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Stock assessment trip on Icelandic herring

Two of HB Grandi’s pelagic vessels, Faxi RE and Lundey NS, are about to take part in a research and stock assessment cruise to investigate the state of Icelandic herring in co-operation with the Marine Research Institute and the Ministry of Fisheries.

According to Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson, head of HB Grandi’s pelagic division, the two purser-trawlers are scheduled to leave for this assignment around next weekend.

‘This is part of a very wide-ranging project and we reckon that fishing companies will provide around 40 days at sea as part of researching the state of the Icelandic herring stock. Jóna Edvalds SF, Ásgrímur Halldórsson SF, Súlan EA and Sighvatur Bjarnason VE will take part initially and their primary objective is to determine the distribution of the herring stock,’ Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson said and added that each vessel will spend four days taking part in the project, after which HB Grandi’s vessels and several others are scheduled to take over.

Most of the Icelandic pelagic fleet has been tied up since the Atlanto-Scandian herring fishery ended, and with the exception of the Icelandic summer-spawning herring, if there is a fishery on this, the prospects for the rest of the year are not bright. Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson said that while they are waiting for the results of the herring research cruise, the most likely prospect is pearlside, which was fished for the first time in any volumes a year ago.

‘We expect that Ingunn AK will be the first to go onto pearlside in the middle of next week. One vessel, Hoffell SU, has already been searching for pearlside, but is now sitting out bad weather in the Westmann Islands. So far we have research licences for pearlside that are valid to the end of November. Last year Huginn VE started experimental fishing on pearlside in December, after which the fishing took off in January after the work on adapting fishing gear started to show results.’