Fleet catches another record blue whiting haul – Fishupdate.com

Fleet catches another record blue whiting haul Published:  24 April, 2009

ONE of Iceland’s largest fishing companies has just completed another huge catch of blue whiting – a species becoming increasingly important for the economy of the Icelandic fishing industry.

HB Grand’s three pelagic trawlers have been fishing hard with 21,400 tonnes already landed in the expedition, but one of the ships, the Lundey has just brought in a further 1300 tonnes after fishing in the so-called grey zone between Britain and the Faroe Islands.

Three months ago the HB Grandi fleet had a highly successful blue whiting expedition off the West Coast of Ireland .

Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson, head of HB Grandi’s pelagic division said: ‘We have 1600 tonnes of this year’s blue whiting quota left but we can take 2000 tonnes from next year’s quota and intend to do that.’ Fishing was particularly strong over the Easter period

He said fishing had been strong on blue whiting but dropped off a few days earlier. However, it was only a temporary blip and the fleet was still fishing well in UK waters and the blue whiting is migrating northwards towards the Faroese zone where Icelandic vessels had access to the fishery.

Mr Vilhjálmsson said company chiefs were are working on what the pelagic vessels will be fishing on next, which is most likely to be Atlanto-Scandian herring when that season gets under way in June.

HB Grandi, which employs around 700 people, has a fleet of 12 large trawlers, including five freezers, three wetfish vessels and four pelagic vessels.