Iceland set to raise cod quota by 10,000 tons –

Iceland set to raise cod quota by 10,000 tons Published:  08 June, 2010

ICELAND’S trawler fleet looks set be allowed to catch an extra 10,000 tons of cod during the next fishing quota year which begins in September.

The country’s influential Marine Research Institute has recommended a total cod catch of 160,000 tones, compared to 150,000 tones for the current year which finishes on August 31.

As always, the final decision rests with the Icelandic Ministry of Fisheries, but it is widely expected to endorse the MRI recommendation, probably towards the end of this month. Because of its severe economic problems Iceland is desperate for foreign currency and fish exports is one of the country’s main revenue earners.

The extra quota will clearly be welcomed at Hull and Grimsby, two of the big markets for Iceland cod. The even better news is that the Iceland cod stock is in a very healthy shape, as with cod stock in other parts of the northern hemisphere such as the Barents Sea.

earlier this year, The MRI research has found that the 2008 cod stock was the strongest it has been since annual research trips began in the autumn of 1996.  The fish are also larger in size.The increase in cod stocks can partly be attributed to restricted fishing quotas in recent years aimed at saving the declining fish stock.

The haddock quota has yet to be announced, but it is widely expected to remain at the same level or even reduce further this year. In 2009 Iceland reduce the allowable catch for haddock from 93,000 tons to 63,000 tons – one of the biggest falls for many years.The country’s trawler owners had been expecting a lower figure, but nothing quite on this scale. They are bracing themselves for the possibility of  a further cut.