Síldarvinnslan’s pelagic vessel Beitir docked in Neskaupstaður, the latest in a series of landings to the company’s fishmeal plants in eastern Iceland. This time Beitir was alongside with the full 3000 tonnes in its tanks, taken in seven hauls south of the Faroe Islands.
‘There’s a good amount of fish to be seen there,’ said skipper Tómas Kárason.
‘It seems to come in waves. Sometimes the fishing drops away and then pops up again. We have all been in the same patch of ground since the fishing began and there are around fifty fishing vessels of different nationalities. So there’s some heavy traffic there. The Norwegians are still fishing south of the line in Scottish waters, so it seems that there is still a decent amount of fish that still has to make its way north.’
He commented that the outlook is positive and expected to sail as soon as Beitir’s fish had been discharged.
‘We’re very cautious while we’re ashore because of coronavirus. As few people as possible are allowed on board and the crew have to be extremely careful, following strict requirements around other people,’ he said.
Earlier landings have already been processed at both the company’s Neskaupstaður and Seyðisfjörður locations.
Factory managers Hafthór Eiríksson in Neskaupstaður and Gunnar Sverrisson in Seyðisfjörður agree that the blue whiting being landed now makes top-quality fishmeal, but at this time of year the oil content is low.
‘The fish caught west of Ireland is fatter, and after spawning it moves north as it searches for feed, so it’s leaner. Although it’s variable from year to year,’ Gunnar Sverrisson said.