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Minister visits roe production

Fisheries and Agriculture Minister Jón Bjarnason yesterday paid a visit to HB Grandi’s capelin roe plant in Akranes to familiarise himself with production. He was accompanied by his secretary Jóhann Gudmundsson and Jóhann Sigurjónsson, director of the Marine Research Institute. HB Grandi’s managing director Eggert Benedikt Gudmundsson, pelagic sales director Jón Helgason and roe production manager Gunnar Hermannsson were there to receive the visitors and show them the production process.

Capelin roe extraction and freezing got underway at Akranes in the middle of last week and production also started at Vopnafjördur this week when Faxi RE arrived with full tanks.

According to Gunnar Hermannsson, now that capelin are being caught in Faxaflói Bay, the development of the roe is such that it meets all the requirements of Japanese buyers. Close to 500 tonnes have now been frozen at the Akranes plant. Although the first few landings were not suitable for the Japanese market, there is still a ready market for this in Eastern Europe.
Pelagic sales director said that there is an excellent market for frozen capelin roe. There was relatively little production last year, so there are practically no stocks available from the last season.
Norway is now catching a substantial Barents Sea capelin quota, but the roe content and the development of the roe there will not be enough to make roe production there possible at least before late March.