Icelandic fishing company Síldarvinnslan’s Börkur landed 1200 tonnes of mackerel to the production plant this week, while the other company’s other vessels Beitir and Bjarni Ólafsson are and sea and Margrét was landing its latest trip in the Faroes.
According to Börkur’s skipper Hjörvar Hjálmarsson, their fish were caught around 30 nautical miles inside the Herring Loophole, in three tows.
‘We towed for two hours, four hours, and an hour and a half. Fishing was good and there was plenty to be seen,’ he said.
‘We were lucky this time as sometimes you find fish, other times you don’t. This is large, fast fish, and difficult to handle as they move quickly. While we were fishing there the mackerel were moving north-west and getting closer to the Icelandic EEZ.’
He said that two other pelagic vessels also had good tows after Börkur had left the fishing grounds, but after that the fish have been difficult to pin down.
‘That’s the way it goes. There will be bursts of fishing, either in the Herring Loophole or inside the EEZ. In general, it has been a good season, and as usual, mackerel fishing varies. Fishing for mackerel needs good weather and the speed the fish move at is a problem. It’s easy to lose them.’
Brim (formerly HB Grandi) pelagic vessel Víkingur this week landed 820 tonnes of mackerel in Vopnafjörður, caught in five tows in the Herring Loophole deep east of Iceland
‘Everything went like clockwork. Fishing has been mainly very good, although it drops off for a few hours occasionally. The mackerel are moving fast and it looks like it’s going round in a circle now it’s out there. We have followed the mackerel in every direction, and as we finished fishing this time, the fish were heading westwards fast. By then we were back where we had started fishing,’ said Víkingur’s skipper Albert Sveinsson.
He said that the mackerel migration is certainly growing in the Herring Loophole.
‘We can see it from the size of the fish. In the last trip the mackerel were all much the same size at around 500 grammes when we were fishing off the south-east. In this trip the fish were smaller at an average of around 460 grammes. On the steam home to Iceland we also saw mackerel marks on the way, so there’s no telling if we might drop into some good fishing when we’re steaming out again,’ Albert Sveinsson said.