Conference told Iceland may raise haddock quota by 2014 –

Conference told Iceland may raise haddock quota by 2014 Published:  08 February, 2011

ICELAND may be in a position to increase its haddock quotas within three or four years – provided the stock continues to improve.

This was one of the positive messages to come from the conference on future fishing prospects held at the Icelandic Embassy in London. Last summer Iceland cut its haddock quota by 13,000 tons to 50,000 tons because of concerns over the stock, but now there are signs of a recovery.

Steve Norton, chief executive of the Grimsby Fish Merchants Association, who was at the seminar along with Martyn Boyers, chief executive of Grimsby Fish Market, said it was a most useful event. “There is no doubt that Iceland manages its fishing grounds extremely well and that is to there credit. The country has no discards and the fishing industry works very closely with the scientists. Their cod stocks have now been certified as ethical and sustainable by the Global trust, an independent body.

“They also fish a percentage of the stock by the year class method. Now we know that the Icelandic haddock quota has been considerably reduced in recent years, but we were told at the conference that the stock is starting to recover and if this continues there is a chance of an increase in the quota by 2014.”

Steve also raised growing concerns about the reduction in Iceland fish shipments to the Humber over the past 12 months and put up a strong case for the Grimsby fish market, which he said was probably the most important fish buying and selling hub in Europe.. “We know that shipments are down by 40 per cent year on year which is quite worrying. I am pleased to say that our concerns have been heard and will be conveyed back to Iceland. Hopefully, we will see some improvement later in the year.”

The conference also heard that the waters around Iceland, which receives the Gulf Stream, were becoming warmer and as a result more fish was moving into the colder northern Norwegian waters.