Warmer water – more mackerel
As the sea temperature rises east of Iceland, so it seems that the mackerel are increasingly abundant. Arnthór Hjörleifsson, skipper of HB Grandi’s pelagic vessel Lundey NS, says that there have been some significant changes in the last few days and the water temperature has risen by 2.5°C in a fairly short time.
Lundey is scheduled to arrive at Vopnafjördur yesterday afternoon with 500 tonnes of mackerel on board taken in three hauls over 24 hours in the Hvalbak area and the Rose Garden.
‘Mackerel fishing has been poor recently and the water has been very cold. Over the last few days the water temperature has risen from 5.5°C to around 7 to 8°C, which makes all the difference for mackerel. There have been some poor marks, but these are now getting stronger and small marks are giving us much better fishing,’ Arnthór Hjörleifsson said, adding that they were entirely alone during this trip with no sight of any other ships.
‘Vilhelm Thorsteinsson and Hákon were in this area on wednesday, but they had moved on by the time we got here. Most of those who have been on mackerel have been south and west of Iceland. There are some who have been catching a lot more mackerel than we have and will have to be careful to keep some mackerel back to cover their bycatches during the herring fishery.’
He said that there were no herring to be seen where they were fishing, although there have been reports of herring catches both further north and south.
‘In the last trip, which was further north and to the east, as far as 65°N, 9°W, we were getting roughly half herring and half mackerel,” Arnthór Hjörleifsson said.