Icelandic fishing fleet’s first-half catch volume, earnings fall

Published on
September 2, 2020

Fishing vessels operating out of Iceland caught 458,100 metric tons (MT) of fish and shellfish in the first six months of this year, generating a total first-sales value of ISK 70.4 billion (USD 508 million, EUR 428.5 million). The volume represented a 9 percent reduction on the first half of 2019, while the value was 2 percent lower.

The preliminary figures gathered by the country’s Direcrorate of Fisheries confirms volume decreases in all of the main wild-catch categories, and also that only cod, redfish, and mackerel increased their value year-on-year.

Iceland’s first-half demersal landings totaled 245,759 MT (down 7 percent) with a first-sales value of almost ISK 58.6 billion (USD 422.9 million, EUR 356.6 million). Within this category, cod landings amounted to 151,016 MT, up 3 percent, with the species achieving an 8 percent increase in first-sales to ISK 40.2 billion (USD 290.1 million, EUR 244.7 million). At the same time, the redfish catch decreased by 8 percent in volume to 25,589 MT, but gained 4 percent in value at ISK 6 billion (USD 43.3 million, EUR 36.5 million).

At the same time, the haddock and saithe volumes of 24,379 MT and 24,864 MT dropped by 26 percent and 27 percent respectively, while their values decreased by 28 percent and 24 percent to ISK 5.7 billion (USD 41.1 million, EUR 34.7 million) and ISK 3.7 billion (USD 26.7 million, EUR 22.5 million).

The pelagic catch value for the six months fell by 14 percent in volume to 195,678 MT and by 35 percent in value to less than ISK 6 billion. Within the category, mackerel increased in volume by 1,219 percent to 8,024 MT, delivering a first-sales value of ISK 429 million (USD 3.1 million, EUR 2.6 million). The main catch of blue whiting decreased by 17 percent in volume and 10 percent in value to 187,599 MT and ISK 5.4 billion (USD 39 million, EUR 32.9 million).

Shellfish volumes and revenues amounted to 1,895 MT and ISK 599 million (USD 4.3 million, EUR 3.6 million), down 49 percent and 36 percent, respectively, while the total flatfish catch value fell 8 percent in volume and 1 percent in value to 11,612 MT and ISK 5.3 billion (USD 38.2 million, EUR 32.3 million).

Over the course of the six-month period, some 348,571 MT or ISK 40.4 billion (USD 291.5 million, EUR 245.9 million) worth of Iceland’s catch went directly for domestic processing, and 46,475 MT of products valued at almost ISK 11.1 billion (USD 80.1 million, EUR 67.6 million) were sold at auction.

In addition, 411,162 MT of fisheries products valued at more than ISK 3 billion (USD 21.7 million, EUR 18.3 million) were exported in containers, while the frozen-at-sea catch was 47,855 MT worth ISK 15.7 billion (USD 113.3 million, EUR 95.7 million).

Photo courtesy of K. Volkmer/Shutterstock

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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