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Commercial Fishing



Saithe scarce for Icelandic fishing trawler. The Icelandic fishing vessel, Akurey, operated by HB Grandi, has just completed a challenging fishing trip with a scarcity of saithe and a storm all contributing to the unpredictability that is the hallmark of fishing.

‘It hasn’t been an easy trip, although we can say that when the weather has been decent, so has the fishing.Right now it’s blowing hard, a real storm, and we’re dodging here in the Skerja Deeps and hoping we’ll manage one more haul before we head for port,’ said Akurey’s skipper Eiríkur Jónsson.

‘There was already 120 tonnes of mixed fish on board, although the trip’s allocation of saithe was missing.

‘The first day was quiet and since then there has been reasonable fishing. We’ve put the effort into finding saithe, but have hardly seen any this trip. In general, fishing for saithe has been fine, but it can be very patchy. If you’re not in just the right place, then there’s not much saithe to be had, and then there are times when you’re getting saithe day after day,’ he said and added that it’s not just the saithe that takes you by surprise.

‘We have to get some cod as well, and the idea was to head for the Jökull Deeps where there has been heavy fishing for cod for weeks. But there was no cod to be had when we got there. The trawlers from the north coast have been fishing there and done well. Among others, the trawlers from Sauðárkrókur have been working from Grundarfjörður and the Eyjafjörður trawlers have also done well. The Westman Islands boats have been there regularly, although I haven’t seen any of the east coast trawlers down here off the south-west.’

According to Eiríkur Jónsson, although the Jökull Deeps let them down, there is still cod to be found. But not on the traditional spawning cod area on the Selvogur Bank where there’s little cod right now.

Fishing for golden redfish has been an important part of the fishing routine for the HB Grandi fresher trawlers, although he said that this has been on the back burner for Akurey’s crew this trip.

‘But we had a forty-minute tow for redfish in the Skerja Deeps and had 15 tonnes, but apart from that, golden redfish has just been a by-catch species for us,’ Eiríkur Jónsson said.