Patchy Westfjords trip
Freezer trawler Höfrungur III AK is now fishing off the Westfjords. Skipper Ævar Jóhannsson expected to see some exceptionally bad weather as a deep storm passed over Iceland yesterday. We spoke to him yesterday when he said that the present trip, due to end on the 4th of December, had been patchy, with days of good fishing mixed with slow days.
‘We started the trip off the north coast as the ship had been docked in Akureyri for five weeks prior to this trip. Fishing was slow and we had trouble with the winches. Then we shifted to the Westfjords,’ he said, commenting that they began by looking for saithe on the Hali grounds.
‘The fishing on saithe was nothing special, although there was enough to keep us going. On the other hand, there was some good fishing for redfish and we moved to the Hampidjan Square after I heard that some trawlers had been getting good catches of redfish on the Hali banks. I don’t need to say too much about cod. There were plenty of trawlers fishing for cod and doing very well. But we’re trying to keep clear of cod, and haddock as well. All the signs are that there’s plenty of haddock and we did very well on haddock here in August when we were allowed to catch it. Now the quota situation is such that we can no longer target haddock specifically and I can say that we have around seven tonnes of haddock in this trip that were taken as by-catch, in spite of keeping away from areas where there’s a good chance of finding haddock.’
He said that the fishing on the Hampidjan Square has been mostly redfish, silver smelt and Greenland halibut.
‘The fishing has been reasonably good, but the weather hasn’t been kind to us for most of this trip. Now there’s a storm forecast and most of the fleet is sheltering in the Ísafjördur Deep. There are two vessels out here now and although the weather forecast does not look goodit’s forecast to be bad, we can expect the bad weather to pass over quickly,’ Ævar Jóhannsson said.