Icelandic fleet’s first-quarter catch volume, value slide

Published on
June 4, 2020

Fishing vessels operating out of Iceland caught 178,456 metric tons (MT) of fish and shellfish with a total first-sales value of ISK 34.2 billion (USD 254 million, EUR 226.5 million) in the first quarter of this year. The volume represented a 25 percent reduction on Q1 2019, while the value was 5.6 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 the demersal catch maintained its value year-on-year.

Iceland’s demersal landings totaled 124,209 MT, down 9 percent, with a first-sales value of almost ISK 31.5 billion (USD 233.9 million, EUR 208.6 million). Within this category, cod landings amounted to 79,203 MT, a decrease of 4 percent, and a 6 percent increase in first-sales to ISK 22.1 billion (USD 164.1 million, EUR 146.3 million). At the same time, the redfish catch increased by 5 percent in volume and 17 percent in value to 12,999 MT and ISK 3.1 billion (USD 23 million, EUR 20.5 million).

However, the haddock and saithe volumes of 13,661 MT and 12,050 MT dropped by 29 percent and 19 percent respectively, while their values decreased by 31 percent and 4 percent to ISK 3.3 billion (USD 24.5 million, EUR 21.8 million) and ISK 1.9 billion (USD 14.1 million, EUR 12.6 million).

The pelagic catch value for the last quarter fell 47 percent in volume to 50,897 MT and 46 percent in value to less than ISK 1.4 billion (USD 12.6 million, EUR 10.4 million). During the quarter, this category entirely comprised of catches of blue whiting.

Shellfish volumes and revenues reached 498 MT and ISK 112 million (USD 831,585, EUR 741,689), down 55 percent and 38 percent respectively, while the total flatfish catch value fell 40 percent in both volume and first-sales value to 2,851 MT and ISK 1.2 billion (USD 8.9 million, EUR 7.9 million).

Over the course of the three-month period, some 128,075 MT, or ISK 20.1 billion (USD 149.2 million, EUR 133.1 million), worth of Iceland’s catch went directly for domestic processing, and 20,381 MT of products valued at almost ISK 5.7 billion (USD 42.3 million, EUR 37.7 million) were sold at auction for domestic processing.

Some 4,786 MT of fisheries products valued close to ISK 1.4 billion (USD 10.4 million, EUR 9.3 million) were exported in containers, and the frozen-at-sea catch amounted to 23,381 MT worth almost ISK 6.9 billion (USD 51.2 million, EUR 45.7 million).  

Photo courtesy of Johann Ragnarsson

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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