Fishing for capelin has been patchy off the north of Iceland, with capelin only showing during daylight hours and the main migration yet to show itself. With the fishing concentrated on a small area, things can get tight.
Bjarni Ólafsson’s skipper Thorkell Pétursson commented that the fleet is at work 50-60 nautical miles north of Langanes in eastern Iceland.
‘We haven’t seen any really strong marks. So we’re shooting away on shadows. It’s variable how strong marks are, and they were decent yesterday, as both Börkur and Beitir had 500 tonnes. Mostly it’s around 600 tonnes for a day’s fishing,’ he said, adding that at this time of year there are only around six hours to make fishing count.
‘There’s something to be seen between 0930 and 1000 in the morning, through to 1530-1600. There’s hardly anything to be had after that. The capelin are pretty jumpy and not easy to get to them. You have to have found a mark and be ready to shoot on it in the morning. It’s also tight on this patch and we try to form a queue so we don’t get in each other’s way.’
He said that it’s clear the main capelin migration is yet to come.
‘That’s when the fun will start. But I’m not complaining. There’s nothing better than fishing for capelin and we’re happy to have the opportunity,’ Thorkell Pétursson said.
Busy days in the net loft
The present capelin season means that Egersund Ísland’s Eskifjörður net loft is buzzing with activity. There has been plenty to do overhauling purse seines, fixing new gear and providing ship services, and the outlook is that it’s going to stay that way for a while to come.
The net loft has supplied nine new capelin trawls, ten capelin codends and one purse seine, and the team in Eskifjörður have been able to call on support from the Egersund Group in Norway.
‘This shows how important it is for us and our customers to be able to call on co-operation with companies within the Egersund Group,’ said managing director Stefán B. Ingvarsson.
‘If it hadn’t been for this co-operation with partner companies inside the Egersund Group, we wouldn’t have been able to supply all the gear that’s needed.’
He commented that they have a great deal more to do in providing gear and services during the capelin season, in addition to a lot to be done in overhauling aquaculture cages and then preparing for the blue whiting and mackerel seasons that follow the capelin fishery next year.