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HB Grandi Reports Mackerel Gaining Weight Rapidly

ICELAND - HB Grandis pelagic vessels have been concentrating on mackerel recently, with excellent results.

The fish are smaller than they were at the same time last year, but are gaining weight rapidly and last week the fat content stood at well over 20 per cent.

Faxi RE was on fishing grounds north of Hvalbak, around 115 nautical miles from Vopnafjrdur when HB Grandi spoke to relief skipper Hjalti Einarsson as he was hauling the third tow of the trip. The previous two hauls had already yielded 290 tonnes, which is approaching the ideal landing of 350 to 400 tonnes for the processing plant at Vopnafjrdur.

"Fishing has been reasonable and were hoping to have this trip on board by this evening. We dont see too many marks for mackerel, but some of us are towing on no marks at all and still getting decent hauls. Were towing for a maximum of three and a half hours and a time and dont want to be going over four hours," Hjalti Einarsson.

Most of the pelagic fleet has been fishing for mackerel and only a few boats have been targeting herring. Faxis catch has been practically clean mackerel with a herring proportion of less than five per cent.

"The boats fishing herring are further to the north where the water temperature is lower and catches have been very variable. Herring is very difficult to fish when youre on your own as it takes time to find herring in worthwhile amounts," Hjalti Einarsson explained.

Ingunn AK is now on its way back to fishing grounds, while Lundey NS is alongside in Vopnafjrdur. Since the 24 July, 2800 tonnes of mostly mackerel have been landed at Vopnafjrdur. This week Lundey has made three landings while Faxi and Ingunn have each landed twice.

Lucy Towers

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