There has been good fishing for herring on fishing grounds east of Iceland over the past few days, although bad weather has made it heavy going at times for the fleet.

‘Fishing for herring has been good since the start of the season. There is a lot to be seen and there appears to be a lot of herring on the move,’ said Theódór Thórðarson, skipper of HB Grandi’s pelagic vessel Venus as the their trip came to an end yesterday.

He commented that there has been poor weather all three days they have been fishing, with heavy seas and one day of storms.

‘We took five hauls and the catch is around 1000 tonnes. The herrings’ behaviour is such that they lie deeper during the day, down as far as 200 fathoms. When it gets towards dusk they rise up as far as 30 metres that’s when it’s easiest for us to handle them,’ Theódór Thórðarson said, adding that this is fine fish, with a 380 to 400 gramme average weight, and zero by-catch.

‘We’re into our third herring trip now and these last few days the herring have stayed further off. Where we end this trip was 130 nautical miles from Norðfjörður and I don’t expect to be in Vopnafjörður before eight tomorrow morning,’ he said.

Síldarvinnslan’s factories have been taking regular landings of Atlanto-Scandian herring, with Bjarni Ólafsson landing 930 tonnes before heading for a two-week refit in Akureyri, followed by Börkur with 1400 tonnes at the weekend.

Beitir is also about to land 1530 tonnes of herring caught 130 nautical miles offshore.

‘We caught our fish in five tows, all of them short,’ said mate Sigurður Valgeir Jóhannesson.

‘The smallest haul was 170 tonnes and this morning we had 480 tonnes in a tow from a fantastic mark of herring we came across. There’s a storm blowing out here now and we’re taking it slow to keep the catch in the best condition. The herring we have seen here is large, beautiful fish, real diamond herring,’

Source: Síldarvinnslan, HB Grandi