Management approach and supplementary measures
Fisheries management in Icelandic waters is primarily based on catch limitation (output control) through individual transferable quotas (ITQs);
- Each vessel is assigned a quota share (%) in each stock, initially based primarily on catch history over a reference period.
- The annual allowable catch for each vessel from each stock is obtained by multiplying the TAC of the year and the vessel‘s quota share (as a proportion).
- Quotas can be transferred between vessels; this applies both to quota shares and annual catch allotments. Quota transfer is mainly intended to promote rationalisation and thus increase profitability in the industry.
- Exceptions include: Community quotas (not based on vessels‘s quota share, all other provisions apply; limited amount); summer inshore handline (jigging) fishery (limited amount).
- Discarding of commercial species is prohibited by law.
- Extensive area closures to fishing for the protection of juvenile fish: Large nursery areas closed on long term basis; temporary real time closures.
- Fishing gear selectivity in demersal fisheries ensured through requirements for minimum mesh size and/or the use of sorting grids to allow small fish to escape capture.
- Closure to fishing of main spawning grounds for the major demersal fish stocks during peak spawning season.
- Closures to protect stony corals and thermal vents.