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Switching capelin grounds

Two of HB Grandi’s pelagic vessels, Víkingur AK and Lundey NS, have been fishing capelin off the north of Iceland since the beginning of the week. Things looked good on Tuesday and Víkingur did well in the Grímsey sound to begin with, but since then there hasn’t been much success even though there are capelin marks to be seen over a wide area. The capelin is dispersed and these loose marks are not large enough to fish on, so it’s time to shift to other grounds.

Lundey has made for Vopnafjördur and according to chief mate and relief skipper Stefán Geir Jónsson, they were in port early this morning.

‘We don’t have much on board, probably not more than around 300 tonnes. We have searched carefully from the Fljótagrunn grounds to the Skjálfandi Bay area and out to around Grímsey, and although we could see capelin all over these areas, the fish are too widely dispersed and not there in catchable concentrations. These are mostly tiny marks, but the positive side of this is that this fish will turn up off the south coast later and will hopefully be in tighter marks by then,’ he said.

Víkingur’s skipper Gunnar Gunnarsson said on Tuesday that after a poor night’s fishing they had taken a decent haul that morning.

‘We took five hauls, three during the night and two the next morning. The first three weren’t more than fifty tonnes each, but the next two were much better and we’re confident that this will continue,’ he said as Víkingur was steaming to Vopnafjördur after a minor technical problem on Tuesday with 600 tonnes of capelin on board.