Strong fishing on mackerel
HB Grandi’s pelagic vessel Faxi RE docked in Vopnafjördur yesterday with a 400 tonnes payload of mostly mackerel that were caught on the Rose Garden grounds 130 nautical miles from Vopnafjördur. According to skipper Albert Sveinsson, they have been fishing well on mackerel, but trying to limit catches so that the amounts landed are suitable for production.
‘We were on the fishing grounds on Monday morning and had a good haul straight away. Then we lay to over the day while the icemakers were catching up to produce enough slush ice to chill the fish. The next evening and into the night we had two good hauls that were enough to keep production ashore busy,’ he said, adding that the mackerel gain weight rapidly at this time of year. This means that the meat of the fish is delicate and this is why they prefer to keep to relatively low volumes. Although it would be preferable to catch mackerel later in the year when its condition is better, this means taking a risk on the fish being there, as there is no provision for transferring mackerel quotas from one year to the next. For this reason, it is preferable to catch the fish while they are present in Icelandic waters.
Albert Sveinsson commented that there is a small amount of herring with the mackerel on the Rose Garden grounds, but in other areas the percentage of herring can be as high as 70-80%. He said that it is best to keep the two species separate as far as possible. Having the two mixed presents problems in grading out small mackerel from the herring, which affects production, and mackerel can damage the herring if the two are mixed in the RSW tanks on board.