With plentiful and secure supplies of high quality Icelandic fish, from the unpolluted waters of the North Atlantic. Iceland is the ideal location for companies producing fish products and fishing gear for the European and American markets. Iceland has a 200-mile exclusive zone of rich fishing grounds and a fishing fleet with total capacity of around 120,000 GRT. Plentiful supplies of fish are also available from foreign vessels and Iceland´s distant-water fleet fishing beyond the exclusive zone.
Fish Processing and Fishing Gear in Iceland
In recent years, total Icelandic catches have ranged from 1,5 to 2,1 million tonnes. The total catch by the Icelandic fleet was 1,724,000 tonnes in 2004 a decrease from 1,980,000 tonnes in 2003 or 14,85% decrease between the two years. In 2003 Iceland was the 12th largest fishing nation in the world with around 2% of world catches. Total export values of Marine products from Iceland state approximately the same between 2003 and 2004 came in with around ISK 113 billion or 62% of total export of goods and just over 42% for goods and services.
Fish products from Iceland
Fisheries may be divided into the demersal fisheries, pelagic fisheries and the shellfish fisheries. In 2002, groundfish was about 21% of landings and flatfish just under 2%. The pelagic fisheries provided 75% of the catch and the shellfish and crustacean fisheries 2%. In terms of value, however, the proportions are very different. The groundfish fisheries provided about 66% of catch value, flatfish 8%, the pelagics 20% and the shellfish and crustaceans 6%.
The main Icelandic Fish products are fillets, canned seafood, retail packs, portions, laminated blocks and whole-frozen fish. Production of convenience foods is growing. Atlantic cod is the most important of all the marine resources in Iceland. In 2002 it represented 37% of the catch value and 38% of the total seafood export value.
Icelandic Fishing Sector Productivity
The productivity of the Icelandic fishing fleet is far higher than that of other North Atlantic countries, with catch value per fisherman nearly three times that in any other country. Productivity in both fishing and fish processing has increased through innovations in equipment design and product development.
In 2002, around 11,700 persons worked in the fishing sector, or around 7% of the total workforce. About half of them work in fishing and the other half in processing.
Investors in Iceland will find themselves operating in an environment geared up to the needs of the fish processing industry. With fishing and fish processing being Iceland´s largest industry, a wide range of services has built up to serve its needs.
Icelandic Fish Processing
Intense research and development in all areas of Icelandic fishing and Icelandic fish processing are major reasons for Iceland’s status as one of the most advanced seafood-producing nations. Iceland is a world leader in various areas of production technology. The sophistication of its fish processing technology is consistently leading to higher output, productivity and product yield.
Icelandic Fishing Gear
Dedicated digital applications for the fishing industry include ultra-accurate weighing equipment, graders and portioning machines that have all been adapted for use on board fishing vessels. Advanced automation using dynamic flow lines and digital production control systems is widespread. These have all played an important role in added-value production and tailoring products to the higher end of the retail market.
A wide selection of tubs, boxes and packing for handling storage and retail of fresh and frozen fish products are made in Iceland, as well as fishing gear like trawls nets, trawl doors and fishing boats, safety equipment and protective clothing. Icelandic fishing gear manufacturers have designed and installed many processing plants around the world for companies ranging from vessel owners to industrial seafood processors.
Websites Related to Fish Processing and Fishing Gear in Iceland
Information Centre of the Icelandic Ministry of Fisheries. This Information Centre describes the policy and practices in the Icelandic fisheries relating to these aims and achievements in recent years.
The Ministry of Fisheries
The Icelandic Directorate of Fisheries is a public body responsible to the Ministry of Fisheries. Its task is continuous monitoring of compliance to the laws and regulations covering various aspects of fisheries.
Brochures Related to Fish Processing and Fishing Gear in Iceland
Close to Sea (1,15 MB)
A brochure published by the Ministry of Fisheries.
The Ocean Iceland´s policy (2,75 MB)
A brochure published by the Ministry of Fisheries.
Icelandic Fisheries in Figures 2004 (3,34 MB)
A brochure published by the Ministry of Fisheries. The brochure includes various statistic information regarding Icelandic Fisheries.
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