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Redfish quota caught in twelve days

Therney RE is now steaming home after having taken its entire 650 tonne redfish quota in only twelve days. The same applies to Örfirisey RE, but HB Grandi’s two other vessels on the redfish grounds, Helga María AK and Venus HF, are still at sea. Helga María is newly arrived on fishing grounds around the 200 mile limit after a half-landing in Reykjavík.

According to Therney’s skipper, Kristinn Gestsson, fishing has been very good since the Icelandic trawlers started on redfish on the 10th of May.

‘Things started off quietly but picked up and the last three or four days have been excellent. The redfish are in thick shoals so we have been fishing carefully. This means that we have shortened the tows so as not to get too much in each haul. Our maximum production capacity is 45 to 50 tonnes per day, depending on what we are producing, so we can cope well if we are getting around 35 tonnes per day.’

Conditions on the 200 mile limit are very different to and better than those of a year ago when the Icelandic fleet was able to start fishing. For two weeks before that, there had been heavy fishing by Russian trawlers just outside the limits, but the skippers are certain that as sea temperatures fell after 10th May last year, the redfish dispersed and went elsewhere. Kristinn Gestsson said that he wasn’t at sea at that time, but other skippers are convinced that the falling temperature was the reason the redfish became so hard to find.

‘Temperature is a critical in where certain species go. For the deep sea redfish, the depth they are caught at makes a significant difference to quality. The surface temperature where we have been fishing is 8.50°C and we are towing at 300 to 500 fathoms, where there is a 4-5°C temperature. Last night was cold and the temperature at 500 fathoms dropped to 3.70°C. Most of us remember the debate over parasites that affect redfish and it’s clear that the parasites don’t thrive deeper than 200 fathoms. We are catching excellent quality redfish and the deeper we catch them, the better the quality. That’s why we try and get the trawl down to 300 fathoms as fast as possible, as below that level is where the best and biggest redfish are to be found,’ Kristinn Gestsson said.