REDFISH CATCH RATES PICKING UP
‘It’s a while since the fishing started to improve and catches have been very good over the last few days. We had been getting around two tonnes per towing hour over the last two or three days before we stopped fishing and started steaming for home. This means that production has been run at virtually full capacity,’ Therney’s skipper Kristinn Gestsson said when we spoke to him as the ship was approaching Reykjavík.
Two of HB Grandi’s factory trawlers, Therney and Örfirisey, have been fishing for deep sea redfish on the Reykjanes Ridge since the fishery opened on the 10th of May.
The last time we spoke to Kristinn Gestsson, he had steamed off the fishery on the Ridge due to poor catch rates and had shifted to fishing for redfish and silver smelt on traditional fishing grounds south-west of Iceland. Then there were reports of the redfish catch rates improving and by the time Therney was back on the Reykjanes Ridge, the Icelandic fleet had been fishing well on redfish inside the 200 mile limit.
‘We followed these patches as far as 30 to 40 nautical miles past the 200 mile limit where there were also three Russian trawlers on redfish. By the time we finished fishing there were more Russians there and the redfish were moving southwards. It’s impossible to predict where they will go. We have seen these shoals go round in circles and this patch of fish could easily be back inside the Icelandic EEZ by the time we are back at sea after Seeamen’s Day.’
He said that the redfish they have been getting has been good quality fish, although clearly smaller than they were during last year’s season.
‘This time there has been very little going on deeper than 400 fathoms, which is where we were getting the biggest and best redfish last year. This time it was only in the last two hauls that we were getting redfish that were these deep water, big redfish,’ Kristin Gestsson said.
Therney’s catch for the trip is 650 tonnes, of which 350 tonnes of redfish from the Reykjanes Ridge which is subject to a separate quota.