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HB Grandi's Mackerel Quota Almost Caught

Sustainability Politics +2 more

ICELAND - There are 2000 tonnes left of HB Grandis mackerel quota. The fishing has slowed down considerably, though it has been possible to land some respectable catches, but the crews have had to work for it.

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As long as the fishing does not worsen any more, it should be possible to finish the quota in the next few days, leaving HB Grandis pelagic vessels to turn to the herring fishery instead. The company still has 11,500 tonnes of its Atlanto-Scandian herring quota to catch this season.

When HB Grandi spoke to Albert Sveinsson, skipper on Faxi RE, he had just shot away their pelagic trawl for the third tow of the trip. They had taken around 230 tonnes of herring and mackerel during the night, finishing with a 100 tonne mackerel haul around midday. Faxi was fishing in the Little Deeps, where a large number of vessels are searching and fishing for mackerel, according to Albert Sveinsson, although he said that conditions are difficult.

"The trawlers are all here as well looking for mackerel after the fishing dropped off further west, and including the pelagic boats, there are at least twenty ships fishing on mackerel here, although they are spread over quite a wide area. A good deal of time has gone into searching for mackerel in catchable quantities. The marks are small and skippers have been shooting on marks and getting nothing at all. The fish have certainly moved to some extent out of the EEZ and it has become a race to catch the quota before its too late," he said, commenting that so far there are only a few pelagic vessels on herring.

There is some herring by-catch with the mackerel, and it has to be kept in mind that some mackerel quota needs to be kept back to cover the amounts of mackerel by-catch that is caught as part of the herring fishery when that gets going properly.