Fishing well on deep sea redfish
Four of HB Grandi’s factory trawlers have been fishing on deep sea redfish for the past few weeks but are now taking a break with the upcoming Seamen’s Day celebration next weekend. Catches have been good so far and all of the four trawlers have been able to maintain close to full production from the first day on this year’s fishery at between 40 and 50 tonnes of raw fish per day.
According to trawler fleet assisting manager Birkir Hrannar Hjálmarsson, the trawlers started on the deep sea redfish earlier this year than last year or the year before due to lower redfish and cod quotas in home waters than in the past.
‘Venus HF was the first to start on redfish this year at the beginning of May and was followed by Therney RE. Both of these have finished their quotas on redfish before Seamen’s Day and each one had 1150 tonnes to catch,’ he said and commented that last year none of the HB Grandi trawlers started on deep sea redfish until the 20th of May.
Helga María AK and Örfirisey RE started fishing after Venus and Therney had already been on the fishing grounds south-west of Iceland and Birkir Hrannar Hjálmarsson said that each of these will have some quota left by the time they dock later this week. Venus and Therney are both due in port tomorrow, with Helga María and Örfirisey scheduled to be in Reykjavík on Friday. HB Grandi has a total quota of 4600 tonnes of deep sea redfish this year.
‘Some of the skippers say that there is a lot more redfish on the Reykjanes Ridge this year than they have seen for several years. The smaller redfish is showing up closer to the surface, and this is something that was noticed last year. This is good news as the smaller grades of redfish appeared to have disappeared completely for a while,” he said.
He commented that the redfish shoal that they have been fishing on has been around the 200-mile EEZ limit, sometimes just inside the line, but mostly either straddling the limit or just outside. Catches have generally been good, although things are tight. At the most, there have been upwards of 50 trawlers fishing on a fairly small area close to the Icelandic 200-mile limit.