Síldarvinnslan pelagic vessel Börkur NK reported a good mackerel season making the most landings
Síldarvinnslan has reported that the mackerel season is now over with all their vessels now turning to herring fishing.
The total quota allocated by the Icelandic government to Icelandic vessels during the season was 148,400 tonnes and out of the quota, 18,900 tonnes remains uncaught. Last year, Icelandic mackerel fishing amounted to 125,500 tonnes.
The mackerel changed its course this year compared to recent years. The mackerel swam to a very limited extent up to the continental shelf and west after all to Greenland as he has done in recent years. This time the shoals stayed mostly in the far east of the country and in fact mostly in international waters that most people know as Síldarsmugan. It was therefore necessary to retrieve the catch much further than has been necessary in recent years.
A total of 20 Icelandic vessels engaged in mackerel fishing this year, but due to the changed swimming pattern, small boats did almost no fishing.
In response to how far it was to fetch the mackerel, a kind of fishing association was formed for the four vessels that landed for processing at Síldarvinnslan in Neskaupstaður.
The ships were Beitir NK, Börkur NK, Bjarni Ólafsson AK and Margrét EA.
The vessels’ catch was each pumped on board one of them, which was then taken ashore for processing. Ships take turns taking the catch on board. With this arrangement, there were less delays from fishing and the catch arrived fresher for processing. In total, these vessels landed 41 times during the mackerel season, of which 39 landings were part of the fishing co-operation. The four vessels landed 38,500 tonnes of mackerel during the season and the value of the catch was almost ISK 2,764 million. At the same time, the vessels landed 4,600 tonnes of herring, which was obtained as a by-catch, worth ISK 205 million.
As the season progressed, it became clear that vessels would have to land abroad to some extent in order to reach the quota. There were a total of nine landings abroad and over 10,000 tonnes of mackerel were landed in the Faroe Islands and Norway.
The vast majority of the vessels’ mackerel catch was landed at Síldarvinnslan’s fish processing plant in Neskaupstaður, or just over 28,000 tonnes. The fish factory works in three shifts and there are about 25 employees on each shift as well as foremen, engineers and craftsmen. There are 12-hour shifts and in a full shift month when raw material collection is continuous, each employee works about 20 shifts. This is a lot of work that gives a good income. The processing of mackerel went well throughout the season and in recent days there have been frequent shipments of frozen mackerel in Norðfjarðarhöfn.
The mackerel catch of the vessels that landed at Síldarvinnslan was as follows (based on the landed catch of each vessel, but the fishing co-operation should be kept in mind):
Börkur NK – 11,203 tons
Beitir NK – 10,293 tons
Bjarni Ólafsson AK – 7,724 tons
Margrét EA – 9,233 tons
It should be mentioned that Börkur was the Icelandic vessel that landed the most catches during the season and Beitir landed the fifth largest catch.