Big capelin off the east
‘We’re hoping for the best. At least the capelin are showing up in the shallows off the east coast where we have seen them before. Going by the catches off Stokksnes and south of Hornafjördur over the last few days, it looks like the capelin season is properly underway. A lot of things have taken us by surprise this winter, not least the size of the capelin off the east coast. It’s not far off being twice the size of the capelin we caught in the north,’ said Arnthór Hjörleifsson, skipper of Lundey NS.
When we spoke to him, Lundey was off the east of Iceland, steaming to search for capelin off Hornafjördur. This is Lundey’s second trip to the shallow grounds off the south-east coast where they had a good catch on Monday, landing between 1000 and 1100 tonnes to be processed as frozen at Vopnafjördur.
‘We’ve had the shallow seine on board for a while now and it performed well off Stokksnes. There was some capelin to be seen while we were steaming south past the eastern fjords but we didn’t shoot until we were close to Stokksnes. Now there is capelin being caught all the way west as far as Hornafjördur and I know that Ingunn AK did well there on Tuesday. But there was half a storm blowing last night and not much fishing, but we’re pinning our hopes on the northerly and north-westerly winds that are forecasted. That’s the wind direction we need on the shallows off the south coast,’ Arnthór Hjörleifsson said, adding that like so many others, he’s tired of the south-westerly and westerly winds that have prevailed in past weeks.
‘We could have done without these winds and they have been blowing for so long now that the sea hardly gets a chance to calm down,’ he said.
As has already been mentioned, the capelin are unusually large and of good quality on the shallow grounds and Arnthór Hjörleifsson said that the last sample count showed 36-38 pieces per kilo. The roe content is also increasing and their latest news from the freezer vessels was that the roe content had reached 14-16%. This still needs to improve and The roe fishery will not start until the figure reaches 20% and the roes are suitably mature.