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16.07.2009

Herring scarce – mackerel less than 10% of catches

Fishing on Atlanto-Scandian herring has dropped significantly following the Fisheries Minister’s decision last week to stop direct fishing on mackerel and to halt herring fishing south of 66°N.

‘Our vessels have been fishing east and north of Langanes. Fishing has been slow and catches have been poor. The pair teams are the ones that have been doing better, but the herring have been moving fast and haven’t been an easy target,’ said Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson, head of HB Grandi’s pelagic division.

He said that Lundey NS was first to make a landing after the area south of 66°N was closed to them, with 1400 tonnes landed in Vopnafjördur last Sunday. The bulk of the catch was Atlanto-Scandian herring, but included 122 tonnes of mackerel – around 9% – and 9 tonnes of blue whiting.

‘We’ve just started to see some blue whiting in this area, but there hasn’t been much bycatch of this. There have been hauls of clean herring with no bycatch and up to 15% of mackerel in some hauls, and we reckon the average is well within the 10% limit,’ Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson said.

Faxi RE and Lundey NS are now fishing as a pair and Ingunn AK yesterday started fishing as a pair opposite Thorsteinn TH.

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