Glimmer of Hope from Latest Capelin Stock Numbers Skip to content

Glimmer of Hope from Latest Capelin Stock Numbers

By Yelena

capelin fishing

The Marine and Freshwater Research Institute (MFRI) released preliminary figures today of capelin stock measurements made between February 1 and 9. The total amount of spawning stock is 250,000 tonnes. That number is higher than January measurements, but more capelin needs to be found for the MFRI to recommend a fishing quota this season. Another research expedition will be made next week.

The second expedition found 64,000 tonnes more of capelin than the first, which the MFRI says warrants a third research expedition next week. The third expedition would still need to find at least 150,000 additional tonnes of capelin in order for the MFRI to give out a quota this season.

No capelin quota was given out in 2019 after stocks were found to be too low. In the Westman Islands (pop. 4,300), last year’s shortage impacted 350 employees directly and led to a loss of wages of at least ISK 1 billion ($7.9m/€7.25m), according to a new report. Another shortage would prove a second economic hit to towns around the country that rely on capelin fishing and processing.

Fisheries Minister Kristján Þór Júlíusson told Kjarninn he would be open to discussing the impact of another shortage on communities across the country and what measures could be taken. “If a capelin shortage occurs for the second year in a row, then there is full reason for the government to discuss how the situation could be addressed with these municipalities. Circumstances vary by municipality, but if the blow can be mitigated in some way then it’s a matter of course to review that.”

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