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Heavy fishing on western migration capelin

‘It’s clear enough that there is a great deal of capelin that’s making its way south along the westfjords and into Breidafjördur. There was heavy fishing yesterday and again during the night, and the sounder marks are the best I’ve seen this season,’ said Arnthór Hjörleifsson, skipper of HB Grandi’s pelagic vessel Lundey NS, which is now steaming to Vopnafjördur with approximately 1450 tonnes of capelin on board. Lundey is expected to dock around 2200 tonight.

Arnthór Hjörleifsson said that they had been fishing on the northern side of Breidafjördur, and that the capelin are definitely on their way south.

‘There’s no question that this is a westerly migration. I understand that the roe content is around 26% and the roes are 80-90% mature, which is nothing like the capelin that the fleet has followed these last few days along the south coast and into Faxa Bay. The size isn’t the same. We were catching capelin with a count of 30 to 35 pieces per kilo, and the average now is 44,’ he said.

He told us that there had been plenty of speculation, as there had been sightings of capelin off the Westfjords and then on the Víkurál fishing grounds. This is the capelin that is now making its way southwards, and which should lengthen the season by a few days.

‘The fishing had dropped right off before this additional migration showed up and it’s welcome extra fishing,’ Arnthór Hjörleifsson said, adding that there is also a considerable amount of capelin off the north coast, and with the way the season developed, skippers were not able to take the time to search for it.

The catch that Lundey’s crew pumped on board in Breidafjördur was taken in three shots, with 650 tonnes taken in the largest one. There are now only a few capelin boats still fishing, as most are now steaming in to land full tanks of fish.