Iceland Research Institute recommends 150,000 ton cod quota –

Iceland Research Institute recommends 150,000 ton cod quota Published:  15 June, 2009

ICELAND’S influential Marine Research Institute has recommended an unchanged cod catch quota of 150,000 for the 2009-10 fishing year which starts at the end of August. The Reykjavik government usually accepts the MRI’s figures.

This is 30,000 tonnes higher than the figure set at this time last year, but the quota was raised in January following new scientific information from the MRI which showed that cod stocks were a lot higher than first thought.

The MRI has said that the allowable cod catch is likely to remain around the 150,000 to 160,000 ton mark for the next three or four years which is good news for the UK processing industry because it means it can plan ahead with some degree of price certainty. When the cod quota was slashed by 50,000 tonnes two years ago both wholesale and retail prices throughout Europe moved up sharply, and caused many seafood companies to move away from cod to cheaper varieties such as pollack. But now a large part of that differential has been restored.

The MRI is basing is recommendation on the results of its spring rally which monitors cod stocks around Iceland.They show that the basic index for cod is nine per cent higher than in 2008.This is the second successive year that cod stocks have shown signs of recovery and the first estimate of the 2008 year class cod indicates that it is strong. Haddock catches, however, may face a small cut when the quotas are finalised this month.