Capelin freezing to start next week?
The capelin season has been going well for the last two weeks and now the roe content of the capelin and its maturity are approaching the point at which roe extraction and freezing can start. According to HB Grandi’s pelagic division, this could be as early as next week. Last year roe extraction began at HB Grandi’s Akranes factory on the 16th of February, but this year it looks like starting around ten days later.
The leading section of the capelin migration is now as far west as Reykjanes and the roe content of the fish at the head of the queue is approximately 20%. But the roes are not thought to be sufficiently developed to be ready for production for the demanding Japanese market.
When it was clear that foreign vessels would not be able to make full use of their capelin quotas inside the Icelandic EEZ, allocations to Icelandic vessels were increased. Under these terms, the quota available to the HB Grandi fleet totals 109,683 tonnes. Some 70,000 tonnes have already been caught, leaving 39,000 tonnes remaining of the company quota. Fishing and production have been proceeding well, with fishmeal plants at Akranes and Vopnafjördur running practically at full capacity, The same can be said of frozen production at Vopnafjördur, although there have been breaks in production there due to feed levels in the fish.
Since Monday HB Grandi’s vessels have landed around 4000 tonnes of capelin and Ingunn AK is on its way to dock Vopnafjördur late tonight with a further 1350 tonnes. Víkingur AK is on south coast fishing grounds off Eyrarbakki, Faxi RE is off Ingólfshöfdi on its way to fishing grounds and Lundey NS was alongside in Vopnafjördur earlier today completing its landing.