Prices of one of the UK’s most popular fish species, haddock, have soared as a result of Norway having its haddock-fishing quota slashed.
The 2013 haddock quota for the Barents Sea - which is shared by Norway and Russia - has been reduced by 37% year on year to 200,000 tonnes. The 2014 quota, which was set in October, has been cut by a further 11%.
Quotas had been reduced because haddock stocks in the Barents Sea were currently low “due to an abundance of large cod, which are the main predator of small haddock,” analysts at Mintec said.
As a result, haddock prices in Norway are up sharply on last year, standing at NOK12.7/kg in October, compared with NOK7.8/kg in October 2012.
Haddock is the UK’s third most popular chilled fish species by value and volume, after salmon and prawns, and Norway accounts for 50% of all haddock imports, meaning the UK tends to be highly exposed to fluctuations in Norwegian haddock prices.
Across the big four and Waitrose, the average price of a chilled haddock product has so far gone up by about 5% over the past 12 months, although some individual lines have seen sharper increases than that [BrandView.com].
During the third quarter of 2013, haddock imports from Norway fell by 49% in volume and 41% in value. “The cut in the 2013 Barents Sea quota has naturally impacted on haddock exports, so there has been expected attrition to the volume and value sales,” the Norwegian Seafood Council said in a recent update on seafood exports to the UK.
However, it added, the situation was looking much more positive for cod, with export volumes up by 61% in the third quarter following an increase in Norway’s 2013 Barents Sea cod quota.