Iceland on track to break record for farmed fish exports

Arctic char

Preliminary figures suggest that Iceland set a new record for the export of aquaculture products last year.
Iceland’s two main farmed fish exports species are salmon and Arctic Char.
The total figure is expected to be around ISK 29bn (£164.3m) a year on year, an increase in nominal terms of 17 per cent.
The figure will be seen as impressive in a year dominated by coronavirus and a pandemic which has shut thousands of restaurants around the world, hugely disrupting salmon sales.
The export figure for December ( which also includes agricultural products), is ISK 4.8bn (£27.4m), an increase of 58 per cent on the final month of 2019 when currency fluctuations are taken into account, but when there was no pandemic.
Given the limited nature of farming in Iceland because of its tough climate, farmed fish is thought to have accounted for ISK 3.8bn (£21.5m) of that total. That figure has yet to be confirmed.
Iceland says aquaculture, although small when set against other activities such as conventional fishing, is one of the few export sectors that grew last year and increased its foreign exchange earnings. It adds that there are great opportunities for future years.
Meanwhile, Icelandic salmon received a big boost on TF1, France’s largest television station a few days ago with a positive report on ASC environmentally certified salmon farming in the Eastfjords and Westfjords , showing how these two regions smoke their fish.
The news item which featured companies such as Arctic Fish and Havbrun, was watched by several million people and is thought to be the largest TV coverage on Icelandic salmon so far. Companies said they received order enquiries from France following the programme.