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Heavy capelin concentrations

Víkingur is now on its way from Vopnafjörður to Reykjavík where HB Grandi’s other pelagic vessel, Venus, is in port. The results of the Marine Research Institute’s survey of the size and distribution of the capelin stock are not yet known, and are being waited for impatiently, as these will be the basis of a decision on whether or not to increase the initial quota.

‘We finished our last capelin trip with a landing in Vopnafjörður. That was completed before midnight on Sunday. The shoal of capelin we have been fishing recently east of Langanes has moved south from the trawl box and as a result we took a detour for the Marine Research Institute northwards and east of Langanes. After that we started fishing. We must have been 80 to 90 miles off, north-east of Vopnafjörður, and in that area there was a lot of capelin to be seen and we fished well,’ said Víkingur’s skipper Albert Sveinsson.

He said that they expect the capelin survey to be completed this week, so it shouldn’t be long before there are indications of what is likely to happen next.

‘It’s vital that this is done well and done quickly, as the capelin are moving rapidly south from the trawl box. The capelin seems to be following the bank before they go deeper, and that’s the pattern for the usual migration that we know well. The fish should turn up in the shallows off the south-east and the capelin off the north will then follow them,’ he said, making no secret of the fact that the uncertainty is not good.

‘We could switch to fishing blue whiting in the Faroese zone, but that means a trip of at least a week. There is an agreement now on access to Faroese waters, but of course it would be best if there are grounds to increase the capelin quota here so that we can have a real capelin season,’ he said.