Capelin season kicks off
The capelin season has already started with three pelagic vessels searching for fish north of Iceland. Two of HB Grandi’s vessels, Ingunn AK and Faxi RE, sailed last week, along with Börkur NK. By Monday morning, Ingunn had 600 tonnes on board while Faxi had been unfortunate enough to damage its purse seine and the crew spent the night working on repairs.
According to Ingunn’s skipper Gudlaugur Jónsson, the pelagic vessels are now all east of the Kolbeinsey Ridge, around 70 nautical miles north-west of Melrakkaslétta, after having spent several days searching for marks off the Westfjords. One large mark was located north of Kögur, but sea ice collected on the area before there was an opportunity to shoot the gear there.
‘We shifted eastwards and were aware of marks of capelin. The problem is that the capelin are lying deep and doesn’t come with in range until dark. Here in the Kolbeinsey area conditions are difficult with heavy currents and it’s not easy to get the gear around the marks,’ he said and commented that the capelin they have been fishing east of Kolbeinsey is good-sized, good-quality fish, while the fish further west is mixed size. Fishing capelin with a pelagic trawl is prohibited west of Langanes, so the pelagic boats are rigged with deep seines. There has also been heavy frost on the grounds and Gudlaugur Jónsson said that Faxi’s crew must have had a tough night with a ten-hour round of mending their gear.
It is not yet certain when Ingunn will be steaming to Vopnafjördur to land, but they could have finished their trip by late on Tuesday.