build it up further. This is an ongoing and continuous job.’

But the hopes clearly among Iceland’s vessel owners is that there could be some let up in August when the new quota round is set, even though any increase may only be a modest one at first. Markets in the UK, especially those on the Humber, are likely to be the main beneficiaries.

The Icelandic owners are likely to lobby their government to take the new scientific information into account when setting new quotas, but the Fisheries Minister Einar K Gudfinnsson has a reputation for caution in these matters.

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