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01.03.2011

Good fishing in spite of heavy seas

There was some excellent fishing on Sunday off Snæfellsnes once the wind had dropped around the middle of the day. But conditions were still difficult with heavy seas and may of the purse seiners damaged their gear. According to Lundey NS’s skipper Arnthór Hjörleifsson, there was no chance of being able to fish on Saturday, but as soon as it was safe to set the gear on Sunday there were some good shots straight away. There was a heavy swell on the fishing areas south of Malarrif and some exceptionally difficult conditions.


‘Some of the boats found that their gear was hitting the bottom, including us,’ Arnthór Hjörleifsson said, with Lundey at the quayside in Reykjavík while the purse seine was being repaired. But as an indication of how good the fishing has been, HB Grandi’s four vessels between them docked with 4700 tonnes of capelin on Sunday. The company has around 9000 tonnes left to catch, which, unless the quota is increased, is equivalent to another two trips each.


According to Arnthór Hjörleifsson, there is a great deal of capelin off Snæfellsnes, and he said that the fishing would have been colossal if there had been better conditions. The fish were to be found seven to eight nautical miles offshore south of Malarrif. The prospects do not look promising as a south westerly 15-23m/sec wind was expected last night with squalls, dropping away to a 8-15m/sec later today. But according to Arnthór Hjörleifsson, the weather on the fishing grounds is extremely bad.


Now the capelin that has migrated furthest can be expected to start to spawn, and Arnthór Hjörleifsson said that this would not be for a few more days, but that there is plenty more capelin to the south and east.


‘Skippers have been seeing good marks off the south coast and five days ago we saw marks of a capelin shoal east of Ingólfshöfdi. This hasn’t been investigated as so far all the energy has gone into the roe fishery on the capelin that is closer to the end of its migration.’

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