|Ocean catfish is common all around Iceland but is most abundant off the northwest in March-May. Catfish is demersal and feeds mainly on various shellfish. Normal habitat is at depths of 10 - 300 m but it is mainly found at 40 - 180 m. The most common age of the catch is 10 - 15 years and the length is 60 - 85 cm. Tagging experiments have shown that ocean catfish migrates extensively in Icelandic waters.|
|Catfish is caught by trawling and longline.|
|Catfish catches have varied from 8,000-18,000 tons annually in the past 20 years. Catfish landings from Icelandic waters were close to 15,000 tons in 2000. TAC for this species was first set for the fishing year 1996/97 and the catch has been in close adherence to this. It is recognized that fishing effort for this species was excessive in the period 1985-1995 but since then the biomass has increased due to increased recruitment to the fishable stock. The TAC set for 2001/2002 was initially 13,000 tons but was later increased to 16,100 tons.|
The diagram shows the development of the catfish catch since 1995 together with the recommendations of the MRI and the TACs set since 1996.