Fishermen want cod

February 16, 2012 - 08:00

Better prices cause the coastal fleet to prioritise cod over haddock and saithe.

Fishing for cod is the coastal fleet’s top priority. (Photo: Frank Gregersen/Nofima)

Most of the coastal fleet’s cod quota is caught in the first half of the year, providing fishermen a relatively good annual salary.

As a result, there is generally a low level of interest in the fleet’s quotas for species such as haddock and saithe, and large quotas for these species are transferred annually to the deep-sea fishing fleet.

A large research programme at Nofima, financed by the Fishery and Aquaculture Industry Research Fund (FHF), is entitled “Market-based harvesting strategies”.

One of the projects in the programme involved studying the coastal fleet’s catch behaviour, and looking at how this influenced the next link in the value chain.

The scientists have ascertained that fishing for cod is the coastal fleet’s top priority, largely because of the good prices the industry pays for the cod.

Little benefit

“However, we are now seeing that fishing for haddock and saithe is becoming a significant part of the income base for some coastal fishing vessels,” says Edgar Henriksen, who is project manager.

Despite this, large quotas of haddock and saithe remain, and these are transferred to the deep-sea fishing fleet. As a result, the Norwegian industry has little benefit from these catches as they are frozen and exported.

“The Norwegian fishing industry appears to be mostly interested in fresh fish of high quality, preferably hook-caught fish,” says Henriksen.

In the years ahead, attention should focussed on the long-term effect of increased onboard freezing in the deep-sea fishing fleet, in particular with a view to countering any undesired effects for the fishing industry’s supply situation if haddock stocks in particular, and consequently the quotas, are reduced from today’s level.

Another effect is that the deep-sea fishing fleet lose part of its income base, according to the scientists.

Country
Nofima is a business oriented research institute working in research and development for the aquaculture, fisheries and food industry in Norway. Read more

Jobs

Follow ScienceNordic on

What others are reading

Today's selected stories

Pregnant and puffing on a smoke

Norwegian research shows that one out of four female smokers in Europe continue to smoke cigarettes during their pregnancies. Vivid differences are seen among the European countries in this regard.