‘We have been chasing Greenland halibut and we can say that the search has been more successful than we could have expected. The fishing for this isn’t as heavy as we’d have liked to have seen, but there’s also some cod with it on these grounds and that makes all the difference,’ said Ævar Jóhannsson, skipper of HB Grandi’s freezer trawler Örfirisey.
He said the trip started on the Hampiðjan Square where fishing for Greenland halibut was slow.
‘Since then we followed the edge of the banks towards the north and east, and now we’re deep north of Horn, which puts us about 40 nautical miles from the midway line between the Icelandic and Greenlandic EEZs and on Thursday we could track a Greenlandic ship that was fishing for herring about 70 miles north of us,’ he said, adding that they are fishing in very cold water, which is the preferred habitat for species such as Greenland halibut and shrimp.
‘We’ve been catching Greenland halibut in 230 to 350 fathoms and down there the temperature is around -0.6° to -0.8°C, although the surface temperature is much higher. This is fine quality fish. The Greenland halibut here aren’t in the same size bracket as what we are used to seeing on the Hampiðjan Square, but the sizes are still acceptable.’
He said that the freezer trawler fleet was heading northwards to a closed area that will be opened temporarily.
‘The hope is that there will be some good haddock fishing there, but we’ll have to wait and see how it turns out. After that we’ll head back to the Hampiðjan Square and hope that there’ll be a shift in temperature so that the Greenland halibut start to show there. We’re scheduled for a half-landing in Reykjavík on 31st August, and the trip is expected to finish on the 6th of September,’ Ævar Jóhannsson said.