In a recent report from the Maritime Research Institute, the advised capelin quota was lowered to 218,400 tonnes, significantly less than hoped-for projections of 400,000 tonnes.
The new recommendation replaces the previous, more optimistic, recommendation which was based on numbers of immature capelin from 2021.
Now, new data is available from the research ships Árni Friðriksson and Tarajoq, which took echo measurements of the capelin population between Iceland and Greenland between August 27 and September 29.
The total population was estimated to be 1.1 million tonnes, with a spawning stock of around 763,000 tonnes.
Some fishermen are nevertheless optimistic, as many years have been entirely without capelin. Of the past 13 years, 7 have seen no initial capelin quota issued.
Although the lowered quota has been a disappointment for fishermen, if favourable market prices prevail, the capelin catch could still net ISK 30-35 billion.
However, the quota is still subject to revision and will be updated after new figures are available in January and February of 2023.
In an interview with RÚV, Gunnþór Ingvason, director of the Neskaupstaður herring processing plant, stated that “the problem is this uncertainty. If the quota increase comes late in the season, then it’s very expensive to have put all the ships away for winter.”