Iceland sees big rise infish values –

Iceland sees big rise infish values Published:  09 September, 2010

ICELAND saw a big increase in the value of fish caught by its trawler fleet during the first four months of this year.

The news  figures show that between January and April 2010 Icelandic vessels hauled in catches worth 45.6 billion kroners or about £242-million sterling. This compares with landings worth 35 billion kroners or  some £160-billion on the same period last year.

The surprising element in these latest statistics is that the volume  was almost  20,000 tons less this year. For the four month period  in 2009 378,212 tons was landed compared to 359,53 tons this year.

Some of the increased can be put down to fluctuations between the Icelandic kroner and the euro and other currencies including the United States dollar and sterling. But increased fish prices was the major factor, especially for demersal species such as cod and haddock. Certainly, on the Humber markets cod and haddock prices have been fairly high these past weeks and the indications are that haddock in particular may go higher later this year because of reduced quotas. Iceland has also been increasing its effort to sell into North America which seems happy to pay the prices being asked. However, with increased quotas coming from northern Norway and the Barents Sea, fish buyers in the UK hope that this may temper things a little.

For the first six months of this year Iceland’s ‘marine exports – and that means fish – were 5.3 per cent higher than in 2009. For a country which is just coming out of the worst economic situation in its history, these latest figures are bound to be welcomed in Reykjavik. Fishing is seen as one of the key drivers in the recovery of the Icelandic economy which is starting to show signs  of stabilising.