Three to four more weeks of mackerel and herring
This years season on mackerel and Atlanto-Scandian herring is coming to an end. At around the same time last year the herring had migrated out of Icelandic waters, although it was possible to continue some fishing in the international zone of the Herring Loophole and in the Norwegian EEZ. HB Grandi’s herring and mackerel quotas are now being used up rapidly and according to Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson, head of the company’s pelagic division, they hope to be able to continue for another three to four weeks as long as the fishing and the weather hold out.
The fleet fished well last week and Lundey NS landed 870 tonnes in Vopnafjördur after having towed opposite Faxi RE as a pair team. Faxi RE and Ingunn AK subsequently docked together to land the catches they had caught with the same method. Yesterday morning production at Vopnafjördur had finished the 720 tonnes from Faxi and Ingunn’s 1100 tonnes are now being processed.
‘It’s good-quality herring for production and we processed 1500 tonnes last week for freezing. By yesterday morning we had processed a total of 12,000 tonnes so far this summer at Vopnafjördur, of which 7500 tonnes of herring products and 4800 tonnes of mackerel,’ Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson said, adding that the quotas remaining are 7500 tonnes of Atlanto-Scandian herring and 1000 tonnes of mackerel.
He said that the fishing went very quiet over the weekend after the weather took a turn for the worse while Faxi and Ingunn were searching for marks.
‘At the same time a year ago the fish had moved out of our EEZ and the fleet was searching in the Herring Loophole. We can’t predict how things will develop, but of course we’re hoping to keep fishing inside Icelandic waters as long as possible. Given decent weather and good fishing, we should be able to take what’s left of our quotas in three or four weeks,’ Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson said.
He commented that last week several Norwegian pelagic vessels were fishing on Atlanto-Scandian herring in Icelandic waters, along with several Faroese vessels. Two Norwegian vessels, Haugagut with 260 tonnes and Vendla with 600 tonnes, are on their way to land catches in Norway.