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Fine start to Irminger redfish season

‘There has been excellent fishing for the first couple of days of the season. The Russian trawlers have already been here for a while, fishing outside the 200-mile limit, and we passed some of them on our way out and I guess they must be on their way in to land,’ said Trausti Egilsson, skipper of HB Grandi’s freezer trawler Örfirisey, when we spoke to him.

For the Icelandic fleet, the season for Irminger redfish opened on Tuesday and the date was set by the authorities. The redfish quota has been cut significantly in recent years and today HB Grandi’s vessels have around a third of the quota they had only three years ago. According to Trausti Egilsson, this drastic quota reduction is likely to be the reason only three Icelandic trawlers were on the fishing grounds as the fishery was opened. In addition to Örfirisey, Therney and Mánaberg are fishing for redfish.

‘We stay inside the line and there’s no reason to go beyond it. Now we are towing mainly at 700 to 850 metres and we get a better quality of fish there than at shallower depths. These are not large fish, but they are perfect for production,’ he said.

The company’s quota this year is 760 tonnes. Last year it was 850 tonnes and has been cut back from the 2388 tonne quota that HB Grandi’s vessels had three years ago.