HB Grandi has over 12% catch share
According to figures from the Directorate of Fisheries, HB Grandi’s share of the value of quotas comes to over 12% of the total. The company’s directors point out that there have been no changes to HB Grandi’s quota holdings over the last eight years. In spite of this, its share has risen from 10.60% to 12.29%, which is over the legal limit.
The main reason for the rise from 11.95% at this time last year to 12.29% now, according to HB Grandi CEO Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson, is drop in the price of cod in the autumn of 2012. That in turn increased relative catch values for redfish, for example. The current cod-equivalent index is now 1.25 for deep sea redfish, and was only 0.51 during the 2005-06 quota year.
The Directorate of Fisheries issues an overview twice a year of the cod-equivalent status of fishing companies. Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson said that the next set of figures is expected to put the company back under the 12% legal limit for any single company to own. The reason is that the cod price has improved, and in addition to this, the expectation is that there will be an increased cod quota next year, which will further dilute the company’s overall holding. The period now used as the basis of the cod-equivalent index is 01/05/2012 to 30/04/2013. With no other changes than a 10% cod quota increase for the current quota year, the holding stands at 12%.
Vilhjalmur also points out that other cod-equivalent indices are used to calculate the fishery levy, and according to those figures, the HB Grandi holding is 11.59%.
The company has a legal six-month time frame to respond. Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson said that the company has no intention of doing anything other than abide by the law, although he feels it unlikely that the judiciary expects a company to make changes to its quota holdings due to the aforementioned price fluctuations. These price fluctuations occurred following an increase in the Barents Sea cod quota and have been partly rescinded.