HB Grandi capelin quota could be 100,000 tonnes
The Marine Research Institute has put forward a recommendation that this year's capelin quota should be 760,000 tonnes. This was done following research into the size of the capelin stock earlier this month and the results were announced yesterday. If the Minister follows the Marine Research Institute's recommendations, the result for the Icelandic fleet would be a 590,000 tonne quota with an estimated catch value of as much as ISK 30 billion.
‘This is good news. HB Grandi has an 18.60% share of the Icelandic quota and if the Marine Research Institute's recommendations are followed, the company would see a quota for this season of around 100,000 tonnes,' commented Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson, head of department at HB Grandi's pelagic division, who commented that there have been sizable fluctuations in the capelin fishery in recent years. When Grandi hf, HB hf and Tangi hf were merged to form HB Grandi, the combined company had a 140,00 tonne quota for the following 2004/05 season and catches came to 121,000 tonnes. Only four years later the quota had been cut to just 3000 tonnes for the 2008/09 season, although there has been upward progress since then.
According to Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson, a good capelin season is of huge importance to both the company and its staff at sea and ashore.
‘Weather and the capelin's migration routes are what dictate the success of a capelin season, but now it appears that fishing effort has not pushed the stock too far. Capelin have been exploited responsibly and the stock has been given the opportunity to grow from its low point some years ago,' he said, adding that the market for capelin products is generally good. Prices for fishmeal and fish oil have been high and there have been acceptable prices for frozen capelin.
So far this year HB Grandi's pelagic vessels have landed approximately 22,000 tonnes of capelin, as well as 4200 tonnes landed at the end of last year. Now the company's fleet is set to be busy, assuming the Minister chooses to follow the scientists' recommendations.