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Two HB Grandi pursers search for capelin

Faxi RE and Ingunn AK sailed from Vopnafjördur last night to search for capelin off the north coast. According to Hjalti Einarsson, Faxi’s skipper for this trip, there had been no luck today and the search will continue for the following days, weather permitting.

The capelin fishery fizzled out at the end of last week, since when most of the fleet has been tied up. Research vessel Árni Fridriksson searched for capelin last week alongside several pelagic vessels, without success.

Hjalti Einarsson said that Faxi and Ingunn have been searching systematically from the Vopnafjördur shallows and west along the banks.

‘We are now on the eastern side of the Kolbeinsey bank and all we have seen on the sounders so far is some loose dust. It’s not easy to tell if this is capelin or feed, but at any rate, there’s not much of it,’ he said, and added that they are now in an area where there has normally been capelin from December and into January in past years.

‘Under normal circumstances the capelin would have migrated eastwards along the banks and be heading southwards along the east coast. From there the fish tend to disperse and show up again in the region of the Lons Bight shallows,’ he said. Faxi’s and Ingunn’s skippers are in frequent contact with trawler skippers from the Westfjords to fishing grounds off the south and east coasts.

According to Gardar Svavarsson, head of HB Grandi’s pelagic division, it is crucial to locate the capelin as early as possible so that a new assessment of the stock can be carried out at the earliest opportunity, in the hope that the initial quota can be increased.

‘It’s clear to everyone that there is a great deal at stake here. Decisions on further searches will be taken when we have results from the work that Faxi and Ingunn are doing now,’ Gardar Svavarsson said.