The overall index of cod was more than 20 percent higher in the Icelandic Marine Research Institute’s recent autumn sampling than in the autumn of 2009. The index is in fact the highest since first measured in 1996.
Icelandic cod. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
The increase of the index measuring the size of the stock is in accordance with predictions made last spring but the weight index has exceeded expectations, Morgunbladid reports.
“What surprises us the most, and is also very positive, is that the fish in the average-weight categories are growing. They have been small in the past years but now the fish appears to be gaining weight,” said the institute’s director Jóhann Sigurjónsson.
“This is excellent news,” commented Minister of Fisheries Jón Bjarnason. When asked whether this development means the cod fishing quota can be increased, he replied, “It certainly gives prospects for a possible increase in the future cod quota.”
Managing director of the Federation of Fishing Vessel Owners (LÍÚ) Fridrik J. Arngrímsson said the results strengthen fishermen’s belief that the quota was too low in 2007 and every year since. “The quota rule announced last year has to be changed.”
In the current fishing year, Icelandic vessels can catch 160,000 tons of cod.
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