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Plenty of herring on mackerel grounds

Lundey NS is alongside at Vopnafjördur where the 600 tonnes of herring and mackerel caught during its last trip are being discharged. According to skipper Arnthór Hjörleifsson, plenty of herring is being caught with the mackerel, with a similar proportion of each in many catches.

‘There is herring to be had everywhere, but the intention while fishing on mackerel is to keep the herring by-catch to a minimum. That’s the problem – as there is herring everywhere we shoot away on mackerel. Occasionally there’ll be a haul of clean mackerel, but that doesn’t happen often on fishing grounds off the east and south-east coast,’ he said, commenting that the fleet has ranged over a wide area in its search for clean mackerel.

‘In this last trip we were fishing south of the Reyðarfjördur Deeps and also searched out as far as Red Square and the southern end of the Rose Garden. The trip before that we had gone out to the Iceland/Faroe Islands line, and have tried in the Hérádsflói Deeps as well. It is possible to hit clean mackerel, and Faxi RE had a good haul of mackerel on the 12-mile line off Hvalbak with no herring. Yesterday I heard that Álsey VE had 600 tonnes of large, top-quality mackerel in the Kolla Gully, but it’s hard to say if the fishing there will continue,’ Arnthór Hjörleifsson said, commenting that catching their fish off the west coast and landing it to Vopnafjördur or that region could prove problematic for the fleet. From the Kolla Gully area to Vopnafjördur is a 30-hour steam and for a trip to be successful, everything would have to add up to keep the fish fresh and in the top quality bracket. So each trip to fetch enough to maintain production would have to be kept short.