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Going home from the Barents Sea due to a strike

Two of HB Grandi’s freezer trawlers are currently on their way from the Russian zone of the Barents Sea.  It takes two days steaming from where they were fishing and a week’s steaming will bring them home to Reykjavík.

‘When the strike started, then we hauled and started steaming south,’ said Therney’s skipper Kristinn Gestsson when we spoke to him. As well as Therney, Örfirisey was fishing in the same area.

 ‘This won’t make a full trip for us. I took over the ship in Kirkenes in northern Norway on the 18th of October and since then we have caught around 500 tonnes of whole fish. Therney had already been in the Barents Sea for several weeks when I joined the ship and hadn’t been doing well. They had suffered breakdowns and the huge Russian military exercises that are still taking place made fishing difficult. I expect we’ll have to take it slowly and make full use of the time allowed for shipping traffic on the way to the Norwegian zone,’ he said, adding that the Russian exercises are being held over a very wide area stretching from the Norwegian border to Novaya Zemlya and all the way north into the Loophole.

‘We were towing at the north-eastern corner of the Loophole, about 200 nautical miles from Novaya Zemlya at 76°20’N, and the furthest north we have gone is 77°N. As well as our trawlers there was one Russian trawler and one Faroese here. There was very good fishing over the weekend and that has made the trip with production running at full speed, then the weather turned bad and there has been hardly any fishing since then,’ Kristin Gestsson said.