ICELAND has significantly raised its cod and haddock quotas for the new fishing year which begins on September 1st. The decision, particularly on haddock is certain to be welcomes by processors in the UK and Europe. Haddock remains a firm favourite in Britain.
The Minister of Fisheries has decided that the catch quota for cod should be raised to 255,172 metric tons, up by around 11,000 tons on the current fishing year. The figure is slightly less than the 257,572 tons recommended by Iceland’s Marine Research Institute.
The haddock quota goes up by over 5,000 tons to 39,890 tons. This is the first significant haddock increase for some time and shows that the stock, which was causing some concern not so long ago, is now making a sustained recovery.
According to a recent report from the Marine Research Institute, the position of many of Iceland’s fish stocks is strong. The one major exception is the condition of the Icelandic summer trout which has been hit by infections and catch limits have been almost halved as a result. There are also small cuts in the redfish, plaice and lobster quotas and there is no shrimp quota next year.
Fisheries Minister Katrínar Gunnarsdóttir said: “”Overall, this is a good news that strongly suggests that fisheries management in Iceland has been responsible in recent years. We are also strengthening marine research, especially in view of potential changes in the ocean around Iceland due to climate change.
But it may not be such good news for the Barents Sea, which is shared jointly by Norway and Russia, and is the largest source of northern hemisphere cod and haddock.
ICES, the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas, has just issued several recommendations concerning the proposed 2018 total allowable catch (TAC). The ICES scientists are advising a 20 per cent cut in the cod quota down from 890,000 tons to 712,000 tons.
Three years ago the cod quota reached a peak figure of one millions tons. The actual catch totals will be decided in the autumn when the joint Russian and Norwegian Fisheries Commission meets. The Commission is not bound to accept the ICES recommendations, but it usually takes its advice into consideration when agreeing the figures..