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Stepping into a new century

‘Things are going very well. The ship and its equipment have met all our expectations and to my mind the arrival of these new trawlers is a huge step into a new century,’ said Eiríkur Jónsson, skipper of HB Grandi’s new Akurey, which is now in its first trip since the catch handling deck and automated fishroom systems were fitted by Skaginn 3X in Akranes.

‘Although this is the first trip, it’s not a fishing trip as such. We’re mainly testing all of the systems, and that shows clearly in that there are eighteen people on board and eight of them are technicians,’ Eiríkur Jónsson said, adding that everything has functioned perfectly.

‘There have been a few minor adjustments to be made to the catch handling setup, but the automatic fishroom system has worked without a hitch. The computer and management systems in the wheelhouse are the main issue. It takes time to learn to use this equipment, and for me it’s like being back on the school bench,’ he said and commented that this is a whole new world compared to the old Sturlaugur H Böðvarsson.

‘I’m not criticising Sturlaugur, far from it. But it’s an old ship and all the equipment and working conditions in the new trawler are so much better than what we have been used to. I’ve worked on the catch handling deck and in the fishroom on both, and the difference is unbelievable.’

Akurey sailed for its shakedown trip on Tuesday night, and the heavy weather meant that the fishing gear couldn’t be shot at all on Wednesday.

‘We’re deep west of Reykjanes and couldn’t start fishing until the early hours of Thursday. We’re looking around for redfish and haven’t been looking for big amounts. But in spite of that we have 30 tonnes in the fishroom after the first day. I’m expecting that we’ll be steaming in tonight. After that it will take a few days to get the ship squared away and then I expect we’ll drop into the routine we had with Sturlaugur. We were fortunate that we were able to continue fishing with that excellent ship right up until we switched over to Akurey,’ Eiríkur Jónsson said.