The cod stock in Icelandic waters is larger than at any time since the Marine Research Institute started monitoring stocks of pelagic fish around Iceland in 1985.
A new report released by the MRI covers fish population statistics taken in February and March this year. The average weight of cod older than seven years is heavier than last year, but the average weight of younger fish has dropped between years. The overall cod stock has grown almost constantly since 2007 and is now the highest since records began in the mid-80s. Cod is Iceland’s most important commercial fishery.
The greater number of large cod in the stock is part of the reason for the stock growth, though the inhabited area was also larger this year than in many previous research trips; with good cod coverage all the way around Iceland.
The populations of cod, redfish and ling were high compared to the average of the last three decades, the report states.
Meanwhile, the haddock stock around Iceland was roughly average and the catfish stock was lower than normal. Five other commercial fish stocks were rated as high and growing, and three are at an historic low. The monkfish stock is also not as healthy as it should be, RÚV reports.
The research expedition by two MRI trawlers indicates that the habitat of several species around Iceland have changed over the last 30 years. Monkfish and haddock, for example, have grown quickly in numbers off the south of the country, where the sea temperature has been increasing.