Biggest capelin to be frozen so far
Approximately 4800 tonnes of capelin have been landed at HB Grandi’s Vopnafjördur factory over the first few days of the New Year. Production for human consumption has progressed well to begin with, as the capelin have been largely free of feed as well as being of excellent size. But things can change rapidly and the last few landings have been capelin full of feed that are not suitable for freezing.
According to Vopnafjördur factory manager Magnús Róbertsson, most of the capelin from the first three landings of the year was frozen, but freezing had to stop after that due to the high feed content in the fish.
‘Production has gone well and it has been a surprise just how big these fish are. We have been freezing a good amount in the 20 to 30 fish per kilo size bracket, and this is the first time this has happened at Vopnafjördur,’ he said.
Just like every pelagic operator at the moment, HB Grandi’s managers have a problem on their hands. The Marine Research Institute’s capelin survey is now in progress and there are hopes that the results will be good enough to warrant an increase in the quota. This is a decision that at the earliest will be taken at the end of the month and if there is an increase, then there will have to be some heavy fishing . But if there is no increase, then pelagic operators can reduce their fishing effort while the capelin are feeding, and can then resume fishing when the the capelin are again suitable for freezing. There is plenty of uncertainty in the air and things will remain uncertain until the research survey’s results are known.