The Iceland Marine Research Institute released a report this weekend recommending a 63,000 ton cut in cod fishing due to the cod stock reaching a historical low. The cut could lead to a loss of 15 billion (USD 244 million, EUR 181 million) in export income.
“I believe it is wise for us who are involved in this case to get together and review it in detail with fishermen, vessel owners, scientists and politicians from all parties,” Minister of Fisheries Einar K. Gudfinnsson told Morgunbladid.
Gudmundur Th. Jónsson, a captain at fishing company Samherji, casts doubt on the accuracy of the Marine Research Institute report and said the Institute has been wrong in its predictions for the past three to four years.
“I doubt everything they release—regarding capelin, herring or other fish. I don’t believe the Minister of Fisheries will accept this. I challenge him not to do it,” Jónsson said.
The Marine Research Institute recommends a cod fishing quota of 130,000 tons in the next fishing season, which is 30 percent – or 63,000 tons – less than currently permitted. The recommended quota has not been lower since 1937.
The Institute also recommends a quota cut for haddock and coalfish (Pollachius virens); by 20,000 tons for coalfish and 10,000 tons for haddock, Morgunbladid reports.
According to the report, the quota should only be increased by 100 tons for lobster and capelin fishing can be resumed with a recommended quota of 205,000 tons.
Cod is a valuable export product for Iceland; last year it delivered ISK 50 billion (USD 812, EUR 603) in profits. If the Marine Research Institute’s recommendations are followed, Iceland’s export income for fish would be reduced by 15 percent, resulting in a loss of ISK 15 billion (USD 244 million, EUR 181 million).
The Institute’s report revealed the size of the cod stock in Icelandic waters has reached a historical low and the Institute does not expect the cod stock to grow quickly.