STORMS HIT ICELANDIC FISHING FLEET ACTIVITY
‘We can’t complain over the fishing, when the weather has allowed us to work, ’ said Ævar Jóhannsson, skipper of Brim’s freezer trawler Örfirisey.
“The problem is there’s non-stop terrible weather. The most experienced guys on board don’t remember anything like it and I think I’m right in saying there have been fifty storm warnings so far since the beginning of the year.”
He said that Örfirisey sailed from Reykjavík on 2nd January.
‘We started fishing off the Westfjords and to begin with there was good fishing for saithe on the Hali grounds. We didn’t get to stay as long as we had expected and the weather forced us off. The fishing grounds off the east coast were the only place we could work, so that’s where we went, along with a lot of other trawlers. Fishing has been good, but the bulk of catches has been cod, which isn’t ideal for us,’ he said, adding that this brought their fishing there to an end.
He said that as there was a promising forecast for the south-west, that looked to be the best option.
‘When it came to it, the forecast didn’t turn out as predicted and for the second half of the trip we have been snatching spells when we can fish. Catches have been mainly redfish, with some saithe. There’s a lot of life in the sea, and we can see that the start of the winter season isn’t far off.’
He commented that the south-westerlies can be strong and tough to cope with.
‘As an example, we spent a whole four days dodging weather in Stakksfjörður, not far from Keflavík. A new depression every day and the heavy weather that goes with it isn’t the worst of it. The heavy seas are the worst part and the sea doesn’t have a chance to settle between the low-pressure systems. There has been a 9-10 metre wave height according to the weather buoy off Garðsskagi for a long time now and those are not conditions for fishing,’ Ævar Jóhannsson said.