View Full Version : Icelanders snap up mackerel quotas

Davie Tait
17th July 2013, 16:08

TWO of HB Grandi's three fresher trawlers have taken their mackerel quotas for the year after only two outings.
Otto N Thorláksson RE was first off the starting blocks and landed 130 tonnes of mackerel and herring in two trips. Ásbjörn RE docked at Akranes on Monday morning after its second trip and landed roughly the same amount. The third vessel, Sturlaugur H Böðvarsson AK, is also expected to take its allowance of mackerel in a couple of trips.

According to Ásbjörn's skipper Fridleifur Einarsson, the fishing went well. Their first few hauls were clean mackerel, after which there was a by-catch of Icelandic summer-spawning herring with it.

"At our furthest point we were 120 nautical miles west of Akranes. There were strong marks, but it wasn't easy to hit the mackerel without getting some herring with it as well. It seems that around 25-30% of our overall landings were herring," he said.

The HB Grandi freshers operate using a single Hampidjan Gloria 800 pelagic trawl that goes from one trawler to another. Fridleifur Einarsson said that mackerel makes an interesting week's change from their usual bottom trawling, after which there is a two week break as the quota for the rest of the year is adjusted.

According to Thröstur Reynisson, manager at HB Grandi's Akranes factory, there have been no problems with this year's mackerel production, other than grading out the herring by-catch.

"We have received 260 tonnes of mackerel and herring so far this summer. Both are wholefrozen here and our freezing capacity means that we can process 45-50 tonnes in a 10-12 hour shift," he said.