Norwegian boats are heading to Iceland for capelin fishing
Norwegian vessels have received a capelin quota of 33,388 tonnes of capelin off Iceland with the fishery opening on last Thursday, 28 January.
The intensive Icelandic capelin search has resulted in a quota where Norwegian vessels can fish a total of up to 33,388 tonnes. This is based on an agreement where Norway will have 5% of the quota. The Norwegians will have a share of the EU quota by agreement with Greenland and they will also have capelin in exchange for cod quotas. For the last couple of years where there has been no capelin fishing in Iceland.
The individual vessel’s fishing in the fishing zone off Jan Mayen, Greenland’s economic zone and Iceland’s economic zone is limited by a quota corresponding to the vessel’s quota factors multiplied by a quota unit set at 0.79.
The Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries has now published the regulations in J-23-2021. Norwegian authorities have sent a license application to the Icelandic authorities, it has not yet been approved.
According to reports from Iceland, Polar Amaraq has been fishing 70-80 nm southeast of Langeneset. The vessel has trawled 500 tonnes of capelin with an average size of around 40 pcs / kg.
There has been no capelin fishing in Iceland for the last two years. In 2017, Norwegian vessels fished 59,300 tonnes of capelin in Iceland, where 53,000 tonnes went for consumer use.
In 2018, Norwegian vessels fished 74,000 tonnes of capelin in Iceland, but that year as much as 65,000 went to flour and oil use with 8,500 tonnes being sent for consumption. In 2018 there was also a capelin fishery of 127,000 tonnes in the Barents Sea but nothing from the Barents Sea in 2017 when prices were much higher.
Some vessels have already set course for Iceland, and more are expected to travel in the next few days as quota and exchange agreements between vessels are in place, says sales manager Kennet Garvik at Sildelaget.
“It will be exciting to see where the buyers are in terms of price now that the capelin is back. Availability, size and bait in the capelin will be factors that affect the price but there is hopefully a suction in the market now that the capelin has been gone for a while,” says Garvik who hopes weather and wind will be fair on the boats during this year’s capelin fishing.