‘Catches have been acceptable. Saithe is as elusive as ever. We’ve done well avoiding cod, but we can’t say the same about haddock. It shows up everywhere as by-catch,’ said Jóhannes Ellert Eiríksson, skipper of Brim’s fresher trawler Viðey.
Viðey is now alongside and the decision has been taken not to sail again until next Tuesday.
According to Jóhannes Ellert Eiríksson, there’s a long, hard winter behind them.
‘We can’t complain about the weather for the last few days and weeks, but the heavy weather throughout January and February was exhausting,’ he said, commenting that Viðey stayed mainly to the south and south-west of Reykjanes during the thrip just ended. This was a 160 tonne trip, and the lack of saithe prevented this from becoming a full capacity trip.
‘That’s the way saithe are. They come and go. Now there’s a spring season feel to the fishing and cod hasn’t been a problem. We can’t say the same about haddock. They are widely dispersed and wherever you look, there’s always a by-catch of haddock,’ he said.
‘We keep clear known haddock areas, but it doesn’t matter what you try, there’s always a mix of haddock in the catch. It isn’t much in each tow, but it adds up if there’s a half a tonne or even a tonne in a haul. I think we had 20 tonnes of haddock in the last trip, when fishing for haddock wasn’t on the agenda at all.’