Icelandic company Síldarvinnslan has taken delivery of the first blue whiting of the year caught deep west of Ireland.
The first to arrive was Bjarni Ólafsson with 1700 tonnes on board, docking in Neskaupstaður, and followed by Börkur with 2300 tonnes. Margrét landed 2000 tonnes in Seyðisfjörður and Beitir is on the way home with 3000 tonnes on board.
Fishing grounds are 800 miles from the landing ports in the east of Iceland.
‘Steaming home took four and a half days,’ said Bjarni Ólafsson’s skipper, Gísli Runólfsson.
‘The first two days were fine and then we were hit by a storm with a ten metre wave height. We were two days pushing through it,’ he said and added that conditions had been fine on the fishing grounds.
‘That’s even though there can be terrible weather down there. I’m wondering if I’m getting too old for this.’
Bjarni Ólafsson’s catch was taken in five tows from 240 up to 735 tonnes, with the largest haul for a tow of only twenty minutes, while one haul was lost as the codend burst under the weight of fish.
‘There are huge marks, like a wall,’ said mate Thorkell Pétursson. ‘You have to take care not to have too much in the trawl.’