Icelandic boats face long hauls for blue whiting –

Icelandic boats face long hauls for blue whiting Published:  11 April, 2013

Around ten Icelandic pelagic vessels are currently searching for blue whiting in the Faroese zone, as well as a few Russians fishing further east.

‘Unfortunately things have been quiet so far. The blue whiting are spread out and all the way down to 300 fathoms. Just getting the trawl that deep takes half an hour and the same to haul it. So these are long hauls and we are being made to work for what we get,’ said Arnthór Hjörleifsson, skipper of Lundey NS on Wedenesday afternoon.

Lundey is around 100 nautical miles south-west of the Faroe Islands, on much the same fishing grounds as Ingunn AK and Faxi RE.

‘We can have twelve Icelandic boats fishing here in Faroese waters at a time, but we clearly haven’t reached the limit yet as one more arrived this morning,’ said Hjörleifsson.

He said that so far Lundey had around 1,000 tonnes on board and, although a good trip was 1,400 tonnes, they would probably be on their way to Vopnafjördur, a 30-hour steam from the fishing area.

The freshness of the catch is crucial to deciding the length of the trip. The state of the blue whiting is similar to what has been seen in this area in previous years at this time. Sizes are much the same as usual, although the fish appear to be relatively lean.