Russian fleets and Icelandic boats complaining of poor blue whiting catch
Six Russian trawlers are harvesting blue whiting in the Faroese Fishing Zone but the catches are still behind last year. The fleet is waiting for the runs of spent fish but so far in vain.
Meanwhile Brim, one of the leading Icelandic harvesters, has also complained of poor fishing.
‘We’ve been here for five days and haven’t shot the gear yet. The blue whiting still haven’t turned up,’ said Theódór Thórðarson, skipper of Brim’s Venus. The company’s two pelagic vessels, Venus and Víkingur, are among a fleet in the southern part of the Faroese EEZ, waiting for the blue whiting as they migrate northwards.
According to Theódór Thórðarson, the expectation has been that fishing would start around the 9-12th of April, but for some reason this year’s migration appears to be later than usual.
‘I don’t know if it’s because we were fishing for blue whiting unusually far south off Ireland during the winter, but for whatever reason, the fish haven’t shown up yet this far north. We know that there has been fishing off St Kilda which is around a hundred nautical miles to the south and earlier in the week we had reports of fishing fifty miles south of our present position. The Norwegians who had been fishing around St Kilda are finishing one by one, but we just have to be patient and wait.’
He said that the last few days have been spent in a widespread search, and many vessels have simply been drifting.
‘There are quite a few here, Icelandic Faroese and Russian vessels, and the Russians have been drifting as they wait. That’s something we’ve not seen before and is an indication of the situation these days,’ Theódór Thórðarson said.