Fisheries and Marine Products


It is hard to overstate the importance of fish to the Icelandic people. Through the centuries, it has been the lifeline of the nation, both as its main food supply, and its chief export product. Historical evidence suggests that story of Icelandic fish export dates back to the 12th century at the very least.

Sustainable and responsible harvesting of wild fish stocks in Icelandic waters and good treatment of the marine ecosystem is of a fundamental importance to Iceland. The seafood industry in Iceland is meeting demands of seafood buyers for sustainable use of marine resources with Iceland Responsible Fisheries programme, developed on the basis of commitments made through national law and international agreement.

Marine products

The total exports of marine products in 2020 were 604,129 tonnes and accounted for 40% of the value of exported goods and were worth 1,747 million EUR.

Icelandic marine products were exported to 95 countries in 2020, around 80% of the total were sold to Europe which is the most important market for Icelandic seafood. Frozen products account for 44.1% of the export value of marine exports. The single most valuable fish species for Icelandic seafood exports is cod which accounted for 49% of the export value of marine products in 2020. Further information on exports: Statistics Iceland.

Icelanders understand fish and depend on it, which is why rigorous standards are in place to ensure healthy, sustainable fisheries for future generations. Responsible fisheries management is the single most important tool that enables the fishing industry of Iceland to provide its customers with wholesome, sustainably sourced wild seafood products for the future. With optimal treatment of the product, quality is preserved throughout the process, from the moment the fish is caught, until it arrives in markets.