first blue whiting 2024

The Margrét EA has brought the first blue whiting catch of 2024 destined for processing Síldarvinnslan fish processing plant at Neskaupstaður. Photo: Smári Geirsson

The Margrét EA sailed into Neskaupstaður this morning, bringing the first blue whiting catch of the year destined for processing at the Síldarvinnslan fish processing plant.

The vessel’s catch from this initial fishing trip of the year amounts to a substantial 1,800 tonnes. Smári Geirsson from the companycaught up with Hjört Valsson, the captain of the ship, to discuss how the fishing expedition unfolded.

“We made this catch in five tows, taking only one very short extra round. It has been a long time, and we only take one tow per day. The catch in each tow ranged from 250 tonnes up to 650 tonnes. Typically, it was around 300 tonnes per tow. Fishing took place in Faroese waters south of Munkagrunnur and within the Grey Area.

“I believe there is a consensus that the strength of these catches is not as significant now as it was at the same time last year.

“However, it’s essential to keep in mind that fishing conditions can change rapidly. There is a significant number of ships in the area, including the Faroese fleet and two Greenlandic vessels. According to agreements, 15 Icelandic ships are allowed to fish there simultaneously.

“Nevertheless, here on the Margrét, we remain optimistic and will continue the blue whiting fishing positively,” says Hjörtur.

Hafþór Eiríksson, the operational manager of the fishmeal factory at Síldarvinnslan, notes that the raw material from Margrét looks promising. “The blue whiting boats bring the catch to shore well chilled, and it seems to be excellent raw material for processing,” says Hafþór.

The Barði NK is en route with approximately 2,000 tonnes of blue whiting and is expected to arrive in Seyðisfjörður tonight.

 

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