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Where does all this haddock come from?

Brim’s fresher trawler Viðey is now alongside in Reykjavík. The trawler has been tied up since Sunday, when it docked with 200 tonnes of fish on board. Skipper Jóhannes Ellert Eiríksson – best known as Elli – said that catch rates have been excellent and there has been perfect weather on the fishing grounds since April.

‘We have done well on fishing grounds off the south-west. There’s that much fish that we’ve stuck to one trawl. If we worked the twin-rig gear, then we’d need a bigger crew to cope with the volume of fish,’ he said, adding that catches have been roughly equal amounts of saithe, cod, haddock and redfish during the last few trips.

‘Saithe behave as usual, and they come and go. The unexpected abundance of haddock has caused us problems. I don’t remember anything like it in all my time at sea. There’s an unprecedented abundance of haddock all around the country. I’ve no idea where all this fish comes from. Up to now we have seen haddock as a by-catch with other fisheries. But now there’s so much of it as a by-catch that a lot of trawlers have found themselves struggling. It’s a big help to have the extra 8000 tonnes that was added to the haddock quota recently, but that increase has to come off next year’s quota,’ he said, commenting that they expect to sail from Reykjavík tonight.