Excellent Condition of Cod and Golden Redfish

Excellent Condition of Cod and Golden Redfish

11 January 2018

The stock density indexes for cod and golden redfish in Icelandic waters are higher than they have ever been since first assessed in 1996, as announced by the Marine & Freshwater Research Institute (MFRI) in Iceland last December. These were the main results of the institute’s most recent demersal fish stock index assessment, carried out 4th October to 9th November 2017.

According to Guðmundur Þórðarson, Head of the Marine & Freshwater Research Institute’s Demersal Division, the development of the stock index for cod is very positive. It has increased almost continuously since 2007, the year stakeholders in Iceland’s fishing industry (the government, official organisations and the private sector) signed a statement on responsible fisheries in Iceland.

The main goal of the autumn fish stock assessment is to affirm the stock sizes for demersal fish caught in Icelandic waters with special emphasis of deepwater redfish, Greenland halibut and other deepwater fish. It was carried out by employees of the Marine & Freshwater Research Institute on two research vessels, who studied fish caught with a bottom trawl in 375 locations all around Iceland down to a depth of 1,500 m (4,920 ft).

The study is an important part of the Marine & Freshwater Research Institute’s annual assessment. Another research expedition is carried out in March of each year and the institute also uses data from fishing ships to assess the condition of fish stocks. The institute uses the information for its fishing quota recommendations, to be announced in June 2018.

In other results, the index of haddock is close to average, while the indexes of many other fish stocks are above average – in some cases the highest since first assessed in 1996 – including saithe, witch, plaice, lemon sole, tusk, and ling.

The stock density index for demersal beaked redfish has increased after a historic low but renewal remains poor. The index for Greenland halibut has increased steadily since its low in 2006 but the indexes for grenadier, starry ray and American plaice remain low.