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25.11.2008

Negligible proportion of spring-spawning herring

Samples from the herring caught by HB Grandi’s pelagic vessel Lundey NS in the Jökulfjords on Friday last week were examined yesterday by Marine Research Institute staff. The results were not the same as the conclusions reached by Lundey’s crew when they examined their catch on board.

‘We received around 100 samples for analysis, and of these, there was only one spring-spawning herring among them. Whether this fish is from the Atlanto-Scandian stock or left over from the old stock of Icelandic spring-spawning herring isn’t possible to say at this stage,’ said Marine Research Institute scientist Gudmundur Óskarsson this morning.

He said that is important that more samples are made available, as at least three other vessels took herring catches on the same Jökulfjördur fishing grounds at the weekend. There are more samples on the way and it is hoped that these will help indicate whether or not spring-spawning herring has increasingly been mixing with the Icelandic summer-spawning herring that is being fished at the moment.

It appears that there is a wider distribution of Atlanto-Scandian  herring over the summer while the fish are in search of feed, which has resulted in Atlanto-Scandian herring increasingly swimming with Icelandic summer-spawning herring, not least on grounds east of Iceland. As part of the effort to monitor the take-up of quotas from each stock, a great many samples are taken from vessels’ catches and the resulting data is used to determine how much Atlanto-Scandian herring and how much Icelandic summer-spawning herring has been caught.

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