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Jumpy herring and awkward conditions

‘It’s extremely difficult to be sure how much herring there is in this area. Conditions are difficult and the herring are keeping close to rocks and islands, as well as moving fast. They are travelling back and forth and it looks like they are following the tide,’ says skipper Albert Sveinsson of Faxi RE when we spoke to him at midday today just as he was watching the third shot of the day being pursed.

Faxi arrived on Breidafjördur fishing grounds on Saturday after steaming from Akranes where the purse seine was shipped. According to Albert Sveinsson, they started fishing in the Breidasund area, but found little to be had there.

‘Fishing is very difficult under these conditions. The herring are very easily startled and we might have to switch to a longer purse seine to be able to get round them,’ he said and added that the herring are of a good size and the bulk of those they have been catching are fish of around 320 grammes. Their catch yesterday was around 500 tonnes and Albert Sveinsson said that he reckons the first two shot this morning have netted roughly 150 tonnes.

‘The third shot looks good and might be the best one so far, he said, commenting that from Breidafjördur, they will be steaming to Vopnafjördur to land and he expects a good proportion of the catch to be suitable for human consumption. It takes approximately 24 hours to steam to Vopnafjördur, so there is a possibility that the weather on the way could dictate the quality of the catch by the time it is landed.

Ingunn and Lundey in international waters

HB Grandi’s two other pelagic vessels, Ingunn AK and Lundey NS, have been fishing in the international ‘Herring Loophole’ zone. This morning Ingunn had 370 tonnes on board and Lundey had taken around 500 tonnes.
According top Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson, head of HB Grandi’s pelagic division, there was bad weather on those fishing grounds last night and both vessels are now on their way into Norwegian waters.