The Icelandic Responsible Fisheries
ICELAND RESPONSIBLE FISHERIES
The Fisheries Association of Iceland
- The Federation of Icelandic Fishing Vessel Owners (LÍÚ); www.liu.is/
- Federation of Icelandic Fish Processing Plants (SF); www.sf.is
- National Association of Small Boat Owners, Iceland (NASBO); www.smabatar.is
- The Icelandic Seamen´s Federation (SSI); www.ssi.is
- The Federation of General and Special Workers in Iceland (SGS); www.sgs.is/
- The Icelandic Union of Marine Engineers and Metal Technicians (VM); www.vm.is/
- The Icelandic Ships Officers
- Association (FFSÍ); www.skipstjorn.is/
The Fisheries Management System in Iceland
Iceland has a long and proud history as one of the world‘s leading fishing nations. The highlights of Iceland‘s robust and responsible fisheries scheme are as follows:
History of Stocks, advice and decisions
- 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 vessel’s quota share, all other provisions apply; limited amount); summer inshore hand line (jigging) fishery (experimental in 2009, limited to 3955 tons of cod).
- A provision allowing the use of catch quota for one species to count against a limited catch amount of another species.
- Auctioned catch; it is permitted to land a small fraction of the year‘s catches without use of quota; such catches go to auction and the proceeds go to a public fund for supporting research.
- It is permitted for the year‘s catch to exceed the year‘s quota by 5% in some species; the excess is then deducted from the following year‘s quota.
- It is permitted to postpone fishing for part of the quota and to transfer up to 33% of the year‘s quota to the following fishing year; postponement of fishing in considered beneficial to the growth of long-lived fish stocks.
- Catches of undersized fish in some cases (e.g. cod <50 cm) count only as half their weight against quota; this is to discourage discards; the actual amounts are small.
Recording of vessel catch quotas and catches is done in the Fisheries Directorate‘s central data base which is accessible to all; thus transparency is ensured.
All catches shall be landed in officially designated landing harbours; Accredited harbour officials weigh the catch by species and record in the central data base; Landed catch is subtracted from the vessel‘s quota. When quota is used up, the vessel owner must acquire additional quota for the vessel, else fishing must stop; failing that, the vessel loses its fishing license. The Directorate of Fisheries and The Icelandic Coast Guard monitor and control commercial fishing and the landing of catches.