Icelandic Mackerel Season continues with mixed results for fleet with shoals popping-up and disappearing again; Photo Hákon Ernuson
The Icelandic mackerel season, which is now at the end of its second month of fishing, is continuing with mixed results for all fishing vessels involved.
Mackerel is reported to pop-up and then disappear as suddenly but the fishing vessels are landing good hauls at regular intervals although the factories are experiencing downtime.
The Bjarni Ólafsson AK is currently in the eastern Icelandic port of Neskaupstadur with 940 tons of mackerel caught in Smugunn. The ship arrived in port at seven on Friday evening and then processing began in the fish factory which did nothing there for about two days.
The Síldarvinnslan website talked to Captain Runólf Runólfsson and first asked if the fishing had changed.
“It simply came to our notice then. The mackerel pops up and disappears without warning and is quite difficult to deal with. The fish are poorly visible on the equipment and do not even appear until it is about 50-100 meters from the boat,” said Runólfsson.
“You don’t see anything until people have just gotten into this. The fishing is incredibly different for the boats, even though they are pulling side by side. Some hit the fish but others do not, so it is pure luck that determines the outcome.
“The mackerel we have now is a better fish than it has been. It is firmer and should be better for processing. The fish is mixed but the average weight is 430-460 grams.”
So far this season the vessels working on the Smugunn grounds were co-opting and is this still happening?
“As is well known, vessels fishing for Síldarvinnslan cooperate and at any one time one vessel catches four vessels, says the Captain. “In this fishing trip we mostly have our own catch but we took small batches from Berkur and Margrét.
“I think this cooperation between the ships makes a lot of sense. This ensures that the catch is fresher to process and it also prevents ships from sailing long distances with small catches.
“ In my opinion, this collaboration has undoubted advantages,” concluded Runólfur.