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Scratching a living between the whales

‘We sailed from where we last shot for Vopnafjördur with 1100 tonnes on board. Ingunn AK had already left before us and Lundey NS is still fishing,’ said skipper Albert Sveinsson of Faxi RE when we spoke to him this morning, with Faxi 60 nautical miles NNE of Hornbjarg and a 225 mile steam ahead of it to Vopnafjördur.

It’s rare for all three of HB Grandi’s pelagic vessels to all be fishing at the same time, but on this occasion the reason is a long break in fishing due to a prolonged spell of bad weather.

‘We had only just started when we had to seek shelter in Ísafjördur, and then we had a day on the fishing grounds before we had to be back in Ísafjördur again. The boats where there in a group, and as well as the three HB Grandi boats, Jón Kjartansson and Greenlandic purser Erika were alongside us. When the weather cleared up we were all able to get out and start searching together, and we found the capelin east of where we had left it,’ he said and commented that the fishing is much the same as before, with the capelin only in range from dusk, through the evening and night, and until daybreak.

‘There hasn’t been any heavy fishing, but we’ve been scratching a living. We’ve been getting around 100 tonnes in a shot, but we’ve had to work hard for it. It’s unbelievable how many whales there are about, with whole tribes of fin whales, and some of the boats have been unlucky enough to have shot around one of them. They are difficult to avoid in the dark, but fortunately we have managed to keep clear of them,’ Albert Sveinsson said.

The capelin that has been caught over the last twenty-four hours has been good sized fish and the last sample taken on board Faxi showed around 41 pieces per kilo.