The Icelandic Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, Mr. Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson, announced the total allowable catch for all stocks in Icelandic jurisdiction for next fishing season in Iceland today. The Minister follows exactly the scientific advice given by the Icelandic Marine Research Institute for all species, as indeed he did last year.
Stocks around Iceland are generally in good condition, the spawning stock of cod estimated to be the largest in 30 years. The decrease in harvest rate, imposed by management action, has been the main reason for the increase in stock size, according the MRI. Recruitment, however, is lower than expected in many demersal species for reasons that need to be (explored) investigated further–; factors such as changes in the environment and new species within the jurisdiction feeding on juveniles from other stocks.
The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES)(http://ices.dk/news-and-events/news-archive/news/Pages/updated-mackerel-advice.aspx) released an updated mackerel advice last month, raising the catch recommendations up to 1,011 thousand tons. Iceland had previously announced it‘s mackerel catch quotas, representing a 16,6% share of the total mackerel catch recommended by ICES. Revised catch quotas for Iceland according to the new ICES advice will set the total catch quota at 167,826 tons.
On the quota announcement Minister Johannsson says: „Iceland is one of the largest fisheries nations in the North Atlantic and is proud of it‘s reputation in sustainable fisheries. I am therefore happy to announce that we will continue to contribute to responsible fisheries, following the advice of scientists to the fullest in our total catch decisions. For the future we need to further strengthen research and make sure we have the best possible information at each point in time to base reliable decisions on.“