Icelandic trawler smashes world earnings record Published: 28 March, 2007
AN Icelandic trawler has broken what is almost certainly a world earnings record with a catch worth 2.1million euros – or around £1,428,000 in sterling.
The remarkable feat, made possible by high fish prices, was achieved by the vessel Venus which recently returned from a highly successful trip to the Barents Sea.
The fishing trip took 34 days and the catch totalled around 1,000 tonnes of mainly cod. The Venus’s first mate Arnar Haukur Aeversson said: “It was a difficult, but very successful fishing trip.”
The crew are now enjoying a break in the Spanish sunshine while the Venus, owned by the fishing company HB Grandi, is laid up in a shipyard undergoing an overhaul.
“We plan to use this opportunity to have some fun in Spain,” said Mr Aeversson. “And we have brought our wives of course.”
However, the Venus has not always been the toast of Iceland. Just over a year ago she was arrested by a Norwegian coastguard ship for alleged fishing irregularities. The skipper, who was fishing at Malangsgrunnen on the coast of Norway, had a licence to fish cod, but had no permission to catch other species. The coastguards alleged that the content of the catch contained both cod and other species. They said the Venus was arrested because in certain trawl nets the portion of other species was more than 50 per cent.
The vessel’s owner is one of the main fishing companies in Iceland and a leader in its field and manages the largest quota around the Icelandic coastline with a large fleet of vessels for catching a variety of groundfish and pelagic species.
HB Grandi said great emphasis was placed on using the latest advances in technology for fishing and processing. “We take great pride in the production of quality seafood products from the fresh clean waters around Iceland,” said a spokesman. “And we have respect for natural resources and the responsible use of fishing grounds. This gives the company the ability to plan and control its catches throughout the year and to ensure a stable supply to its customers.” HB Grandi has around 700 employees at sea and on land.
Management of the fishing grounds around Iceland is based on allocating a fixed share of the permitted catch of the various species to each vessel. The government, spearheaded by the Ministry of Fisheries, tries to ensure self-sustaining utilisation of the natural resources. It says all decisions are based on scientific criteria and the careful work of the Marine Research Institute.
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