The Icelandic mackerel fleet are having a difficult season says Síldarvinnslan
Síldarvinnslan hf has reported that the Icelandic mackerel fleet are finding it difficult to hit big numbers as the season enters it’s second month of fishing.
The pelagic boats have been fishing in Smugunn and have been working in a co-op system where they work to fill one boat and then that vessel that transports it ashore.
Vessels were getting between 150 and 250 tonnes from each tow in the Smugunn area. These catches were pumped on board the Bjarni Ólafsson AK who landed about 960 tonnes at the Síldarvinnslan processing plant.
Börkur NK last landed in Neskaupstaður with over 1100 tons and the factory made quick work of getting it processed.
Jón Gunnar Sigurjónsson, chief foreman at the fish factory, says that the mackerel is large and has a lot of food in it, and the processing is going well.
Skipper Þorkel Pétursson was asked if there had been any noise when the fishing improved.
“Yes, of course the crew are happier. We had searched a lot and finally found a spot that gave a bit and we got 240 tons of fish yesterday. Mackerel is coming there but the mackerel we have been getting now is slightly smaller than the one we got before. It averages around 450 grams, but before that mackerel was well over 500 grams. When trawling began on this spot, boats crowded in and soon a large number of ships arrived.”
The Síldarvinnslan website also heard from Sigurður Valgeir Jóhannesson, captain of Beiti NK, and he said that fishing had started after the ships had searched for most of one or two days.
“We put a catch on board Bjarni Ólafsson yesterday but then we pumped 150 tons on board this morning. We are the next vessel to receive catch from vessels that supply Síldarvinnslan. Spots were found yesterday morning and the hunt began then. Mackerel is often difficult to deal with, it appears and disappears and it can be frustrating to deal with it. This seems to be the only area in Smugunn that is giving some catch because ships have flocked here and there has been a lot of traffic here,” says Sigurður.