The capelin stock that is supposed to be caught this season has not been spotted yet. The 2007 fishing quota has not been decided and a lot of money is at stake.
Three research ships and two fishing ships are currently looking for capelin off the coast of north Iceland and the Westfjords to measure the size of its stock and determine how much can be caught. Fréttabladid reports.
Capelin fishing has decreased steadily since the mid 1990s. Then, more than one million holds of capelin were caught for a few seasons in a row.
But last winter saw only 230,000 holds of capelin, and now the capelin stock seems to have disappeared. There is no trace of fries, young capelin or grown fish.
Thorsteinn Sigurdsson of the Icelandic Marine Research Institute said the search for capelin has been going on since November without luck.
Locating capelin in January has been difficult since 2000, he said, but now no fish of the stock that is supposed to be caught this season has even been spotted.
Sigurdsson said that if capelin is not found soon, the Marine Institute can’t measure the stock and will have to ban the fishing of it.
Sigurdsson believes that due to rising ocean temperatures off the Icelandic coast, the capelin escapes to colder waters.