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Heavy concentrations of Atlanto-Scandian herring

´We could say that we’ve only had one trip targeting Atlanto-Scandian herring. In one of our mackerel trips the main part of the catch was Atlanto-Scandian herring and the proportion of herring had been increasing as the season progressed. There’s clearly a lot of herring on the move and that’s a good thing,’ said Hjalti Einarsson, skipper of HB Grandi’s pelagic vessel Víkingur.

We spoke to Hjalti as Víkingur was off the Westfjords on its way to Reykjavík from Vopnafjörður after landing 1050 tonnes of herring at the beginning of the week. The fish were caught in the Seyðisfjörður Deeps and on the Glettinganes Shallows. According to Hjalti Einarsson, this is all good fish with an average weight of 400 grammes.

‘There has been herring with the mackerel all summer but we’ve tried to avoid it as we don’t have a large quota. We finished our mackerel season in the Herring Loophole and there’s a mix of mackerel sizes there,’ he said, adding that from Vopnafjörður to the fishing area in the Herring Loophole is a 400 nautical mile steam.

‘On the other hand, we only have to go seventy or eighty miles to find herring so there’s a big difference in steaming time at the end of the season’

Víkingur is on its way to Reykjavík to switch fishing gear.

‘We’re taking a 1408 trawl from Hampiðjan for the Icelandic summer-spawning herring, and we’re also taking our blue whiting trawl on board, in case there’s a delay in the herring showing up in good amounts. We haven’t had any news of the Icelandic herring, but the last two years the fishing has been in and around the Kolluál Gully. The herring haven’t made their way into Breiðafjörður these last two seasons, but we’ll see what happens this time,’ Hjalti Einarsson said.