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3-Minute Market Insight

EP 643 | AIRED 06/05/2023

Capelin: Nutrient-Rich Small Pelagic, Icelandic Quota Slashed, Rock Steady Pricing

June 5th, 2023 - In this third installment of our Small pelagics mini-series - we report on Capelin.

The two main species are Atlantic and Pacific - Mallotus villosus and Mallotus catervarius.

These two stocks were once considered separate species, but are NOW considered one.

Capelin is highly sought after for its nutritional value, including high protein content and omega-3 fatty acids, making it a popular choice among health-conscious consumers.

The market is segmented into fresh, frozen, canned, and roe, with distribution channels ranging from supermarkets and specialty stores to online retail.

Iceland Catches // Capelin

Commercial fishing typically happens during the spawning season, and data on record shows harvesting from December to March.

Iceland’s Marine and Freshwater Research Institute (or MFRI) slashed the total allowable catch in Icelandic waters for the 2022/2023 season by 75 percent from the previous season.

Total Icelandic production amounted to about 146,000 metric tonnes for 2021, 450,000 for 2022, and 320,000 up until March for 2023.


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Russia and Norway agreed to a slight reduction in the Barents Sea Capelin quota for 2023 from 70,000 to 62,000 metric tonnes.

Japan and China are the largest importers of Icelandic Capelin, followed by Lithuania.

Pricing has remained steady over the last few years.

Iceland Capelin Quotas in MT's

Some could say this is a pandemic, supply chain, and inflation resilient product.

If you are interested in developing a Capelin program, our recommendation is to contact your Tradex Foods Representative.

Statistics Export Capelin Iceland 2023

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