Good mackerel catches off south coast
Ingunn AK was alongside at Vopnafjördur yesterday with between 530 and 540 tonnes of mackerel on board. Faxi RE’s mackerel was still being discharged as Ingunn arrived and Lundey NS is at sea on grounds south-east of Iceland.
‘Fishing hasn’t changed much so far this season. The mackerel keeps to particular areas and there are good catches to be had if you hit the right spot,’ said Róbert Axelsson, Ingunn’s chief mate and relief skipper.
He commented that their first haul of the trip had been taken west of the Hornafjördur Deeps and they had 170 tonnes there in two hauls.
‘Then we moved north-east along the bank and took two hauls off the Berufjördur Gully. That was 360 to 370 tonnes of mackerel and we haven’t seen any herring this trip,’ he said.
Mackerel is now being fished over a wide area off southern Iceland. Off the south-east coast there are pelagic vessels fishing in the Berufjördur Deeps and the Little Deeps and there has also been good fishing off the south-west where pelagic freezer vessels have been fishing alongside stern trawlers with mackerel licences and pelagic vessels from the Westmann Islands. The mackerel there appears to be much the same size as the fish being caught on eastern grounds.
Busy at Vopnafjördur
HB Grandi’s pelagic factory at Vopnafjördur is now working shifts around the clock, while the fishmeal factory is also busy. According to factory manager Sveinbjörn Sigmundsson, five capelin landings by Norwegian pelagic vessels have given production a boost.
‘We managed to freeze a respectable amount from two of these landings, although most of it was processed as fishmeal due to the high levels of feed in the fish. Altogether we had 4200 tonnes of capelin that we were able to use to produce fishmeal and fish oil,’ Sveinbjörn Sigmundsson said.