The Icelandic Institute for Marine Research had announced the preliminary total allowable catch for capelin fishing in 2022
The Icelandic Institute for Marine Research had announced the preliminary total allowable catch for capelin in 2022.
The MRI recommends fishing for up to 904,200 tonnes of capelin for the coming season, a hefty increase on the predicted quota for 2022.
The last few years have been rather sparse, so there has been a considerable increase since last winter, when the quota was 127,300 tonnes.
Initial advice provided in December last year, based on measurements of immature juveniles in September 2020, spoke of fishing for up to 400,000 tonnes for the coming season. However, this advice was taken with great caution in light of the uncertain relationship that exists between juvenile capelin and fish stocks a year later.
Preliminary results from the capelin expedition of the marine research vessels Árni Friðriksson and Bjarni Sæmundsson earlier this month seemed to confirm the expectations that have been raised regarding the coming season.
The capelin season has been very volatile in recent years. In the winter of 2014/2015, 517,000 tonnes were caught, a year later the total catch was 174,000 tonnes, and in 2017 and 2018 it was around 300,000 tonnes.
In 2019 and 2020, capelin fishing was not allowed inland, but the quota ended at 127,300 tonnes last winter after extensive capelin searches and deprivation of advice.
Of the total capelin fishing quota issued by Iceland, 80% will go to Icelanders, 15% to Greenlanders and 5% to Norwegians. There is also an agreement between Iceland and the Faroe Islands that they will receive 5% of the total quota, a maximum of 25,000 tonnes, which is taken from the quota Iceland has allocated to itself following coastal state agreements.
Final advice will only come when the cruises are completed in January 2022.