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Commercial Fishing



Icelandic fish catch slightly down year-on-year. The catch of Icelandic vessels in October 2020 was 86,774 tonnes. The total catch of demersal species was nearly 40 thousand tonnes, 3% more than in October last year. Cod catch was 24 thousand tonnes, similar catch as in October last year, and Haddock catch was nearly 6 thousand tonnes, an increase of 33%.

Pelagic catch was just over 44 thousand tonnes, 12% less than in the previous year.

Total catch in the 12 month period from November 2019 to October 2020 amounted to 1,016 thousand tonnes which is 5% less than in the same period one year earlier.

The value index of catch in October 2020 is 5.2% less than in October 2019.

Information about catch of fish which are published in this press release are preliminary figures. The data is gathered by the Directorate of Fisheries.

Fisheries remains one of the pillars of the Icelandic economy, responsible for a fair share of both the GDP and the nation’s export revenue. Iceland is one of the world’s leaders in total fisheries, but has in recent years also become a leading country in the advancement of marine technology, fishing equipment, navigational techniques and fish detection instruments, as well as maintaining a sophisticated seafood sector, exporting world-class produce.

Iceland’s exclusive fisheries zone has an area of 760,000 square km, seven times the area of Iceland itself. Some of the largest fish stocks in the North Atlantic are found in Icelandic waters, including the cod stock, which is Iceland’s most important stock.

Sustainable and responsible harvesting of wild fish stocks in Icelandic waters and good treatment of the marine ecosystem is of a fundamental importance to Iceland. The seafood industry in Iceland is meeting demands of seafood buyers for sustainable use of marine resources with Iceland Responsible Fisheries programme, developed on the basis of commitments made through national law and international agreement.