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Capelin search in Eyjafjördur and off south-east coast

Several Icelandic pelagic vessels have resumed the search for capelin after reports of fish off south-eastern Iceland and also at the mouth Eyjafjördur. Some capelin was caught off the south-east off Skeidarársandur yesterday and last night, but the Eyjafjördur capelin is so dispersed as to be hardly visible on instruments.

Lundey NS is searching off Eyjafjördur after steaming from Vopnafjördur yesterday evening. Skipper Arnthór Hjörleifsson said that there is definitely capelin there, but not in amounts large enough to catch.

‘We can see it on the sounders as dust, if we can see it at all, but so far we haven’t seen anything worth shooting the gear on. We have our deep purse seine gear on board, which isn’t the best for fishing in the fjord. We have been searching in around Hrísey and back out again, now we’re off the Ólafsfjördur cliffs in around 60 fathoms,’ he said and added that what happens next is far from clear.

‘The weather is terrible right now, blowing 15-17 m/sec from the north and it looks likely that we’ll take the opportunity to search where we are before we steam west and then to Reykjavík to switch gear for the shallow purse seine.’

He commented that two Norwegian pelagic boats have been searching for capelin off Eyjafjördur but these two have now probably gone in and docked in Akureyri. A fleet of Norwegian pelagic boats has been searching for capelin off the east coast with no results and there is only a week left before their licences to fish capelin in Icelandic waters run out.

Faxi RE is now steaming east and should be on the fishing grounds near Skeidarársandur by midday. There are now four Icelandic pelagic vessels and one from Greenland there and Arnthór Hjörleifsson said that at least two of them had taken 300-400 tonne shots.