March 21, 2014 16:19

Factory trawler Therney has been fishing in Norwegian waters for three weeks and according to skipper Kristinn Gestsson, catches have been good quality cod. This trip’s quota is 9000 tonnes of cod and an additional 30% of other species can also be retained.

‘We’re in the Lofoten area, on the Röst Bank, and there are three more from Iceland also fishing here. Fishing has been good as long as there has been weather for fishing, and we don’t need to tow for long to get hauls of ten or twelve tonnes,’ Kristinn Gestsson said, and when we spoke to him yesterday afternoon there was heavy snow and a storm brewing.

‘We’re getting the fronts that passed over Siglufjördur last night as they move north. The windspeed is now more than 20 m/sec and it looks like it should drop away quickly and we can expect the best conditions tonight,’ he said.

The Röst Bank is in the area where much of the Norwegian seasonal fishery takes place and this is reflected by the size of the fish.

‘The average weight has to be over six kilos and all this large cod has caused a few problems with the filleting machine settings. We’ve had to hand-fillet the largest cod and we’ve had one man on each shift hand-filleting non-stop all trip,’ he said, adding that the factory deck capacity is what dictates how much they can fish. Capacity is between 40 and 50 tonnes of raw material per 24 hours, and only a few hours of trawling can produce what is needed. Although there is some haddock to be seen, Kristinn Gestsson said that the amount is well within their by-catch limit, adding that he expects their quota in the Norwegian zone to be caught by the weekend, after which there is are three and a half days of steaming to Reykjavík.

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