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Slow start to herring fishery

HB Grandi’s pelagic vessels have got off to a leisurely start on Atlanto-Scandian herring as Lundey NS arrived on fishing grounds 180 nautical miles north-east of Vopnafjördur at midday on Friday. Ingunn AK was scheduled to sail the same day and Faxi RE was expected to follow on Sunday.

Lundey’s skipper, Arnthór Hjörleifsson, had around two hours to go to his waypoint north-east of Iceland when we spoke to him on Friday. He said that there were already five Icelandic vessels fishing there, with steady fishing of from 100 to 200 tonnes per haul.

‘Some skippers prefer to tow longer than others, from three up to six hours. From what I’ve been hearing, it seems that conditions are similar to when the season started last year. The herring are fairly deep during the day but come up close to the surface for a few hours either side of midnight, and that’s when it’s most easily caught,’ Arnthór Hjörleifsson said.

The present fishing grounds are around 180 nautical miles north-east of Vopnafjördur and are inside the Icelandic EEZ. But this area is only 40 nautical miles from the stretch of international waters known as the Herring Loophole.