40% increase in the lumpfish stock
Biomass indices in the annual spring survey of demersal species by the Marine Research Institution recently completed show a big growth in the stock of lumpfish in Icelandic waters. The index now is 40% higher than last year at 9.05 which is the highest for 9 years. These results are in compliance with good fishing at the start of the lumpfish season.
The MRI has recommended to the ministry of fisheries that the total allowable catch should be 6.200 tonnes this year. That is a considerable raise from last year´s recommendation of 4.200 tonnes. The fishing is controlled with number of days at sea per boat not ITQ´s. At the start of the season the number is 20 days. Around 300 boats are expected to go fishing in the season which stands to midsummer in the areas starting latest.
The ratio of big female in the survey continues at low levels at 7% of the total number of individuals compared to 25% back in 1985, when the annual spring survey started.
The distribution of the lumpfish this year is a bit more easterly than last year. Tagging shows that the fish is moving a lot after it comes into shallower waters for spawning. It has often gone long distances after tagging before it is caught. Therefore it is likely that some of the fishes which were east of the country during the survey will spread more along the coast.
The graphics show the biomass index and the distribution of the lumpfish.