While people in Iceland are already tired of the exceptional bad weather that has hit the country over the first few weeks of the year, the wind also blows hard elsewhere, as the pelagic vessel crews hoping to fish for blue whiting in Faroese waters have found. Brim’s pelagic vessel Venus is one of these and skipper Bergur Einarsson said that they have twice in only ten days been forced to seek shelter in Faroese ports, and when we spoke to him, Venus was dodging heavy weather in the shelter of Suðuroy in the Faroe Islands.
‘We sailed on 3rd January and there has been a gale blowing the whole time. The weather is brutal here and there’s no peace to get to work. We try to use every window we get in the weather, and there’s one forecast for late in the day on Saturday. That should be around 18 hours and if the forecast is accurate, we should have fishing weather through to Sunday morning. In fact, these breaks in the weather have been forecast before but our experience is that they are pretty elusive.’
Bergur Einarsson said that the catch so far has been 840 tonnes of blue whiting, and the fact that they have only managed three tows says everything about the weather that needs to be said.
‘When we have been able to fish we have stayed in the grey zone at the south-eastern end of the Faroese EEZ. The blue whiting are still migrating southwards to spawn, and normally the fishing here dies out around 20th January. Then nothing happens until a week or so into February That’s when the blue whiting begin to move northwards as they search for feed. Fishing starts west of Ireland and gradually moves northwards,’ Bergur Einarsson said.