Herring showing in mackerel catches on home grounds
Víkingur is now in Vopnafjörður with 900 tonnes of mackerel on board, while Venus sailed at midday Yesterday after landing an 880 tonne payload for processing at HB Grandi’s pelagic factory there. Most of the fishing for mackerel is now in international waters just beyond the 200 mile limit and a heavy migration of herring in the Hvalbakur area has made fishing for mackerel difficult in home waters.
According to Víkingur’s skipper Hjalti Einarsson, they had taken two hauls in the Hvalbakur area for 200 tonnes of mackerel before deciding to switch to fishing grounds outside the EEZ.
‘We had mackerel during the day, but as soon as darkness fell, the herring came up. It was impossible to tell if we were fishing on herring or mackerel, so we decided to shift to other grounds. There had been good fishing just on the Herring Loophole line but when we got there the fishing had dried up. But there was some good fishing further south and east, and we finished up there last night,’ he said, adding that there is a big fleet fishing in that area, with a large number of Russian vessels as well as those from Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands.
‘We had our catch in five hauls over two days, said Venus’s skipper Kristján Thorvarðarson. He commented that they had been fishing just east of the line dividing the Icelandic EEZ and international waters.
‘This is all good, fat mackerel. But the fish are moving fast and it’s not easy to keep up with them. Fishing was also demanding, as mackerel can play tricks on you,’ he said, adding that he expects to be around 24 hours on the way to fishing grounds.
Two pelagic vessels are in shallow waters off the east coast, catching mackerel during the day and herring at night.