Cod swimming in Norway

Global Catch of Atlantic Cod up 22% from August 2020

While the global catch of Atlantic cod in August went up 22% from August 2020, Russia had the largest catch volumes.

Last time we talked about the main season for Norwegian cod fisheries coming to an end, with a 6% increase in catch volume for Norwegian cod fisheries. What has happened since in the world of cod? Following is an extraction of the latest Monthly Cod Report.


While the global catch of Atlantic cod in August went up 22% from August 2020, Russia had the largest catch volumes

The accumulated global catch of cod from major catch nations Norway, Russia, Iceland and Faroe Island reached 808.000 tonnes by the end of August.  In August, the global catch of Atlantic cod was 64.800 tonnes, up 22% from August 2020. Russia had the largest catch volumes with 29.720 tonnes, followed by Iceland with 19.830 tonnes, Norway with 12.780 tonnes, and Faroe Islands with 2.470 tonnes.

Norwegian catches were stronger in August than in July with catches increasing 3.450 tonnes (+37%). By week 39 there are 128.865 tonnes (30%) remaining of the Norwegian Barents Sea Cod quota. The trawl vessels have only caught 53% of their allocated quota so far while the group with vessels using conventional methods have caught 78% of their quota.


For January – August 2021, the Norwegian export of clipfish to Brazil is 19% higher compared to the same period last year

Exports from Norway in August amounted to 19.750 tonnes (round weight). The main products exported from Norway were clipfish, fresh whole and frozen whole which covers 36%, 23%, and 17% of the total exported volume, respectively. The most important market is the EU with 71% of the volume being exported there.  Compared to August 2020, the export has increased by 3.600 tonnes (round weight) and the increase is mainly in the export of clipfish. Brazil imported 1.335 tonnes (wfe) of Norwegian clipfish in August which is more than double the amount from the same month last year at 520 tonnes (wfe). For January- August 2021 the Norwegian export of clipfish to Brazil is 19% higher than for the same period last year.

In 2021 so far (January-August), the export volumes from Norway are strong and exceeds both 2020 and 2019 in the same period. The total export has increased by 15% and the product categories contributing the most to the increase are fresh whole cod and frozen whole cod which has increased by 18.780 and 4.030 tonnes respectively compared to the same period last year. The EU market is the most important for Norwegian Cod.  After a weaker 2020 the market has started to recover this year and the export volumes to the EU is about 20% higher in January-August 2021 compared to the corresponding period last year.


Even though volumes are increasing, prices remain lower than before the pandemic

Looking at the export value and average export prices on various products it is clear that even though the volumes are increasing, the prices are still lower than before the pandemic. For fresh Cod exported from Norway to the EU the average price is  NOK 32,94/kg in 2021 (jan-aug) while in 2020  it was NOK 40,70/kg and in 2019 NOK 39,46/kg. With the expectation of a reduction in the Barents Sea cod quota in 2022 following the ICES-advice at the same time as trade with the EU normalizes it is expected that the prices will increase. It is also likely that more vessels will take advantage of the possibility to transfer up to 10% of their allocated quota to next year due to expectations of higher prices during the main season in February to April.


Interested in more news and development concerning global and Norwegian cod fisheries? Make sure to subscribe to our Monthly Cod Report.

Image: Shutterstock by Travel Faery