Icelandic fishing quota increase welcomed in Grimsby

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 22 Jun 2018

Iceland has massively increased its fishing quotas for Grimsby favourite haddock, while cod is also nudged up as spawning stocks are reported to be at 50 year highs.

The North Atlantic nation has set the total allowable catch of haddock at 56,700 tonnes, up from 34,600 tonnes – an uplift of almost 64 per cent.

Cod moves to 262,000 tonnes from the 257,572 tonnes enjoyed in the current year, a 1.7 per cent increase.

The quotas, which open on September 1, have been issued by the Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture. The decision on total allowable catch is in line with the scientific advice from the Marine & Freshwater Research Institute (MFRI).  

Simon Dwyer, secretariat of Grimsby Fish Merchants Association, and a key voice of cluster organisation Seafood Grimsby and Humber, said: “This is welcome news, particularly regarding the increase in haddock quota, which many Grimsby processors buy from the fish market for fish and chip shops across the nation.”

Saithe, also known as pollock – part of the whitefish family – has increased by 31 per cent, from 60,237 tonnes to 79,092. 

Pelagic species will be announced later in the year. 

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Iceland is the strongest partner for Grimsby supply, accounting for three quarters of sales on the market, and a large element of direct supply to larger processors. 

Martyn Boyers, chief executive of market operator Grimsby Fish Dock Enterprises, said: "For Grimsby this is very good news, as haddock is predominantly what is sold, with Icelandic fish accounting for 75 per cent. 

"I think we will get more locally. The pound has been gaining strength, and that makes Grimsby more attractive, so everything is in our favour."

Year-on-year supplies are up in the first six months of 2018, with more consistency noted by Mr Boyers too, although the first two months of 2017 were heavily impacted by Icelandic fishermen striking.   

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