BLUE WHITING SEASON ENDS
‘We’re the last of the Icelandic pelagic fleet still at sea and we’ll probably do what we can and then call it a day. We’re in the Rose Garden, well inside the Icelandic EEZ, and fishing has been slow,’ said Arnthór Hjörleifsson, skipper of Lundey NS, when we spoke to him earlier today.
According to Gardar Svavarsson, head of HB Grandi’s pelagic department, Ingunn AK did not return to blue whiting grounds following the the trip after Seamen’s Day. Faxi RE and Lundey went back for another trip. Faxi’s crew decided to steam home yesterday because of low catch rates, and the same can be said of the rest of the fleet, leaving Lundey alone on the fishing grounds.
‘We had 200 tonnes after an 18-hour tow yesterday and much the same the day before. We’ve searched for blue whiting a long way to the east without any luck and now we’re in the Rose Garden. It doesn’t look promising but we’ll stick it out for today and hope to get a few more tonnes,’ Arnthór Hjörleifsson said.
Gardar Svavarsson said that HB Grandi’s pelagic vessels have caught approximately 40,000 tonnes of blue whiting this season. The remainder of the quota will be kept back to cover by-catches with targeted catches of herring and mackerel this summer. The bulk of the blue whiting fishing took place this spring and summer, with catches landed at Vopnafjördur. Around 9000 tonnes were also landed at Akranes at the start of the season while alterations were still being made to the fishmeal plant at Vopnafjördur.