The 54.75m long Brim freezer trawler, ‘Viðey’. Photo: Brim hf

Brim hf., one of Iceland’s largest fish processing companies has reported a lot of haddock even though they are avoiding their traditional grounds.

“Catches have been acceptable. Saithe is as elusive as ever. We’ve done well avoiding cod, but we can’t say the same about haddock. It shows up everywhere as bycatch,” said Jóhannes Ellert Eiríksson, skipper of Brim’s freezer trawler Viðey.

Viðey is currently in harbour after a decision has been taken not to sail again until next Tuesday.

According to Jóhannes Ellert Eiríksson, there’s a long, hard winter behind them.

“We can’t complain about the weather for the last few days and weeks, but the heavy weather throughout January and February was exhausting,” he said, commenting that Viðey stayed mainly to the south and south-west of Reykjanes during their recent trip. This trip ended with the 54.75m landing 160 tonnes, but the lack of saithe prevented this from becoming a full capacity trip.

“That’s the way saithe are. They come and go. Now there’s a spring season feel to the fishing and cod hasn’t been a problem. We can’t say the same about haddock. They are widely dispersed and wherever you look, there’s always a bycatch of haddock. We stay away from known haddock areas, but it doesn’t matter what you try, there’s always a mix of haddock in the catch. It isn’t much in each tow, but it adds up if there’s a half a tonne or a tonne in a haul. I think we had 20 tonnes of haddock in the last trip, when fishing for haddock wasn’t on the agenda at all.”

 Source: Brim hf

Haddock Bycatch everywhere says Icelandic skipper

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