Tripled amount of fish to production, in spite of lower catches
So far this year HB Grandi’s pelagic vessels have landed 27,000 tonnes of Atlanto-Scandian herring and mackerel at Vopnafjördur. This represents a significant reduction in catch compared to last year, when 41,000 tonnes of mackerel and herring had been landed at the same point in 2009. The good news is that production of herring and mackerel for human consumption has increased dramatically, with approximately three times the amount going to production this year compared to 2009.
These figures come from Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson, head of HB Grandi’s pelagic division. He said that by the first of September last year, 2800 tonnes of products had been frozen, or around 7% of landings, as the bulk of catches were at that time landed for fishmeal production. But this year 9000 tonnes have been frozen to date, equivalent to 33% of the volume landed and frozen products have been produced from every landing. No whole landing has gone to the fishmeal plant this year for fishmeal and oil production.
‘The new fishmeal plant at Vopnafjördur has therefore had less raw material to work with than the old plant had and this year the fishmeal production has been working with offcuts from frozen production and fish graded out of the production for human consumption. The fishmeal plant has processed around 18,000 tonnes of offcuts from herring and mackerel production and whole fish that were not suitable for other processing. Last year this production came to 38,000 tonnes, of which most consisted of whole, ungraded fish,’ Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson said.
The new fishmeal plant has been running well and there have been only a few minor initial problems. According to Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson, Hédinn hf, which was contracted to construct the new factory with the help of subcontractors, still has a few loose ends to tie up, such as completing the installation of electrical systems for the air dryers, and this is expected to be finished in September.