Fishing company generates 170 summer jobs from mackerel and herring catches –

Fishing company generates 170 summer jobs from mackerel and herring catches Published:  23 July, 2013

AN Icelandic fishing company says it is generating up to 170  summer jobs from mackerel and herring catches by its fishing fleet.

Fish production has started at HB Grandi’s Vopnafjördur factory following one of its trawlers, the Faxi RE, landing the first catch of the season. Within 24 hours the last fish had been frozen.

According to factory manager Magnús Róbertsson, production got off to a gradual start. He said: “We had everything ready for the start of the season, but experience told us that it always takes a little while to fine-tune the equipment to get full production.Iceland’s mackerel fishing has met with a hostile response from Norway and many EU countries, but given the extra economic activity it creates, it is easy to see why Reykjavik has so far refused to give up its controversial quota.

Mr Róbertsson revealed that between 160 and 170 extra staff were working at the pelagic factory over the summer. There are 80 permanent staff and the rest are students and part-time personnel who were working on a temporary basis. He said that a good number of local people who have moved away or those with local links seek out temporary work over the summer months and into the autumn. The company has three vessels fishing for herring and mackerel.

Meanwhile, two of HB Grandi’s three fresher trawlers have taken their mackerel quotas for the year. 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 after its second trip and landed roughly the same amount. Sturlaugur H. Böðvarsson AK is due to sail in the afternoon and is 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.