The head of Iceland’s Marine Research Institute (Hafro) says that stock measurements indicate the country’s cod stock is getting stronger.
The news comes as Iceland’s new fishing management bill is due to be sent to parliament. The delayed bill is being slated as a fundamental shift in the way Icelandic fish stocks are managed and exploited. Fishing and seafood is the single biggest economic activity in Iceland.
Hafro stresses that the new fishing control system must be based on the exploitation capacity of fish stocks — but the agency does not intend to get involved in the politics behind the bill.
Hafro chief, Johann Sigurjonsson, told RUV that the agency does not hold an opinion on what sort of fishing regulations best suit Iceland. Fishing management is only a small part of overall fisheries management, he said; adding that Hafro closely monitors fish stocks and only hopes that the new regulations will be effective in keeping fish stocks at sustainable levels.
New fish stock estimates are due in the beginning of June; but Sigurjonsson has already let slip that the figures for cod are looking good. Iceland exports more cod than any other fish species. A sizeable amount of it goes to the UK for traditional fish and chips.