Soaring cod value boosts Icelandic fisheries earnings

Published on
January 11, 2019

The Icelandic fishing fleet generated first-sales of fisheries products worth ISK 123.7 billion (USD 1 billion, EUR 902.1 million) in the 12 months through September 2018, up 13.2 percent year-on-year.

New figures issued by Statistics Iceland find that the rise in value was the result of greater earnings in the demersal, flatfish, and shellfish categories, which had offset a small reduction in the pelagic value.

Iceland’s demersal catch value climbed 17.3 percent year-on-year to ISK 88.4 billion (USD 743 million, EUR 644.7 million), with the cod catch accounting for almost ISK 56.7 billion (USD 476.6 million, EUR 413.6 million) of the total, up 15.6 percent compared with the previous 12 months.

There were also large increases in the catch values of haddock, saithe, and redfish, which achieved first-sales of ISK 9.4 billion (USD 79 million, EUR 68.6 million), ISK 7.2 billion (USD 60.5 million, EUR 52.5 million) and ISK 10.4 billion (USD 87.4 million, EUR 75.9 million), respectively.

Iceland’s flatfish catch value surged 28.6 percent to ISK 9.7 billion (USD 81.5 million, EUR 70.7 million), while shellfish revenues climbed by 13.1 percent to almost ISK 2.7 billion (USD 22.7 million, EUR 19.7 million).

Meanwhile, the country’s pelagic catch value fell by 3.8 percent to ISK 23.9 billion (USD 200.9 million, EUR 174.3 million), with earnings for herring, capelin, and mackerel decreasing by 26.6 percent, 12.2 percent and 13.6 percent respectively. Blue whiting achieved revenues of almost ISK 6.3 billion (USD 52.9 million, EUR 45.9 million), up 69.3 percent year-on-year.

During the aforementioned 12-month period, more than ISK 70 billion (USD 588.3 million, EUR 510.5 million) worth of Iceland’s total catch went directly for domestic processing (up 18.6 percent), while almost ISK 18.7 billion (USD 157.2 million, EUR 136.4 million) worth was sold at auction for domestic processing, an increase of 17.3 percent. 

Landings valued at ISK 5.2 billion (USD 43.7 million, EUR 37.9 million) were exported in containers, up 29.5 percent, and the frozen-at-sea catch was down 1.3 percent year-on-year to ISK 29.6 billion (USD 248.9 million, EUR 215.9 million).

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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