Cod catch. (Photo: Gunnar Saetra/IMR)
Large numbers of cod, but not a record
Thursday, April 19, 2012, 01:00 (GMT + 9)
The Institute of Marine Research (IMR) has confirmed what "everyone" has seen: there are huge numbers of cod in Lofoten, in Vesterålen and outside the island. However, oceanographer Erik Berg would not consider it a record.
"We measure cod stocks with acoustic devices, which are not always totally reliable. This year large numbers of cod have been seen over bigger areas than last year, but in 2011 there were some spots in Værøy and Rost where cod specimens were extremely closed to one another. Nevertheless, these levels have not been reached this year," says Berg . That's why he does not consider it is "a record" this year.
|Target values for cod. (Graph: Erik Berg/IMR)
Throughout the years, cods have moved further east than previously, and measurements show that there is plenty of cod from Lofoten to Kanstad Fjord in Lødingen.
"This tells us that the stock is in very good status," says Berg, as measurements show that there are approximately 100 million specimens of Northeast Atlantic cod that are seven years old spawning in the area that has been surveyed.
"At the same time, 75 million eight-year-old specimens have been noted, suggesting that 2004 was a strong year accounting for the additional recruitment of cod stocks at present," Berg adds.
Last year, when this cohort was seven years old, the measurement result was 180 million specimens.
Berg says the ratio between males and females in the spawning population is 50/50.
It is also a good sign because the number of females is more important for obtaining further recruitment than that of males, explains Berg, who has found out only one drawback: the average weight for this year's eight-year-old specimens is 0.6 kg lower than the eight-year-old specimens weighed last year.
In 2011, an eight-year-old cod weighed 4.5 kg on average whereas this year the average weight of an eight-year-old specimen is 3.9 kg.
Source: Institute of Marine Research