Satisfied with summer catch rates
‘We can’t be anything but satisfied with this summer’s fishing. There has been enough to keep production, and we can’t ask for more than that. Now we’re doing out best on saithe and it hasn’t been bad these last few weeks,’ said Haraldur Árnason, skipper of freezer trawler Höfrungur III, who was fishing on the Hali grounds off the Westfjords when we spoke to him.
Höfrungur III sailed to start a new trip last Tuesday after landing in Reykjavík.
‘The last trip was a green weight of 331 tonnes, discharged when we made a half-landing in Reykjavík, then another 391 tonnes, so around 720 tonnes altogether, mostly saithe, redfish and cod. Thorvaldur Svavarsson and Friðrik Ingason were in the wheelhouse, and I took over a week ago,’ he said.
When they sailed, there was a storm blowing across the northern part of the Westfjords,so the trip started on the Víkuráll and Látragrunn grounds.
‘The weather eased off and we have been on the Hali grounds for four days. The saithe started to show up here during the last trip and there’s also some cod about. The redfish have moved on, and that’s normal. There’s usually heavy fishing in the Víkuráll Gully and north-east along the bank in June and July. I reckon most of us are relieved that the redfish have left the area, because the quota situation simply doesn’t allow any more fishing on redfish for this quota year,’ he said.
He commented that there is decent fishing now on the Hali grounds and skippers are looking forward to the Horn Bank area opening on 17th August.
‘It has been possible to have some good fishing for haddock there, and a lot of us are looking at this area now that the haddock quota has been increased again after some heavy reductions in the past.’
Haraldur Árnason said that it’s as well that there is cod in the Hali area, as last year the cod were nowhere to be seen and the fleet had to go all the way east to the Kolbeinsey area to find it. In fact, many of the fresher trawlers have been fishing on the Kolbeinsey Ridge recently, which is ideal for those fishing mainly on cod. But for the freezer trawlers looking for saithe and mixed fish, the Hali grounds remain a better option.