Iceland’s fishing fleet has been permitted to catch more cod, haddock and other whitefish species in the new 2023/24 fishing season, with the Ministry of Fisheries’ latest quotas again largely following the earlier advice issued by the Marine and Freshwater Research Institute (MFRI).

Alongside a modest uplift in the total allowable catch (TAC) of cod to 209,194 tonnes, substantially larger volumes of haddock and saithe can be caught in the season that started on 1 September 2023, with the TACs rising to 74,711 tonnes and 48,927 tonnes, respectively. Increased amounts of golden redfish and Greenland halibut can also be caught, with TACs of 36,462 tonnes and 13,463 tonnes.

In the pelagic category, the herring quota has been raised year-on-year to 87,634 tonnes, while the TAC for ocean shrimp increases to 5,022 tonnes.

In its June recommendations to the Icelandic authorities, MFRI advised the cod catch could rise as the reference biomass compared to the previous year had increased. It also expects the reference biomass to increase slightly in the next two to three years when the 2019 and 2020 cohorts fully enter into the reference biomass as they are estimated to be above average in terms of size.

Similarly, the institute anticipates haddock’s reference biomass will increase in the next two years as the 2019 to 2021 cohorts are also above average.

According to Fiskifrettir, in the new season, the 50 largest fishing companies receive 91.3% of the allocated catch limit, with their total allocation rising from last year’s 90.1%. Within this, the five largest fishing companies receive 35.8% of the allocated catch limit, up on 2022/23’s 33%. Brim hf. gets the highest allocation in relation to its fleet with 10.44% of the total, followed by Ísfélag hf. with 7%, Samherji Iceland ehf. is in third place with 6.93%. FISK-Seafood ehf. with 6.14% and Þorbjörn hf. with 5.33% follow.

The 50 companies with the highest quota in cod have a total allocation of almost 150,000 tonnes. Of these, Samherji leads with 12,400 tonnes, Brim with 12,000 tonnes, Ísfélag with 11,000 tonnes, FISH-Seafood has 9,360 tonnes, Vísir almost 9,000 tonnes, Þorbjörn – 8,600 tonnes and Skinney-Þinganes – 7,435 tonnes.