Bigger quota adviced in Iceland

The Marine and Freshwater Research Institute of Iceland and International Council for the Exploration of the Sea advise that when the Icelandic management plan is applied, catches in the fishing year 2018/2019 should be no more than 264.437 tonnes. That will be the biggest cod quota in Iceland since the year 1993.

Estimated spawning stock biomass (SSB) has increased in recent years and has not been larger in 50 years. Harvest rate has declined and is at its lowest value in the assessment period. Recruitment since 1988 (mean = 140) is lower than the average recruitment in the period 1955–1985 (mean = 205). The increase in SSB is therefore primarily the result of lower harvest rate. The 2013 year class is estimated small, but the sizes of the 2014 and 2015 year classes are near the long-term average.

Year class 2015, that enters the reference stock in 2019, is above the average of 1955–2017 (175 million at age 3). Year class 2016 is estimated somewhat below average and year class 2017 around average. Therefore, the size of the reference stock is not expected to change markedly for the next three years.

Mean weight at age in commercial catches has increased in recent years, and in 2017 it was close to the long-term average (1955–2017). Weights of age groups 3–9 in the 2018 survey (IS–SMB) are used for estimating weight at age in the reference stock (B4+) in 2018 are below average in 4 year old fish, but at or above average in other age groups.

Catches of cod have increased in recent years. Proportion of the catch taken by longline has increased since 2000, but the share of gillnets decreased. Proportion of age 8 and older cod has been high in commercial catches during the last 10 years, compared to the period 1973–2006. CPUE has been high for the main gear types in recent years

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