Herring season looks like being over
Lundey NS was scheduled to dock this morning in Vopnafjördur with 850 tonnes of herring on board, all caught on Sunday in a single shot in Breidasund, just inside Stykkishólmur. This means that HB Grandi’s quota for Icelandic summer spawning herring for the year has been caught now that the company fleet has taken 5000 tonnes. This also means that the herring fishery comes to an end for the moment.
According to Lundey’s skipper Arnthór Hjorleifsson, conditions at Breidasund were excellent. The weather was fine and as it was possible to shoot at slack water, there was no need to have to cope with a running tide.
‘It’s much easier to manoeuvre in Breidasund than in the other waterways there. It’s wider and the 20 fathom contour is closer, as that much depth is hard to find on the other areas we have been fishing,’ he said, commenting that it took only a few minutes to haul the seine after it had been pursed.
This was in fact a much larger shot than the 850 tonnes that we pumped on board, but fortunately, Vilhelm Thorsteinsson wasn’t far away, so they were able to pump some of the fish on board as well.
Arnthór Hjorleifsson said that the fish they caught yesterday is good quality and has a good size.
‘According to the samples we took, the average weight was 360 grammes, and if that applies to the whole catch, then this is the largest herring we have caught this season.’
There appears to be plenty of herring in Breidafjördur and fishing has been strong. Ingunn AK had a 1000 tonne shot there last week, which was discharged at Vopnafjördur on Friday. A 500 tonne landing by Faxi RE was finished on Monday and Lundey’s landing should be enough to keep production going for the rest of the week. All of the herring catches have gone to production, with the fish used to produce butterfly fillets for export markets.
As well as herring, the HB Grandi fleet has been on capelin and Ingunn and Faxi are now waiting at Vopnafjördur for an opportunity to get back to sea once the storms forecast for the next two days are over.
‘The forecast looks lousy,’ said Arnór Stefánsson. ‘We had been fishing capelin in the Greenland zone where the large capelin are to be found, but there wasn’t much to see. But there were plenty of marks of small capelin north of the Hali grounds and we steamed through one 13-mile long mark of small capelin. Börkur took a shot there and showed that there were more than 100 fish to a kilo, so it was clear that we needed to be searching somewhere else.’
HB Grandi’s pelagic vessels have so far this season taken 4200 tonnes of capelin and have 30,000 tonnes of their initial quota still to be caught.