The current allocations for pelagic fish (2005/2006) are as follows:
· Capelin: The 2005 summer survey completely failed to find any capelin off the NW of Iceland. MRI consider that the stock is under the pack ice off the east coast of Greenland. Unofficial surveys in July were also unable to locate the capelin stocks. This meant that no quota was set for summer / autumn fishing as in recent years. Subsequent surveys in November and December 2005 were unable to locate the shoals of 2+ and 3+ year classes. It is felt that increased glacial melt at the east coast of Greenland has resulted in lower sea temperatures off the north of Iceland.
The marine scientist with responsibility for capelin says that for the last 3 years, virtually no capelin has matured in Icelandic waters. The 0+ fry would appear to have drifted over to eastern Greenland and have been feeding in the ocean there. This has meant that any estimation of the stock has been very difficult, if not impossible, until it suddenly appears off the north of Iceland, three years after spawning.
In the winter capelin season of 2004 and 2005, the spawning fish which had been feeding and maturing off the east coast of Greenland, returned to the Icelandic waters to spawn in February and March. There is no reason to assume that the same will not happen this season in January 2006. The problem is that the marine scientist has not seen any sign of this capelin which was spawned in 2003 and should come back for spawning now. Hence he has been unable to set a quota.
· Icelandic summer spawning herring: For the 2004/5 season, MRI recommended a total quota of 110,000 tonnes and this was confirmed by the Minister of Fisheries. A total of 107,000 tonnes was caught of which about 25,000 tonnes were processed into meal and oil. For the 2005/6 season, the MRI have again recommended a total quota of 110,000 tonnes which was confirmed by the Minister of Fisheries.
· Norwegian spring spawning herring: The allocation to Icelandic vessels for the 2005 summer season is 157,700 tonnes which has all been caught. About 40,000 tonnes of this were caught in Icelandic waters and land-processed for human consumption. The remainder was processed at sea for human consumption. Approximately 30,000 tonnes of trimmings were processed into meal and oil.
· Blue Whiting: The nations which have shared this migratory stock, have now reached an agreement on division of this catch. Iceland's share for 2006 will be 352,600 tonnes. This compares with a landed catch of 266 thousand tonnes in 2005 and 422 thousand tonnes in 2004.
More information concerning these quotas can be found on the homepage of the Marine Research Institute.