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The Beirtir NK on the hunt for mackerel in the Smugunn after fishing collapsed in the Icelandic Zone. Photo: Helgi Freyr Ólason/Síldarvinnslann

Last week, the mackerel fishery in the Icelandic jurisdiction collapsed and the fish was not found despite the intensive search by the fleet. 

Subsequently, fish forced the fleet to set course for the Smugunn, and towards the end of the week, the fishing there turned out to be very successful.

The Síldarvinnslan vessels and the ships from Samherji, which are in a fishing cooperation, managed to find a good fishing spot. Beitir NK arrived in Neskaupstaðir carrying 1,850 tonnes of fish, and Margrét EA headed to Egersund, Norway, with 1,750 tonnes. Currently, Vilhelm Þorsteinsson EA is landed with nearly 1,500 tonnes, leaving Barði NK and Börkur NK as the only vessels in the partnership engaged in fishing at the time of this report.

Síldarvinnslann had a brief conversation with Tómas Kárason, the captain of Beitir, who provided insights into the fishing situation.

“We’re now fishing in Smugunn, and the fishing has been absolutely exceptional while we’ve been there. The vessels were able to catch up to 400 tonnes of fish in a single catch. Our partner boats were fishing in the southern part of Smugunn, approximately 350 miles east-northeast of Norðfjörðurhorn. The fish caught there is noticeably smaller than what we typically catch within Icelandic waters, weighing around 370-400 grams, whereas the fish within our jurisdiction usually weighs 500-600 grams. I believe the season has been quite successful thus far, and the amount caught within Icelandic waters is of great significance. As the Norwegian-Icelandic herring season approaches, it’s going to be interesting to see how it plays out,” explains Tómas.

Icelandic mackerel collapsed zone

Hoffell arriving in port. Photo: Valgeir Mar Friðriksson/Loðnuvinrnsan

LVF reported that the fishing vessel Hoffell landed around 1,300 tonnes of mackerel at its plant in Fáskrúðsfjörður on the west coast. Hoffell was fishing about 360-miles away from its home port in the Smugunn and took less than three days to catch the 1,300 tonnes.

Including this last landing, Hoffell has landed around 5,300 tonnes so far this mackerel season.


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