Production of raw material from the North Westfjords / Production of raw material from the North Westfjords




Gunnar Þórðarson

Supported by:

Westfjords Growth Agreement


Gunnar Þórðarson

Regional Manager

Production of raw material from the North Westfjords / Production of raw material from the North Westfjords

About 10 thousand tons of raw materials are transported from the northern Westfjords for processing elsewhere. Most of that catch is exported ungutted, so it is not only filleting processing that loses raw materials, but also parties that produce products from by-products, such as head drying and liver producers. The idea of forcing a party to gutt and possibly head catches is therefore tempting. The conclusion of this project, however, is that this is very inefficient and the overall effect will be negative. First, the gutting coefficients in the Westfjords are such that fishing companies would lose quotas with a gutting obligation. Secondly, buyers in the south of the country, who process fresh fish for flight, are willing to pay an additional 20 ISK / kg for fish that reaches trucks that leave at 15:00 according to schedule. If fish are gutted after landing, it is impossible to bring them catch for this transport and that fish will wait for transport until the next day. Fish that goes directly for transport has arrived at a processing house in the southwest area at about 04:00 and has been gutted for processing starting at 07:00. The fish is then ready for flight, which in some cases leaves around Keflavík Stadium around noon. This is therefore an economical arrangement that maximizes value creation in the fisheries sector in Iceland.

About 10 thousand tons of whole round fish are trucked from northern Westfjords to fish processors in south / west region of Iceland. Most of the fish is exported un ‐ gutted and therefore it is not just the filleting factories missing raw materials, but also those producing side product like cod heads drying and liver canning. The concept idea of this project was to force vessels owners and fish markets to head and gut the fish before trucing and looked like a tempting idea. However, the outcome of this work is that this would be inefficient and the overall effect will be negative. Firstly, the gutting standard given by the Icelandic authority is 16% but the average radio in Westfjords is only 12%, so the vessel owners would lose the difference in quota. Secondly the customers in the south / west are willing to pay extra 20 kr / kg for fish reaching the scheduled truck leaving the area at 15:00. If the fish would be headed or / and gutted it would not be ready for trucking, and be leaving the day after. Fish going straight from vessel at the harbor for trucking will be delivered in a fish plant in the south west at around 04:00 following morning. It will be ready for filleting at 07:00 and can be exported by airfreight around noon. Here is an advantageous arrangement case that maximizes value for the fisheriesin Iceland.

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