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Undoubted improvement in saithe fishing

HB Grandi’s trawlers have seen excellent saithe catches recently after slow fishing for the first part of the year. According to Birkir Hrannar Hjálmarsson, in charge of trawler operations, saithe fishing has been especially good on the slopes off the west coast and also on the southern grounds.

‘Höfrungur III has been fishing on the slopes and had 150 tonnes of good sized, good quality saithe in only six days. The only problem there is that there has been a good amount of cod on the same grounds. The dilemma is whether to use up the cod quota there as bycatch with saithe or to use it to search for haddock,’ Birkir Hrannar Hjálmarsson said.

‘The fresher trawlers have also been doing well on saithe. Ottó N Thorláksson RE has been on the southern grounds and had between 330 and 340 tonnes in two trips, of which 200 tonnes was saithe and the rest redfish. Ásbjörn RE had 290 tonnes in two trips over nine days fishing, of which 160 tonnes were saithe and the rest was redfish and cod. The first of these trips was on the Mountains and the second on the slopes off the west coast. Like Höfrungur III’s catch, this was all good, large saithe that’s good for processing,’ he said and commented that Sturlaugur H Bödvarsson has not been as much on saithe as the other fresher trawlers but has concentrated more on cod and redfish. But this trawler did get one excellent day’s fishing on saithe in the Reykjafjördur Gully, showing that there is saithe to be seen over a wide area.

‘Cod fishing isn’t a high pressure fishery for us like saithe and redfish are, which is mostly because of the quotas. We have to regulate cod catches carefully and make sure that we have enough cod quota to cover the bycatches that we can’t avoid getting with species such as haddock and saithe,’ Birkir Hrannar Hjálmarsson said.