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Searching for capelin

‘We got here last night and right away we started seeing dust on the sounder. That’s the way it has been all day. There’s capelin here but it’s all in very scattered shoals. There are five ships searching for capelin and nobody has been able to shoot away yet,’ said Víkingur’s skipper Albert Sveinsson when we spoke to him as they searched for capelin on the Hrollaugseyjar grounds.

All the indications are that this will be a short capelin season. The Icelandic fleet’s quota is only 100,000 tonnes  and the Marine Research Institute has recommended that there should be no increase to the final quota for this season. According to HB Grandi’s pelagic fleet manager, Víkingur and Venus this season have approximately an 18,000 tonne share of the quota between them.

Albert Sveinsson said that there has been very poor weather on the fishing grounds today, with high winds and heavy seas, and with a northerly wind predicted for the weekend, they would have liked to have seen more positive forecast.

‘We’ve heard that the Norwegians fishing off Stokksnes have been able to fish but the capelin in that area were very small earlier in the week. A few Icelandic vessels shot off Stokksnes as well and didn’t have much to show for it. We don’t expect to see much happening until the capelin start to gather on the shallow grounds, and sometimes it only needs one tide for that to start happening,’ he said.