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Herring fail to show

‘There’s not much happening. We’ve been here since Saturday and haven’t been able to shoot yet. There are eight boats looking for herring here that have been able to shoot and they haven’t caught much,’ said Albert Sveinsson, skipper of HB Grandi’s pelagic vessel Faxi RE when we spoke to him at midday yesterday. Faxi was on fishing grounds off Stykkishólmur in the west of Iceland, where fishing for herring has been at its best recently.

Faxi arrived on the Breidafjördur fishing grounds on Saturday after steaming to land 860 tonnes of herring at HB Grandi’s processing plant in Vopnafjördur in the middle of last week. The catch had all been processed by the end of the day on Friday, partly as high-quality skinless fillets, although the bulk of the fish was processed as butterfly fillets.

According to Albert Sveinsson, conditions were difficult on Sunday, with storm force weather and little opportunity to shoot the purse seine. The weather has improved since, but the herring are lying deep, below the range of Faxi’s fishing gear.

Ingunn AK and Lundey NS have been fishing in international and Norwegian waters. According to Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson, head of HB Grandi’s pelagic division, Lundey sailed form Lødingen on Friday night after landing 580 tonnes of herring, all of which was processed for human consumption. After searching unsuccessfully for marks in the international zone, Lundey is now on the way home.

Ingunn sailed from Bodø on Saturday night after landing 530 tonnes of herring, all of which was processed for human consumption. Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson says that the intention now is for Ingunn to complete two more trips in Norwegian waters. Ingunn caught 350 tonnes the night before last and was expected to fish last night as well before landing again. HB Grandi’s fleet has a quota of roughly 1000 tonnes left to catch in Norwegian waters.