HB Grandi has sent the Ministry of Fisheries a formal application to carry out experimental fishing on pearlside and intends to send its pelagic vessels onto this fishery next week if a licence is granted.
Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson, head of HB Grandi’s pelagic division, is certain that they will see some results from this fishery after experience over the last two seasons has shown that a specially developed trawl from Hampidjan has brought better catches than the trawls that were first tried.
The Ministry’s decision to allow fishing of 40,000 tonnes of Icelandic summer-spawning herring this season means that 25,000 tonne shave been added to the initial 15,000 tonne quota. This additional quota brings HB Grandi an extra 2800 tonnes, although there will be something of a delay before the company’s vessels go back onto herring.
As there had been some uncertainty over whether or not the quota would be increased, the decision was taken to use the down time in production at the company’s factory in Vopnafjördur to carry out minor repairs and maintenance to both the fish production and fishmeal production facilities. The freezing plant is expected to be ready for production again on the 22nd of November, so HB Grandi’s pelagic fleet should be ready to start fishing herring after around two weeks.
According to Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson, the first indications on the state of the capelin stock from the Marine Research Institute are encouraging and he hopes that the research cruise now in progress will show results that will allow capelin fishing to start before the end of the year. A decision is expected at the end of next week.