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Use research quota for roe take

'We have been off Reykjanes for the last two days and the weather has been bad enough to stop us shooting. It's been rough but the forecast for tomorrow looks promising and we're hoping for the best. There are three large capelin shoals in the area and we probably won't be able to measure how dense they are before the capelin is inside Faxaflói Bay and breaks up into smaller shoals,' said skipper Lárus Grímsson on board Lundey NS when we spoke to him this morning.

Lundey has finished its role in the capelin search organised by the Marine Research Institute, and now the intention is to catch their share of the 15,000 tonne research quota authorised by the Ministry last week. HB Grandi has a 2800 tonne share in the 15,000 tonne quota and pelagic vessels Ingunn AK and Faxi RE will also be heading for capelin grounds as soon as the weather moderates. Lárus Grímsson says that the plan is for all of their capelin to be landed to the HB Grandi processing plant in Vopnafjördur for the roe to be extracted.

'By the weekend the roe content should be high enough for the market. Capelin with a 22% roe content were being caught three days ago, so it should be up to 23-24% by the weekend,' Lárus Grímsson said and added that the weather has been a constant problem. Bad weather has hampered efforts to measure the density of capelin shoals that would normally have given an indication of how much fish is there.

'The situation out here is as good as it gets. There are big shoals of capelin and no shortage of whales to eat them. It'll be interesting to see the results form the smaller shoals in the next few days. The Marine Research Institute now reckons there are ten capelin to each cubic metre of sea, which was how it was east of Ingólfshöfdi a few days ago. But our experience is that the density increases steadily as the migration moves westwards and it makes a huge difference if there are 30 or even 40 fish per cubic metre instead of just ten. It's a fine job that the Marine Research Institute has been doing and if we can really get to grips with this kind of research in the future, then it should be able to do away with a lot of the uncertainty over the size of the capelin stock,' Lárus Grímsson said.