Extensive search for capelin in Icelandic waters was called off earlier this week without a quota being issued. For capelin fishing to be permitted, at least 400,000 tons of the fish have to present in Icelandic waters.
Capelin fishing in Iceland. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
This is the first time since the 1982/1983 fishing season that a quota for capelin has not been issued, according to a newsletter from the Federation of Icelandic Fishing Vessel Owners (LÍÚ).
“It is of course a huge disappointment because this was among the most extensive organized capelin search expeditions undertaken in recent years,” said Björn Jónsson at LÍÚ, who represented fishing vessel owners in the expedition’s organization at the Icelandic Marine Research Institute.
“The positive thing is that although we didn’t manage to find more than 385,000 tons of capelin, the fish seems to have spawned in various locations […]. That is hopefully an indication of a good catch in three years,” Jónsson added.
Search for capelin this season began with an expedition of research vessel Árni Fridriksson on November 17 last year. When the crew announced the discovery of a large capelin school off Iceland’s East Fjords on February 6, Minister of Fisheries Steingrímur J. Sigfússon issued a 15,000-ton search quota.
A number of fishing vessels also participated in the search, but in vain.
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