Export of containerized fish from Iceland has decreased considerably in the last years, as Jónas R. Viðarsson, Research Group Leader at Matís, explained in a yearly conference held in Humber Seafood Summit in Grimsby in September.
During the last 15 years, export to UK peaked around 2008 when it was over 50 thousand tons. In his presentation Jónas talked about relations between Iceland and the Humber area in fisheries. For centuries, fresh fish from Icelandic fishing grounds has been an important raw material for fish processing plants in the Humber area as well as fish products that have been imported from Iceland.
Fishing, sailing, containers
In the 18th century and until Icelandic territorial waters were increased to 200 miles in the 1970s, considerable volume of fresh from British trawlers, fishing around Iceland, arrived in the Humber area. In the year 1910 Icelandic vessels began landing their catch, mainly in Grimsby and Hull, and this lasted until 1990. In the 1980s the export of whole fresh fish, transported in containers, replaced the sailing of trawlers landing their catch in the Humber area. This containerized export has continued to this day, and stands for the most part of Icelandic export of unprocessed fresh fish.
Greatest variations in export of haddock
Export of containerized fresh fish
The graph below shows numbers for export of fresh containerized fish in the years 1999 to 2013. In the beginning, the export from Iceland was around 20 thousand tons yearly but decreased to 15 thousand tons in 2002. The export then increased rapidly and was over 50 thousand tons in2008 when the export peaked. In the years thereafter the export decreased rapidly and was around 15 thousand tons in 2013. The export of containerized haddock has varied the most. In the year 2002 The export of haddock was 3.660 tons but only 26 thousand tons in 2009. Jónas said hat export of containerized fish had decreased in the last years due to dwindling haddock stock. Also, land-based processing has increased in Iceland and therefor export of whole fresh fish has decreased.
For additional information, please contact Jónas R. Viðarsson at Matís.
This article was first published by Kjartan Stefánsson in Fiskifréttir, an Icelandic paper on the fishing industry.