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Fine fishing, but saithe elusive

‘We’re getting some fine fishing but it’s saithe that are proving difficult. We’ve searched all over, but with limited success,’ said Bjarni Gardarsson, who has skippered Helga María AK for the last two trips. 

He was in the wheelhouse during the last trip of the newly ended quota year, as well as during the first trip of the present quota year. Helga María docked yesterday morning and is due to sail again today.

‘We’ve been hunting for saithe from our home grounds here off the south-west of Iceland all the way north to the Westfjords grounds without a great deal of success. The overall catches have been good, and we had between 160 and 165 tonnes in the last trip. Most of that was cod and redfish, and only 20 too 25 tonnes of it was saithe,’ he said.

Heimir Gudbjörnsson, Helga María’s skipper, takes over again now after two trips ashore. He said that the quota year that has just ended was a good one, although there are certainly concerns over the scarcity of saithe on both home grounds and off the Westfjords.

‘The saithe appear to no longer be on their normal grounds, and we have heard reports of better saithe fishing in the Reykjafjördur Gully off Húnaflói Bay than is usual at this time of the year. That’s something that needs to be checked out,’ he said.