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.

Fisheries remains one of the pillars of the Icelandic economy, responsible for a fair share of both the GDP and the nation's export revenue. Iceland is one of the world's leaders in total fisheries, but has in recent years also become a leading country in the advancement of marine technology, fishing equipment, navigational techniques and fish detection instruments, as well as maintaining a sophisticated seafood sector, exporting world-class produce.

Iceland's exclusive fisheries zone has an area of 760,000 square kilometers, seven times the area of Iceland itself. Some of the largest fish stocks in the North Atlantic are found in Icelandic waters, including the cod stock, which is Iceland's most important stock.

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.

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