The advice on the capelin quota for 2021 has been adjsted to 61000 tonnes
After conversions on the spawning stock last week by the Icelandic Institute of Marine Research, the quota for capelin has been adjusted to 61,000 tonnes.
Kristján Þór Júlíusson, Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, explained at a government meeting this morning that he had signed a regulation on capelin fishing in accordance with the advice of the Marine Research Institute. Following measurements of the capelin stock last week, the MRI provided advice on fishing for up to 61,000 tonnes of capelin in the 2020/2021 season. This is an increase of 39,200 from the previous consultation.
The Minister also explained that the Marine Research Institute’s research vessel, Árni Friðriksson, set out for measurements last Sunday. Today, three vessels leave the capelin vessels to search for capelin, so a total of four vessels will carry out the measurements in the next few days. In addition, two additional capelin vessels are ready to join the project if needed.
The weather forecast for the next few days as well as the forecast for the distribution of sea ice outside the Westfjords gives hope that it will be possible to cross the research area and measure the stock again in the next few days. Emphasis will be placed on the area outside the northern Eastfjords, for the North and the Westfjords, but it has not been possible to explore those areas in recent weeks due to bad weather and sea ice outside the Westfjords.
Kristján Þór Júlíusson, Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture:
“It is very gratifying that we have managed to prevent the capelin shortage from materializing for the third year in a row. This is certainly not a large amount, but the fact that Icelandic vessels will now be fishing for capelin is a step in the right direction. The search continues in full force and today three ships are added to that search. It is, after all, very much at stake for the economy to keep the capelin season as strong as possible. “
On the readjustment, the Icelandic Institute of Marine Research said:
“A recalculation of capelin measurements according to the MRI’s quality procedures revealed an error in the processing of echo soundings on the size of the spawning stock of capelin this week, which has now been corrected. The result of that measurement increased by 19,000 tonnes, or up to 338,000 tonnes. This means that adjusted capelin advice on catches in the 2020/21 season is 61,000 tonnes.
“As previously stated, the basis for the consultation is an estimate of the size of the spawning stock of capelin, which is based on an average of two measurements. On the one hand on the results of an echo expedition in December and on the other hand on the combined results of two echo expeditions in January.
“The previous measurement in January, amounting to a total of 144,000 tonnes, was limited as no measurements were made in the Greenland Channel due to sea ice. Furthermore, the amount of capelin in the eastern part of the area was far below what was measured in December. The second measurement in January was in a demarcated area outside the Eastfjords, where about 338,000 tonnes were measured. There is an overwhelming probability that capelin to the east of the country was not part of the survey earlier this month, so these two measurements are taken together but give an estimate of 482,000 tonnes and are estimated to be equal to the December survey when estimating the size of the stock.
“TAC advice is based on the 95% probability that the spawning stock in March will exceed 150,000 tonnes, taking into account predation. Together, these measurements reduce uncertainty in stock assessments, and accordingly this measurement leads to a corrected fishing advice of 61,000 tonnes in the winter of 2020/21 and replaces previous advice from 22 January.”