223 million Isl Kr trip for Höfrungur III
HB Grandi's freezer trawler Höfrungur III AK docked in Reykjavík yesterday morning after four weeks at sea. According to skipper Thórdur Magnússon, fishing was reasonable with approximately 700 tonnes of raw fish. The trip's catch value is estimated at 223 million Isl Kr, making it one of the year's best trips.
'Most of the time were on the Hampidjan Bank in decent weather. The weather has certainly been better than it was last year when we saw a deep depression going over practically every week,' he says, commenting that the catch is mostly redfish, Greenland halibut, silver smelt and cod. The 90 tonnes of Greenland halibut helped push the catch value up.
'This is a good result, considering that Greenland halibut catches have been falling and I'm not the only one who feels that fishing effort on this stock is too high, on both sides of the Greenland/Iceland line. However, the sizes of the Greenland halibut have been unusually good this trip and better than last year,' says Thórdur Magnússon, adding that he was surprised to see so much cod on the shallower Greenland halibut grounds.
'We were getting two to four tonnes of cod with the halibut each day, which is something of a problem. We have a 100 tonnes of cod quota for a trip and as I didn't expect to see any cod, we had already caught a lot of the trip's cod allocation. But that's a problem we'll have to solve in the next trip,' he says and the situation now is that the species that are most rigidly protected are the ones that are most easily caught, cod in particular. He comments that because of the very short cod quotas, skippers need to manage their fishing better and he comments that limited cod quotas will affect other species such as haddock. He says that he is deeply concerned that fishing effort on haddock is too high.
Doing well on redfish
Thórdur Magnússon says that the most positive sign in the early winter fishery so far has been how well fishing for redfish has been going.
'Our redfish catch has been much better than in the past few years. The sizes we have been getting of deep water redfish (Sebastes mentella). The golden redfish (Sebastes marinus) we have been catching on and around the Vikurál grounds has been smaller, but the sizes have been good on the southern grounds,' Thórdur Magnússon says.
Höfrungur III had some silver smelt in this trip and skipper Thórdur Magnússon says that this is a valuable species compared to the prices they fetched when fishing on this species began.
'This is a good quality whitefish, with markets for this mainly in the Ukraine where it competes mostly with herring and cheaper whitefish species,' Thórdur Magnússon says.