Numbers of langoustine around Iceland have plummeted, RÚV reports. Iceland’s Marine and Freshwater Research Institute suggests an 80% reduction in harvesting between years.
If MFRI’s suggestions will be heeded, the langoustine quota will be reduced to 235 tons this year. Furthermore, langoustine fishing will get banned in Lónsdjúp and Jökuldjúpi to protect young langoustine. The institution also suggests a total ban against fishing with a bottom trawl in selected parts of Breiðarmerkurdjúp, Hornfjarðardjúp and Lónsdjúp, to alleviate strain on langoustine stock.
Last year’s fishing season the quota was 1.150 tons, which was an all-time low at that time. Despite this, only 728 tons were caught, another record low for Iceland’s fishing industry since steady langoustine fishing commenced in the 1960s. Most langoustine was caught in 2010, around 2.500 tons, which was double the amount caught in 2004. Over the past years, numbers have been falling rapidly.
MFRI’s report says that the density of langoustine spots is among the lowest they know or about 0.07 langoustine holes per square meter. Furthermore, the report indicates that numbers among new generations of langoustine are dwindling, and have been critically low since 2005. “If practices don’t change we can expect a further reduction in langoustine numbers,” the report concludes.