The most common fish caught off Iceland's shores is cod (þorskur), which is mostly exported. The majority of Icelanders prefer to eat haddock (ýsa). My own favourite is halibut (lúða, heilagfiski). The traditional way of serving fish, whether fresh or preserved, is as soðning: plain, boiled fish, served with potatoes and sometimes with melted sheep's tallow with cracklings. Cod roe and liver are considered a delicacy by many. These are seasonal treats, and so is the fatty flesh of the male lumpfish (rauðmagi).
Other common species include capelin (loðna( which is mostly processed into fish-meal, herring (síld), saithe (ufsi), ocean perch (karfi), plaice (skarkoli) and ocean catfish/wolf-fish (steinbítur), to name a few. Mackerel (makríll) and tuna (túnfiskur) fishing has recently begun.
Crustaceans include arctic lobster/langostines (leturhumar), arctic shrimp (rækja) and many species of crabs. Only lobster and shrimp are caught commercially. Many types of shellfish are found - the only widely caught species is the scallop (hörpuskel) - but there is also some clam (kúskel) fishing and recently a company in Stykkishólmur has begun commercial breeding of blue mussels (bláskel) .
|Fermented skate w/potatoes, rye bread, crackling and melted tallow.|
Freshwater fish also provide a part of the diet of many Icelanders. Arctic char (bleikja), brown trout (silungur, urriði), and Atlantic salmon (lax) are all indigenous to Iceland, and so is eel (áll), but few people bother to catch eels. The most popular introduced species is rainbow trout (regnbogasilungur).
Iceland is home to some of Europe's most famous salmon rivers. A testament to the clean environment of the country is the fact that a good salmon river runs through the capital, Reykjavík.