Mackerel quota used up quickly
HB Grandi’s pelagic vessels have been fishing well this summer. At the beginning of this week around 11,400 tonnes of this season’s mackerel had been caught, leaving 4500 tonnes still to be caught. The proportion of herring in catches has been increasing recently and those vessels fishing herring north of the main mackerel areas have been seeing 10-20% by-catches of mackerel.
‘Fishing has been pretty good this summer. There was a bit of a dead patch yesterday, which is nothing unusual, but after we reached the fishing grounds at midnight the catches have been excellent,’ said Gudlaugur Jónsson, skipper of Ingunn AK when we spoke to him around midday just as he was hauling his third tow of the trip in the Little Deeps.
‘There was some herring with the mackerel in the first haul but this morning we had a clean 200 tonne mackerel haul and hopefully the third tow will be enough to give us the usual 400 to 500 tonnes that we like to have for the factory,’ he said, commenting that now they are concentrating on catching the mackerel quota before moving on to the herring fishery.
‘The Westmann Islands boats have been pair trawling for herring north of us in the Reydarfjördur Deeps and up to the Hérádsflói Deeps, but I hear they’re getting some mackerel with their herring as well. So we had better be careful to keep back some of the mackerel quota before we shift to herring,’Gudlaugur Jónsson said.
Production at HB Grandi’s factory in Vopnafjördur and the three vessels that have been supplying the factory with raw material have been landing at roughly three day intervals with 400 to 500 tonnes in each landing. The mackerel now being caught is large, high-fat, good quality fish and yesterday’s average weight from Ingunn’s landing was 400 grammes.