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Sea ice across Westfjords fishing grounds

Fresher trawler Helga María is now fishing in the Víkuráll Gully after making a 100 tonne landing in Ísafjörður. Skipper Friðleifur Einarsson said that sea ice across fishing grounds has made things difficult for them, and even closed off whole fishing areas.

‘We were on the bank north of Patreksfjörður and in the Thveráll Gully. There was no problem there with ice. But the ice kept us off the Hali grounds and other areas. Fortunately, the ice now seems top be receding, but yesterday it was only 10 to 15 nautical miles off Straumnes,’ he said, and added that there has been a lot of ice this year. Not only does the expanse of sea ice cause problems for fishing, it also interrupts the capelin survey in waters between Iceland and Greenland.

‘Fishing was otherwise fine when we have been able to get to work, and most of the catch is cod,’ he said, just as they had taken one haul of just four tonnes in the Víkuráll Gully and had a ripped net to fix.

‘This first haul was a mix of everything, saithe, haddock and redfish. But there’s no ice getting in our way here so we’ll see what we can make of it. We’re due to land on Friday, but it’s not been decided yet whether that will be in Reykjavík or somewhere else,’ Friðleifur Einarsson said.