Capelin freezing steams ahead
The capelin season’s end is approaching and this year there seems to be a good chance of the full quota being caught. It is of course impossible to say with any kind of accuracy just how long the fishery will last, but if the capelin are available through next week and the weather holds, the prospects look good.
There has been a great deal of activity around capelin fishmeal production and capelin freezing at Akranes and Vopnafjördur over the last few weeks and much effort has gone into freezing capelin roe as well as whole capelin at both locations.
According to Gunnar Hermannsson, in charge of capelin production at HB Grandi’s Akranes plant, production has gone well in spite of relentless bad weather and it has been possible to maintain full production with 2000 tonnes of capelin roe washed and frozen at the factory. Close to 300 tonnes of fresh capelin roe have been trucked to the Vopnafjördur factory where freezing capacity is more that the Akranes factory’s.
‘There have been a few landings with a high ratio of male fish, but otherwise it has been good so far. The ratio in yesterday’s landing was roughly 50% and the roe quality is as good as it gets. The roes are now around 95% mature,” Gunnar Hermannsson said.
Magnús Róbertsson, who looks after the Vopnafjördur factory’s production, said that he is satisfied with the way the season has progressed. He agrees with Gunnar Hermannsson that the ratio of female fish in catches has normally been good, while the availability of capelin is also good.
‘We have had a ship at the quayside practically the whole time. Ingunn AK was here yesterday and Víkingur AK docked last night, so there is no break in production. Huginn VE has been here to discharge twice and if everything goes according to the script, we should be able to keep capelin production going to the end of the next week, assuming that the quota doesn’t run out first or the fish disappear,’ Magnús Róbertsson said.