Brim’s factory trawler Örfirisey is landing in Vopnafjörður after a trip in the Norwegian sector of the Barents Sea. Örfirisey is scheduled to sail at midday today. Landing in Vopnafjörður instead of Reykjavík reduces steaming time and results in a substantial fuel saving.
According to skipper Arnar Haukur Ævarsson, the catch is what had been expected, but they had to work harder for it compared to previous years, as there appears to be much less fish on the grounds than usual at this time of year.
‘We had a green weight of around 1100 tonnes of fish and the catch value is roughly ISK600 million. What was noticeable this time was that the weather was much worse than we are used to seeing, in comparison to previous trips. When there’s a storm blowing, there’s no fishing – and by no fishing, I mean zero. We regularly had to dodge through storms and towards the end of the trip we spent four days sheltering in Fuglafjørd. We finished the trip on the Fugløy Bank.’
He commented that a large fleet of Russian vessels was fishing on the same grounds as the Icelandic trawlers.
‘The Russians now have a very large, powerful trawler fleet. There were dozens of Russians, including very big, powerful twin-rig trawlers. The Norwegians were fishing for haddock and we didn’t see many Norwegian vessels. In spite of their absence, the grounds were crowded and sometimes we had to be smart to make it all work out,’ he said, adding that it was strange that the usual winter season atmosphere was missing.
‘There’s a shortage of cod on the season fishing grounds. It doesn’t seem to have migrated into the shallows. There was good fishing for saithe and haddock off Lofoten, but the cod hadn’t turned up,‘ Arnar Haukur Ævarsson said.