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Iceland's 1988 fish catch sets record.


Iceland's fisheries catch reached a record 1. 7 million metric tons t worth $315 million in 1988, vs. 1.6 million t worth $287 million in 1987. Cod again proved slightly less plentiful in 1988 (376,000t vs. 390,000t in 1987), but this was offset by the increase in the value of these landings; $315 million vs. $289 million in 1987. The catch of all other finfish, however, increased both by quantity and value in 1988. The capelin catch (used mostly for reduction), reached 909,200 t in 1988 (vs. 803,000 t in 1987), helping to increase the overall catch. The shellfish harvest, however, declined in both quantity and value when compared with 1987. The shrimp harvest declined from 38,600 t worth $79 million to 29,700 t worth $73 million. The drop in the catch of high-value species (cod, Norway lobster, shrimp, and scallops) together with lower demand in the United States market, produced some problems in the fish processing sector.

The Government of Iceland imposed both a quota and an export tax in an attempt to keep fresh fish available to processors, but despite this action, exports of fresh fish increased by over 22 percent in 1988. The U. S. market declined to 15 percent of the value of total fishery exports in 1988 (38, 100 t worth $167 million), while the continued growth in Icelandic sales to the United Kingdom have made it Iceland's most important market. Reductions in Iceland's cod quotas from 315,000 t in 1988 to 285,000 t in 1989, and uncertainty about shellfish stocks suggest that 1989 would be a poorer year for Icelandic fishermen and the Icelandic economy which depends on fishery exports for over three-fourths of its total export earnings. The small fish farming sector, however, remains a bright spot. Farmed salmon harvests were 900 t in 1988 and was projected to be 4,000 t in 1989 and more than 15,000 t in 1990.

The U.S. Embassy in Reykjavik has prepared a 13-page report reviewing Icelandic fisheries during 1988. The report includes sections on Iceland's fisheries catch, fish processing, overseas marketing, fish farming, and the 1989 outlook. The report also includes statistical tables on Iceland's fisheries catch and how it is utilized, exports of fishery products by destination, exports by product form, exports to the United States, and Iceland's fishing fleet and number of fishermen. U.S. companies can obtain a copy of "Icelandic Fisheries, 1988 " for $13.95 and a $3.00 handling fee (total of $16.95, personal checks or money orders only) by ordering report PB89-197230/GBA from NTIS, 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, Virginia 2216 1. (The handling fee is per order, regardless of how may reports are ordered.) (Source: IFR89/72N.)
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Title Annotation:Foreign Fishery Developments
Publication:Marine Fisheries Review
Date:Sep 22, 1989
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