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January off the east coast

‘We have been fishing off the east coast since after Christmas, landing our fish in Sauðárkrókur. This is to get around the long trip to Reykjavík to discharge. Earlier there were three of us on these fishing grounds, but there are more here now. While the weather hasn’t been good, conditions have probably been best on the east coast fishing grounds,’ said Friðleifur Einarsson, skipper of fresher trawler Helga María, as he and his crew docked in Sauðárkrókur t with 120 tonnes on board.

The catch was taken around Digranesflak, and Helga María steamed for 21 hours to reach Sauðárkrókur.

‘It was slow going. The wind was against us the whole time. It wasn’t until we reached Melrakkaslétta that we managed to get up to 11-12 knots,’ he said, adding that catch rates on east coast fishing grounds have been decent.

‘It’s been variable for us. This trip was a good one, but for other trips we have had to settle for less. On the Digranesflak grounds it’s all cod, the standard trawl-caught cod averaging 2.2-2.3kg. It’s good quality fish that’s trucked to Reykjavík for processing,’ Friðleifur Einarsson said.

Helga María is scheduled to sail again tonight, with Heimir Guðbjörnsson taking over as skipper.