Echo sounding revolution
Two of HB Grandi’s pelagic vessels, Faxi RE and Lundey NS, are taking part in capelin research for the next few days, alongside Börkur NK and research vessel Árni Fridriksson. This year the annual capelin search takes on a whole new dimension as Marine Research Institute scientists have the opportunity to follow in real time data from all four vessels taking part in the search.
According to Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson, head of HB Grandi’s pelagic division, Faxi and Lundey sailed yesterday to take part in the search and will be carrying out echo location procedures in waters north and north-west of Iceland. Börkur is operating east and north-east of the country and Árni Fridriksson is off the south and south-east coast. The search is covering all of the areas where capelin have been found in the past at this time of year.
Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson said that Lundey and Faxi have been fitted out with an array of new communications equipment that was installed at the end of last year’s herring season.
‘This equipment isn’t just a revolution for the vessels, with the crew able to have a constant phone and internet connection, but it also gives the Marine Research Institute the opportunity for real-time access to all of the data from each vessel’s fishfinding equipment.’
‘Faxi and Lundey had their fishfinders calibrated at the weekend, so they are now calibrated to the same standards as those on the marine research vessels. This had already been fitted and calibrated on board Börkur,’ Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson said, and commented that this will make such a difference to the Marine Research Institute’s echo location searches that it can be described as a revolution. Instead of the only possibility being an estimate of volume based on echo soundings by Árni Fridriksson, which is only capable of covering part of the area to be searched, data can now be supported with additional information from the other three vessels and the whole area they cover.