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Slow fishing for cod in autumn and early winter

According to analysis by Birkir Hrannar Hjálmarsson who manages HB Grandi’s fresh fish trawler fleet, the trawler’s cod fishing has been slow through the autumn and into winter. That was the situation up to last weekend when the fleet saw very good fishing. To find a period of such low autumn and winter cod catches, you would have to go back ten years to when the cod quota had been cut dramatically. 

It remains to be seen after examining the catch figures for last weekend, whether last week’s cod fishing on Westfjord grounds is an indicator of better fishing in the coming months. 

Birkir Hrannar Hjálmarsson said that it is clear that the autumn cod fishery has been poorer this and last year than it has been for many years. He said that over the last few weeks fishing off the west coast has been slow and in many instances the trawlers have not caught their intended amounts. Fishing has been best through the night, and even then the expected catch rate per hour has not been achieved. 

‘It seems that groundfish fishing from 2009 to 2015 has been generally very good, in terms of cod, saithe and redfish. It was seen as a good result if Sturlaugur H Böðvarsson landed 60-65 tonnes of two kilo cod after five days on fishing grounds off the Westfjords. Cod fishing has been very good in the past, and maybe that’s what we’re used to,’ Birkir Hrannar Hjálmarsson said.