More cod expected from Iceland –

More cod expected from Iceland Published:  19 June, 2013

ICELAND is expected to announce shortly a rise in its cod quota of anything between 10,000 and 15,000 tons.

It could possibly be even higher. The country’s influential Marine Research Institute has published its latest annual statistics which is recommending an increase of around 10 per cent.

Entitled the State of Marine Stocks in Icelandic Waters 2012/2013 and Prospects for the Quota Year 2013/2014, the data from the report indicates that the cod stock is in a very health state and that the Icelandic fishing fleet should be permitted a significant increase in the amount of cod it is permitted to catch.

The suggested quota for the new fishing year which starts in September is approaching 215,000 tons. The MRI says the spawning stock and reference stock of cod has increased rapidly over recent years.

The picture for haddock, however, is not so rosy and the state of the stock is still giving cause for some concern, although there are signs of an improvement. Three months ago ICES evaluated the haddock harvest control rule to be “precautionary” and conform with the maximum sustainable yield (MSY)..

The Icelandic government adopted the rule in April which, based on the harvest control rule, would see the country stick to the MRI’s recommendation of a total allowable catch of 38,000 tonnes of haddock during the 2013/2014 fishing year. Europe, and the UK in particular, remains probably the most important market for Iceland cod and haddock.

But a few months ago the Reykjavik government signed a free trade deal with China which is expected to see increased exports of white fish into ever more demanding Chinese markets.