Bad weather for blue whiting fishery
‘It’s no myth that the area south of the Faroes is a rough patch and we have been kept off the fishing a lot because of recurring bad weather. Yesterday we were dodging for twelve hours in a northerly storm and heavy seas, and weren’t able to shoot the gear until this morning. It doesn’t look like we’ll be getting much peace and quiet the next few days as the next low pressure is on its way and that’ll bring us a southerly gale,’ said Stefán Geir Jónsson, chief mate and relief skipper on Lundey NS when we spoke to him as he was towing seventy nautical miles south of the Faroe Islands.
The first haul of the day was an estimated 400 tonnes, bringing the trip up to 1000 tonnes. Stefán Geir Jónsson said that he was hoping for enough in the last tow of the day to let them start steaming for Vopnafjördur with a decent catch before the arrival of the next round of bad weather.
‘It’s not normal just how difficult conditions have been. A few days ago we had no choice but to seek shelter in the Faroes as the height of the waves where we had been fishing was enormous. The sea conditions were better last night, but with the wind speed at 20m/sec there was no chance of fishing.’
He said that Lundey is now on its last full blue whiting trip of the year. Faxi RE is on its way to the fishing grounds and is expected tomorrow morning. Faxi has one trip left, as does Ingunn AK which is landing at Vopnafjördur at the moment and there are hopes that it will be able to sail tonight. These last three trips should bring the HB Grandi fleet’s catch this season up to 21,000 tonnes. This leaves a small amount left over that will cover by-catches of blue whiting taken during the herring and mackerel seasons this summer.