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Mackerel gaining weight rapidly

HB Grandi’s pelagic vessels have been concentrating on mackerel recently, with excellent results. The fish are smaller than they were at the same time last year, but are gaining weight rapidly and last week the fat content stood at well over 20%.

Faxi RE was on fishing grounds north of Hvalbak, around 115 nautical miles from Vopnafjördur when we spoke to relief skipper Hjalti Einarsson as he was hauling the third tow of the trip. The previous two hauls had already yielded 290 tonnes, which is approaching the ideal landing of 350 to 400 tonnes for the processing plant at Vopnafjördur.

‘Fishing has been reasonable and we’re hoping to have this trip on board by this evening. We don’t see too many marks for mackerel, but some of us are towing on no marks at all and still getting decent hauls. We’re towing for a maximum of three and a half hours and a time and don’t want to be going over four hours,’ Hjalti Einarsson said when we spoke to him yesterday afternoon.

Most of the pelagic fleet has been fishing for mackerel and only a few boats have been targeting herring. Faxi’s catch has been practically clean mackerel with a herring proportion of less than 5%.

‘The boats fishing herring are further to the north where the water temperature is lower and catches have been very variable. Herring is very difficult to fish when you’re on your own as it takes time to find herring in worthwhile amounts,’ Hjalti Einarsson explained.

Ingunn AK is now on its way back to fishing grounds, while Lundey NS is alongside in Vopnafjördur. Since the 24th of July, 2800 tonnes of mostly mackerel have been landed at Vopnafjördur. This week Lundey has made three landings while Faxi and Ingunn have each landed twice.