Hoping for good cathes from westerly migration
Ingunn AK is now steaming to Vopnafjördur with 900 tonnes of capelin taken in two shots off the Ísafjördur Deeps on board. Greenlandic purse seiner Polar Amaroq also had a good hit of fish in the same area yesterday evening and the fleet has been gathering there. Skippers are hoping that this shows a western migration of capelin, not least because the roe content of these fish is noticeably less than that of the capelin that they have been catching off Malarrif south of Snæfellsnes recently.
‘There’s no way of telling how much capelin is there, but there were some excellent marks where we were fishing,’ said Gudlaugur Jónsson, skipper of Ingunn, when we spoke to him this afternoon as they had just left the fishing grounds.
‘We sailed from Akranes yesterday and were here this morning. The fishing was that good that it’s clear this is capelin that comes from somewhere other than the migration we have been fishing on for the last few weeks. This is smaller capelin and the roe content is estimated at 17-18%, while the capelin off Snæfellsnes has already spawned and only male fish have been caught there these last few days,’ he said.
Skipper Arnthór Hjörleifsson on Lundey NS agrees with Gudlaugur Jónsson and added that there has been some spectacular fishing off the Ísafjördur Deeps today.
‘The whole fleet is here and everyone seems to be fishing well. There’s capelin over a wide area with some thick marks to be seen as well,’ he said, and when we spoke to him today, they were still pumping their last shot into the tanks. Their catch is estimated to be similar to Ingunn’s at between 800 and 900 tonnes.
Last year there was also western migration of capelin, the difference being that then there was no sign of the fish until they were south of Breidafjördur. Arnthór Hjörleifsson said that the capelin they are fishing now has some time to go before it is ready to spawn, judging by the roe content.
‘I expect we’ll be going to Vopnafjördur with our fish, and that’ll be decided soon. I have the feeling that there’s feed in the fish, so it won’t be the right quality for freezing, but we’ll see,’ he said.