Record week at Reykjavík factory, while mackerel production starts up at Akranes
There has been some serious activity at HB Grandi’s processing plant on the Nordurgardur quayside at Reykjavík. Last week around 570 tonnes of redfish and saithe were processed, making this the year’s record-breaking production week to date. In the same week, the factory at Akranes began processing mackerel with a 140 tonne landing of fresh mackerel landed by trawler Ottó N Thorláksson.
According to Bergur Einarsson, the foreman in charge of shore production at the Reykjavík factory, they have been extremely busy recently. Shifts have been running from 6AM to 6PM every weekday, with a 6AM to midday shift on Saturdays as well. There is currently a staff of 135 persons, which includes 80 temporary summer staff, mainly young people who return to schools and colleges after the summer.
‘The youngsters have done really well and are one of the reasons that we have been able to process all of the fish that is landed at the moment. They are great at turning up for extra shifts, and a good few of them turn up early after having cycled to work before six in the morning,’ Bergur Einarsson said, commenting that of the record-breaking week’s production, 313 tonnes were redfish and 254 tonnes were saithe.
According to HB Grandi’s Production Manager Torfi Thorsteinsson, the company’s fresher trawlers began fishing on mackerel last week, with Ottó N Thorláksson taking its share of the company’s quota. The fish were landed at Akranes to the HB Grandi plant there to process its first tonnes of mackerel, which Torfi Thorsteinsson said went well and promises better.
‘We were processing mackerel for four days with a staff of 35. We have a fine workforce, and with good preparation, quality raw material and co-operation between catching and production, we have the basis for the excellent results we have already seen in mackerel production,’ he said. Shifts ran from 6AM to 6PM, and sometimes longer when there was pressure to get the fish as fresh as possible into the freezers. All of the fish was wholefrozen, and some went through the blast freezers to emerge as IQF mackerel. Torfi Thorsteinsson said that the mackerel had been well looked after on board Ottó N Thorláksson, with short tows and not too much in each haul.
Fresher trawler Ásbjörn is now fishing on mackerel and its place will be taken the following week by Sturlaugur H Bödvarsson to take its share of the mackerel quota.