The capelin fishing is taking place off the east coast of Iceland. Image: Hafro.ie 2021
Fishing for capelin has started in earnest off the east coast of Iceland with a haul of 300 tonnes being reported by one fishing vessel.
It has been almost three years since there has been any capelin has been landed in either Iceland or Norway.
On Saturday, the Greenlandic ship Polar Amaroq landed almost 700 tonnes of frozen capelin in Eskifjörður. The employees of Tandraberg ehf started the landing early in the morning and finished it in the evening. This capelin landing marks a turning point in the fisheries.
Polar Amaroq caught the catch in the so-called trawl chamber east of the country. The catch was mostly caught in three hauls, but the first haul was taken in very bad weather and yielded only 20-30 tons. The capelin that was caught was the most beautiful and there were about 40 fish per kilogram. There was some roe in the capelin recorded at around 8% maturation.
The captain of Polar Amaroq during the fishing trip was Sigurður Grétar Guðmundsson and he said it feels very good to have started fishing for capelin again.
Polar Amaroq resumed fishing immediately after landing. When the ship was contacted on Sunday morning, it had taken one 300 tonne haul and was working on board freezing at full power.
After a bit of bad weather at the start of its trip, the Norwegian pelagic vessel Vendla went fishing yesterday and last night. They are currently on their way to Norway with 435 tonnes of Icelandic capelin.
The capelin was taken just north of 64.30 degrees and just outside the 12 nautical mile border to Iceland.
“We had a bigger catches and two smaller ones last night,” skipper Ole Morten Troland told Norges Sildesalgslag on the phone on the way to Norway and Lofoten Viking with the catch.
“We saw a lot of capelin when we came away on Sunday, but there was a gale in the area so we could not throw, but the weather was better yesterday. We got a good cast in the evening and two less last night when the capelin settled more,” says Troland.
The capelin they saw was heading south, across the border where Norwegian vessels are not allowed to fish.
The size of the capelin Vendla received is 38-39 fish per kilo on average and they have measured roe maturation to just over 10%.
“We were in a team with 3-4 other Norwegian vessels, they have now pulled a little north to look for capelin there,” says Troland who expects to arrive in Lofoten on Thursday:
Lorentz Hardy at Lofoten Viking is excited about the weight load.
“We have not had a capelin in a few years so it is difficult to calculate what the price will be and what market it will go to. We will see when we get the catch here on Thursday and start packing it,” Hardy says.
Sales manager Knut Halvor Møgster is excited about the next few days.
“We have 4 boats in the field there already, 9 have sailed and 5-7 of them will probably arrive within the next 24 hours. Then we can hope they find the capelin in areas where we can fish and that the weather stays the same,” says Møgster.