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Waiting for blue whiting in the Grey Zone

HB Grandi’s pelagic fleet has been in port after fishing on blue whiting slowed down. According to the pelagic fleet’s operations manager, Ingimundur Ingimundarson, the opportunities are there to get them back to sea before Easter, but only if there are reports of fishing in international waters off the British Isles.

‘The blue whiting shifted into UK and Irish national waters last week and there has been little to no fishing in international waters. Now we’re waiting for the blue whiting to migrate northwards into the Grey Zone south of the Faroese EEZ. We had hoped that this would happen before Easter, but it hasn’t happened yet. There are Russian vessels there and we’re trying to find out what their catches have been. But if we don’t get any reliable reports before Easter, then our pelagic boats won’t be back at sea until the middle of next week,’ Ingimundur Ingimundarson said.

Before the fishing in the international zone dropped away, each of HB Grandi’s pelagic vessels managed one trip on blue whiting. Ingunn AK landed 1900 tonnes, Faxi RE had 1350 tonnes and Lundey NS caught 700 tonnes that were taken in exceptionally bad weather just as the fish migrated past UK and Irish limits.

HB Grandi has this year a 18,000 tonne blue whiting quota. It is allowable to carry over 10% from one year to the next and this was done last year. The fleet has a 17,000 tonne quota, plus the additional 1800 tonnes that the 10% rule allows.