Sturla leaves the Westman Islands for its new home
Sturla GK-12 (ex-Vestmannaey) leaving the Westman Islands in its new company colours. Image: Síldarvinnslan/Guðmundur Alfreðsson

Sturla leaves the Westman Islands for its new home

One of the most successful trawlers in the Westman Islands has moved on to new owners.

Now owned by Grindavík company Thorbjörn, Sturla is the former Vestmannaey, built as one of a pair for Síldarvinnslan subsidiary Bergur-Huginn in 2007, and both have fished very successfully for the company for the last twelve years, until being replaced with new trawlers last year.

Sister vessel Bergey was sold last year to owners in Grundarfjörður in the west of Iceland, and is now Runólfur.

Now Vestmannaey, which was for a few months renamed Smáey, also has new owners and joins the Thorbjörn fleet.

Both trawlers were seen off by Magnús Kristinsson, who for many years ran Bergur-Huginn in the Westman Islands, both prior to the company’s acquisition by Síldarvinnslan and subsequently as it became part of a larger group.

He commented that these two trawlers will be missed.

‘They have performed outstandingly well and have certainly been lucky ships. I’m confident that they will continue to perform for their new owners, and I wish them the best of luck. I’m certain that these boats won’t let them down,’ he said.

Fishing has been slow for the whole of the Síldarvinnslan fleet due to Covid-19, including the new Bergey and Vestmannaey. Both landed full trips a week ago, and Vestmannaey remained tied up while Bergey spent a couple of days at sea for a 50 tonne landing last week. Both are now back at sea.

Bergur-Huginn’s manager Arnar Richardsson commented that there are hopes for overseas markets to pick up again, so that the trawlers can get back to their usual fishing patterns.