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Watching the capelin carefully

The decision yesterday to increase the capelin quota gives HB Grandi’s vessels in total 20,000 tonnes to catch this season. While there is still hope that more capelin will show up in shallow waters off the south coast, hopes are now pinned on a western migration, which could give the Icelandic fleet a 108,000 tonne quota altogether.

Capelin roe production started at HB Grandi’s Akranes plant during last wenesday  when Ingunn AK landed 600 tonnes, with Faxi RE following close behind with a similar amount. Production has been going well, according to Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson, head of HB Grandi’s pelagic division, with fishing managed cautiously in the coming days as the capelin landed to Akranes during the last week was not developed enough for the Japanese market. The roe content of the fish was around 21%.

‘The increase in the quota doesn’t change our plans to put as much as possible into roe production. Ingunn and Faxi are alongside at Akranes and Lundey NS has left to fetch another 600 tonne load for the next day’s production. We’ll be taking a careful look at the roe content and roe condition of the fish in the next few days,’ Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson said.

The Akranes factory can freeze around 100 tonnes of roe every 24 hours, although production in grading and cleaning can handle between 160 and 180 tonnes per day.