Icelandic research vessel Árni Friðriksson is expected to sail on Monday morning to start this year’s 22-day autumn capelin survey, joined by another research vessel from Greenland.
The survey will focus on areas to the north and west of Iceland, and northwards along the coast of eastern Greenland. The aim is to estimate the extent of the capelin stock, and the data forms the basis of the scientific advice for the coming capelin season, updating the current provisional ICES recommendation for a fishery of up to 169,520 tonnes for the 2020-21 season.
Capelin fisheries have declined since sea temperatures in Icelandic waters began to rise around the beginning of the century and there has been no capelin fishery for the last two seasons.
The capelin fishery is divided so that Iceland has 80%, Greenland has 15% and the remaining 5% goes to Norway.
Minister of Fisheries Kristján Thór Júlíusson told a meeting of representatives of the Marine Research Institute and vessel operators’ federation SFS that never has so much effort been put into capelin surveys as has been the case over the last two years.