Iceland research institute signals 17,000 ton cod increase –

Iceland research institute signals 17,000 ton cod increase Published:  20 June, 2011

THE Icelandic Government is expected to shortly announce an increase in the country’s cod catch quota of at least 17,000 tons for the new fishing year which starts on September 1st.

The Icelandic Marine Research Institute (MRI) has recommended that the annual catch for 2011-12 can be raised  from 160,000 tonnes to 177,000 tons. The government usually accepts the MRI’s recommendations, but there have been demands from the industry for an even higher catch figure.

Members of the Icelandic Fishing Vessel Owners Federation (LIU) believes there is  strong scientific evidence for taking the quota up to 190,000 tons this September  such is the  healthy state of the fishery and its spawning stock. The Government will announce its decision next month, but even if it does accept the MRI’s somewhat conservative figure, LIU told Fishupdate that, fingers crossed, the quota could rise to 190,000 or even 195,000 tons in September 2012. There is even talk in some circles of a  250,000 ton quota by 2016. The good news for Humber exporters is that some of that extra quota will see its way onto the UK market later this year, even though there are growing demands in Iceland for more fish to be processed at home in order to protect fish jobs and increase revenue. Iceland currently imposes a five per cent quota reduction on whole fish exports and the hope is in Grimsby that it will not go any higher.

While there may be good news on  cod, the prospects for that other British dinner table  favourite –  haddock – are not so bright. The MRI is recommending a TAC reduction from 45,000 to 37,000 tons for the new fishing year. Two excellent class years for haddock have now been fished out and the MRI wants a lower quota in order for stocks to recover. Haddock quotas are likely to be lower for the next two or three years.