The Iceland Responsible Fisheries have their own logo authorised by the Fisheries Association of Iceland (FAI), indicating Icelandic origin of fish catches in Icelandic waters and responsible fisheries management.

The logo provides opportunities for stakeholders in the value chain of Icelandic seafood, Icelandic fishing vessel owners, processing plants as well as other stakeholders can apply for a permit to use the logo to highlight Icelandic origin. The logo can be used on packaging of products produced from catch of Icelandic seafood or in advertisements.

For further information on the IRF certification programme, news on its progress and schedule of activities, please visit their website, www.responsiblefisheries.is.

MSC is an international non-profit organisation set up to promote solutions to the problem of over-fishing.

The Fisheries Association of Iceland

Founded in 1911, the role of Fisheries Association of Iceland (FAI) is to be a common venue for organisations within the fisheries and seafood sector in Iceland for the benefit of the fishing industry. Main objectives are to promote progress in the Icelandic fishing industry, and to offer services requested to governmental bodies and other stakeholders as appropriate.

The following (non-governmental) organisations are members of The Fisheries Association of Iceland:

The fisheries management system in Iceland

Iceland has a long and proud history as one of the world‘s leading fishing nations. The highlights of Iceland‘s robust and responsible fisheries scheme are as follows: History of Stocks, advice and decisions

Most stocks are confined to Icelandic waters although some are straddling stocks. The Marine Research Institute (MRI) conducts systematic research on the distribution, size and yield potential of the main species stocks. The MRI provides scientific advice on the total allowable catch (TAC) for each year (or fishing year, Sept.-Aug) with the objective of promoting sustainable use; The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) also provides advice on many stocks. The Minister for Fisheries and Agriculture decides on the TAC for each species stock based on scientific advice.

Management approach

Fisheries management in Icelandic waters is primarily based on catch limitation (output control) through individual transferable quotas (ITQs);

Supplementary measures

Discarding of commercial species is prohibited by law. Extensive area closures to fishing for the protection of juvenile fish: Large nursery areas closed on long term basis; temporary real time closures.

Fishing gear selectivity in demersal fisheries ensured through requirements for minimum mesh size and/or the use of sorting grids to allow small fish to escape capture. During peak spawning season, fishing of main spawning grounds for the major demersal fish stocks are closed.


In order to facilitate matching of the species composition of the catch and the quota portfolio for individual fishing vessels or companies, and also to reduce incentives for discard, a variety of flexibility provisions are in place.  The main provisions, in addition to quota transfer, are the following:


A central fishing vessel registry is maintained; only registered vessels that have been granted a fishing licence may engage in commercial fishing. Before embarking on a fishing trip, the vessel‘s operators must ensure that the vessel has quota registered which suffices for the expected catch.

Recording of vessel catch quotas and catches is done in the Fisheries Directorate‘s central data base which is accessible to all; thus transparency is ensured.

All catches shall be landed in officially designated landing harbours; Accredited harbour officials weigh the catch by species and record in the central data base; Landed catch is subtracted from the vessel‘s quota. When quota is used up, the vessel owner must acquire additional quota for the vessel, else fishing must stop; failing that, the vessel loses its fishing license. The Directorate of Fisheries and The Icelandic Coast Guard monitor and control commercial fishing and the landing of catches.