As the Icelandic pelagic fleet switches from trawling for capelin in the early part of the season to purse seine gear as the fish gather in tight marks off the south coast towards the later part of the migration around the coast, the weather closed in this week and kept the fleet off fishing grounds.
Brim’s pelagic vessel Venus completed a trip before the storm hit, landing 1800 tonnes of capelin taken in only four shots using a brand new shallow purse seine supplied by Hampiðjan.
‘We started fishing off the Skarður shore and were off Alviðruhamrar when we called it a day and headed back to port. The new shallow purse seine worked extremely well and performed exactly as expected,’ said skipper Bergur Einarsson.
The new purse seine had been spooled on board at Hampiðjan’s Skarfagarðar net loft in Reykjavík before Venus headed out for this trip. With a 524 metre corkline and a vertical depth of 126 metres, it has the 1:4 proportion that is ideal for casting in a circle around a mark of capelin in shallow water.
This shallow purse seine is very robustly constructed in heavy-duty twine sizes from 210/36 up to 210/72 in the bag to be able to withstand the tensions that are generated when fishing in shallow waters.
‘We’re fishing down to 80 metres and as shallow as 10 metres along the southern part of the shoreline around Iceland,’ Bergur Einarsson said.
The corkline is rigged with 3600 purse seine floats to counteract the weight of the net in the water, and there is practically a double row of floats along the whole corkline.
With the exception of the triangle, the mesh size throughout the purse seine is 19.60mm, and there are approximately 5100 meshes per square metre of stretched mesh.
‘The purse seine performed well both when shooting and pursing, and it hauled very evenly through the power block and into the net bin,’ he added.
‘The capelin is very good, roughly equal parts male and female fish, and the roe content has reached 15.70%. This is ideal for production and the catch is going for wholefreezing,’ he said, commenting that after storm-force winds earlier this week, and taking into account that the capelin migration is moving fast, he expected the fishing to be close to the Westman Islands by the time Venus gets back to sea.