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On the retreat from golden redfish and haddock

Brim’s fresher trawler Helga María is currently on the Eldey Bank and fishing well, according to skipper Friðleifur Einarsson. He said that the present trip is a short one, with just three days’ fishing. Helga María sailed from Reykjavík on Tuesday morning and is due to dock on Friday.

Its last trip finished with a 130 tonne landing in Reykjavík on Monday.

‘We started the trip down south on the Mountains. There was plenty of golden redfish as usual, but not much saithe. So when we had taken our redfish allocation, we had to be away and it turned out that we left a little too early as there was heavy fishing there for saithe after we left,’ he said, adding that the shortage of quota for golden redfish and haddock is dictating how they can operate.

‘So we escaped north to the Westfjords. We started on the bank off Patreksfjörður, went from there into the Víkuráll Gully and ended up on the Straumnes Bank. We had a bit of redfish to start with, but no saithe. Right at the finish we had some cod on the Straumnes Bank.’

Friðleifur Einarsson said that some trawlers have had trouble with sea ice on the Westfjords fishing grounds, while on southern grounds the closures due to the cod spawning season are the problem.

‘As far as I recall, the closure line is at 63°10’N and we can’t get any closer in. There has been some fishing to the southwest by the line, and that’s where the fleet is,’ he said.