Main species

The main species

 Commercially, cod is still the most important species in Icelandic waters as it has always been. Other large species of codfish, such as saithe and haddock, are also of significant commercial importance. By the mid-20th century, the fleet increasingly targeted redfish and Greenland halibut in deeper waters. Several species of flatfishes and catfishes also hold significance for demersal fisheries.

Pelagic fisheries

Initially, pelagic fisheries were confined to Norwegian spring-spawning herring until its stock collapse in the late 1960s. Capelin was subsequently targeted by the pelagic fleet and later Icelandic summer-spawning herring, blue whiting and mackerel. The Norwegian spring-spawning herring fisheries recovered in the late 20th century.

The invertebrate fisheries didn't commence on a commercial scale until the mid-20th century. Fisheries are based on northern shrimp and lobster (Nephrops norvegicus), of which the former sustained a booming industry for decades.

The commercial importance of whaling has seen a significant reduction while various minor fisheries exist or have existed in Iceland, driven by market demand at each time.