Iceland slashes haddock quota –

Iceland slashes haddock quota Published:  14 July, 2009

HADDOCK prices could be set to rise sharply later this year after Iceland announced a big cut in its annual haddock catch quota for the new fishing year which starts on September 1.

The new total catch will be 63,000 metric tons compared to 93,000 tons for the current year – a reduction of almost 30 per cent.The country’s trawler owners had been expecting a lower figure, but nothing quite on this scale and they are reported to be very disappointed at the development, especially when the industry and the country is experiencing financial hardship.

Ironically, the announcement could help Scottish fishermen who have seen haddock prices fall in recent months due to over supply – mainly from Iceland.

The new catch rates were announced by the minister of Fisheries, Jon Bjarnason, and were presumably based on data from Iceland’s Marine Research Institute which closely monitors fish stocks in its waters.

The quotas for virtually all the main species have been reduced. The cod quota of 150,000 tons is down by 12,500 tones, but largely in line with expectations and is thought unlikely to affect cod prices. Saithe is down by 15,000 tones to 50,000 tons, and Greenland halibut has dropped by 3,000 tons to 12,000 tones. There is a small cut in the 13,000 ton catfish quota. Steve Norton, chief executive of the Grimsby FMA, said the Humber markets would have to wait and see on any likely impact, but he thought the move would force haddock prices upwards.