Two Westman Islands pelagic vessels, Kap and Huginn, have been searching for mackerel with little success so far.
‘The water is pretty cold, eight to nine degrees on the surface. Mackerel are also highly dispersed as they approach Iceland, so they aren’t easy to see. We’re also searching early in the season and we’ll see how it goes when we get further into June. The sea needs to be warmer and for that we need some sunshine and good weather,’ said Kap’s skipper Jón Atli Gunnarsson while searching south-east of the Islands before the Seeamen’s Day weekend, while Huginn was hunting for mackerel a good way to the south.
‘We both shot away south of the Islands earlier in the week to stretch out the gear and make sure everything’s rigged properly. On Kap we shot away again a little later and caught a few fish, although these were large mackerel, 420 to 500 grams.’
This year Vinnslustöðin’s overall mackerel quota is 24,000 tonnes and there are plenty of willing hands waiting for production to start.
‘Last year Kap landed its first mackerel of the season on the 11th of June, which was 200 tonnes,’ said Sindri Viðarsson, manager of VSV’s pelagic division.
‘Back then we had the feeling that we could have started fishing earlier. That’s we felt it was worthwhile this year checking out the fishing grounds ahead of Seamen’s Day.’