Boats are reporting good hauls of capelin in Icelandic waters. Photo: Sildarvinnslan hf
Capelin fishing in Icelandic waters has been good for the fleet of local vessels and their Faroese, Norwegian and Greenlandic counter parts.
The Norwegian vessels have a quota of 41,808 tonnes of the 127,300 tonnes allocated by Iceland. Norges Sildesalgslag has reported that 24 Norwegian fishing vessels have landed catches of capelin with over 25,000 tonnes registered.
In Iceland Sílarvannslan hf’s two pelagic fishing vessels Beitir and Börkur went capelin fishing last week.
An agreement has been reached with the crews of the two vessels to co-operate in the capelin fishery. The co-operation consists of the vessels organising the fishing so that they take turns bringing the freshest catch ashore at any given time to ensure the highest possible quality of production.
- Therefore, it is assumed that the catch will be pumped between the vessels on the fishing grounds if necessary. The crews will then divide the catch values among themselves. Cooperation such as this had not been tried in capelin fishing before but it was successful at the herring and the last mackerel season.
Beitir NK landed to Neskaupstadur with 900 tons of capelin that is processed in the herring processing plant. The capelin was caught in four tows in Meðallandsbugtinn. The Síldvarvinnslan hf website talked to captain Tómas Kárason. “We caught this catch yesterday and last night. The best tow, almost 500 tons, was obtained after dinner. When we arrived at the fishing grounds yesterday there was a lot to see but it was an Åland wind and then the capelin ran up to the shore. But it ended very well and this is the finest capelin we have. This is 40% of females, 13-14% of egg fillings and a small amount. This is a real Japanese capelin. I like the sequel, there is nothing else available and it is nice that capelin fishing should start again. Now the entire Icelandic fleet is starting up and then you get better information about how the capelin is doing.”
As has been stated, the herring processing vessels Beitir and Börkur have collaborated on the fishery. When Hjörvar Hjálmarsson, captain of Börkur, was interviewed on Tuesday morning, he said that little was happening at that moment. “Yesterday we were mainly looking for Beitir, but according to the plan, he was first to take the catch ashore. However, we took one cast last night and got 200 tons. Last night were the finest landings but the capelin was rather deep. There is little about being right now, but that can change as the day goes on.”B
örkur NK arrived in Neskaupstadur on Wednesday morning with 1100 tons of capelin. Work began on it at noon, when the 900 tons that Beitir NK landed the previous day were finishing their processing. The website spoke briefly to Hjörvar Hjálmarsson, captain of Börkur, and asked about the fishing trip. “We caught the catch in four casts in Meðallandsbugtinn. We took three tows yesterday and one 200 ton cast on Monday night. This is the finest capelin; spawn ratio is good, 17% roe filling and ate only 0.3. This must be good in Japan. There was not much to see of capelin there in the bay yesterday. There was much more to see on Monday. But there are all the ships beating on this. I believe that this is not at all the foremost part of the capelin migration and that capelin will erupt in the Deep Sea or by the Islands in the next few days. Otherwise, capelin is very widespread, including here to the east.”
LVF hf has also reported good landings of capelin at their factory in Fáskrúðsfjörður with most boats landing 400 to 650 tonnes of capelin.
Once the capelin fishing is finished the Icelandic and Norwegian pelagic fleet will turn their attentions to the blue whiting fisheries off the west coast of Ireland.