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Fleet flees mackerel

The huge volumes of mackerel on Icelandic fishing grounds are causing some major problems for vessels fishing herring. HB Grandi’s three pelagic vessels were yesterday fishing north of Melrakkaslétta, and according to Ingimundur Ingimundarson of the company’s pelagic division, their skippers have been forced off grounds further south due to the abundance of mackerel there.

‘The proportion of mackerel that Ingunn AK and Thorsteinn TH had in their first haul was too high, so there was no choice but to stop fishing and move further north,’ he said and commented that there was rough weather there on wednesday which had calmed to good fishing weather yesterday morning.

All three HB Grandi vessels docked with full tanks last weekend. Ingunn, which has been fishing opposite Thorsteinn, landed 1950 tonnes in Vopnafjördur. Lundey and Faxi RE each landed 1500 tonnes in Fuglafjördur in the Faroe Islands. These landings leave HB Grandi with 15,000 tonnes of its Atlanto-Scandian herring quota still to be caught.

As has already been widely reported, there appear to be large volumes of mackerel all around Iceland. Mackerel shoals have been observed off the south, west and north coasts and there have been occasions when mackerel has gone into harbours, such as in the Westmann Islands, Gardur and Akureyri. Off the east coast there is certainly plenty of mackerel to be found, with the fleet trying its best to avoid it.