Samherji’s pelagic vessel Vilhelm Thorsteinsson landed 2060 tonnes of capelin to Síldarvinnslan’s fishmeal plant in Neskaupstaður on Friday, before heading back to sea without any of the crew going ashore.
‘The ship is effectively in quarantine and none of the crew set foot ashore. The discharging crew had access to the foredeck, but apart from them, nobody came on board,’ said skipper Birkir Hreinsson.
‘We are taking every precaution because of Covid. It’s awkward and complicates everything, but there’s no other option.’
Fishing grounds are around ten hours’ steaming from Neskaupstaður and Vilhelm Thorsteinsson sailed as soon as the catch had been pumped ashore.
This was Vilhelm Thorsteinsson’s second capelin trip of the year, and this was the first landing of capelin that has matured enough to be suitable for human consumption, so some of the catch can be wholefrozen. Everything landed to Síldarvinnslan’s plants up to now has been processed as fishmeal and fish oil.
According to Birkir Hreinsson, the weather hasn’t been ideal over the last few days.
‘Fishing has been best in the mornings and later n the day. The largest haul of this second trip of the year was 450 tonnes, and apart from that hauls have been around 100 tonnes. So it’s been steady. But the capelin are growing, so it can be processed for human consumption and part of this trip’s catch is being frozen.’
Image: Hákon Ernuson