Recently published paper

Photo: Svanhildur Egilsdóttir Photo: Svanhildur Egilsdóttir

Spawning migration of capelin studied with small boats in summer 2021. HV 2021-56.

Abundance, condition and development of capelin spawning north of Iceland was estimated during summer 2021. Main spawning of capelin takes place by the coasts of south and west Iceland in March-April, while some spawning north of Iceland has been evident expanding into the summer in the past although quantities and distribution have not been well documented.

Small boats were used for acoustic measurements, sampling and photography but additionally this was an experiment in such methodology. Four surveys were conducted on by two small fishing boats in Eyjafjordur, Skjalfandafloi, Axarfjordur and Thistilfjordur in May and June 2021. This project was funded by The Ministry of Industries and Innovation as part of an investment procedure of the Icelandic parliament due to the corona virus pandemic.

Total biomass of 505 tonnes of mature capelin was estimated in the acoustic measurements. Hence, low quantities of capelin seem to have migrated and spawned in the research areas north of Iceland during this study. Some spawning was evident extending at least to June while the quantity was of minor importance if compared to the total size of the Icelandic capelin stock. There are indications that this year there were less quantities of capelin migrating to spawn in the study areas compared to previous years. Using correctly equipped small fishing boats proved to be successful method for current research purposes while it is essential to conduct such studies for several years to estimate the variability in spawning migrations and how they relate to environmental conditions.

Link to the paper, whritten in Icelandic.

Did you find the content of this page helpful?