Atlantic cod and haddock longline, handline and Danish seine
Certified as sustainable in June 2011.
Species: Cod (Gadus morhua) and haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus)
Location: In the Icelandic Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), ICES division Area V-a (mainly off the West and Northwest coasts of Iceland). Click here (external link) to view a map of Icelandic fishing grounds.
Fishing methods: Longline, handline and Danish seine.
Vessels: 8 handliners, 11 longliners and 3 Danish seiners
Number of fisheries: 2
Fishery Fact Sheet
More about cod and haddock
The Atlantic cod is a demersal species, distributed across the continental shelves and in the coastal waters of the northern North Atlantic, from the Bay of Biscay and the Baltic Sea to the Barents Sea, around Iceland (Icelandic cod), along the southern part of Greenland and off Newfoundland´s coasts and further southwest to North Carolina in the United States. Cod prefers water temperatures from 2°C to 8°C and water depth from 10 m to 200 m. Within its geographical range cod is a generalist, both in terms of habitat use and diet.
In the eastern North Atlantic haddock is distributed from the Bay of Biscay to Spitzbergen, from the Barents Sea to Novaya Zemlya and around Iceland, but is rarely found near the south of Greenland. Icelandic waters are the northern boundary of haddock´s distribution. The shelf areas north and east of Iceland represent a large part of the Icelandic continental shelf. In cold periods these areas are probably too cold for haddock. However, when there is an inflow of warm Atlantic seawater into the shelf areas north and east of Iceland, large areas become suitable for haddock.An ecological shift to these areas probably supports large stock sizes for the species. Large stock sizes of haddock in recent years coincide with observed increase in inflow of Atlantic seawater into then coastal areas off north and east Iceland.
More about the fishing methods
The handline is made of nylon line and hooks containing rubber bait to mimic prey. The line is often 50-200 m
long with a 6-8 m extension of fine twine containing 4-8 hooks. Most handline boats in Iceland are equipped with computer controlled electronic jigging reels. The number of handlines per boat is usually 3-5 but can be up to 12 in larger boats. In addition, many modern small boats are equipped with fish finders, radar and GPS linked to a computer.
The longline is made of a long main line, with baited hooks attached at intervals by means of a short line which is attached to the main line ("snoods"). Longlines used to be the most important groundfish fishing gear in Icelandic waters. Longlines may be as long as 20 km and have up to 16,000 hooks. The longline is usually left on the bottom for one to four hours. Most often the hooks are baited with herring, mackerel, capelin, squid and lately artificial bait. Longlines can be used on rough ground where other types of fishing gear cannot be operated.
The main components of Danish seine are its wings, belly, and codend. It is operated with a set of warps
(towing-lines, drag-lines), one on each side, usually kept on large drums. The procedure of Danish seining is first to set out the end of a warp on a buoy, usually the starboard warp. While the warp is set out, the boat sails in a half circle. The wing of the seine is then set out, followed by the net bag and the other wing, followed by the backboard warp as the boat heads back to the buoy. Once the buoy has been taken aboard, the boat starts to pull the gear. During towing the warps are gradually pulled together, herding the fish in front of the seine. As the warps are pulled together the seine moves over the bottom, capturing the herded fish. Once the warps have come together, they are hauled in on the warping drums. The seine is taken aboard using a power block. The tows are quite efficient in herding the fish toward the codend, especially flatfish.
Catch is approximately6,000 MT of cod and 4,000 MT haddock
Sæmark’s main markets are USA, Great Britain, and Continental Europe for fresh and frozen fish and Spain, Italy and Greece for salted fish. The estimated export of fish products by Sæmark Seafood Ltd. amounts to about 4 % of Iceland’s total export of cod and 4 % of Iceland’s export of haddock.
Actual eligibility date
1st October 2010