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Miserable weather all over

‘What marks out this last trip was the foul weather and time not fishing due to weather. The weather has been foul on all fishing grounds, with a few short breaks, for the last month. Although a bit of rough weather is nothing unusual at this time of year, the difference has been that we couldn’t move to other grounds for more comfortable conditions. There has been foul weather all over,’ said Eiríkur Ragnarsson, skipper of freezer trawler Helga María AK, which docked in Reykjavík this morning after a twenty-four day trip.

The catch was 420 tonnes of raw fish, with a catch value estimated at ISK137 million. The length of the trip is hardly representative of the time spent fishing, as Helga María’s crew lost seven whole fishing days dodging through bad weather.

According to Eiríkur Ragnarsson, the trip started on Westfjords grounds where saithe and redfish were hard to find after some good fishing in the previous weeks. The decision was soon taken to move on to grounds further south off Breidafjördur to get some deep sea redfish and silver smelt in the Skerja Deeps. Fishing was slow, and after a week, the ship returned to the Westfjords grounds to finish the trip there.

‘We didn’t try going east, in spite of some good fishing. The reason being that there was far too much cod there for the tight allocation we have for each trip. It’s not a problem to catch cod at the Westfjords grounds, even though the fishing is often slow at this time of year. The cod in the deep water off the western fjords is of very good quality and there is hardly any small fish to be seen. The same is true of the saithe and redfish there. The haddock is scarce, although we saw some fine big haddocks with the cod we fished on the Deild Shallows and the Thverál grounds,’ Eiríkur Ragnarsson said.