ICELAND - The Icelandic fleet started its deep sea redfish season on 10 May and there were eight trawlers on the Reykjanes Ridge as the season opened.
There were another twenty foreign vessels outside the 200-mile limit, most of them from Russia. The season has certainly got off to a slow start and according to Therney RE’s skipper Kristinn Gestsson, catches have been exceptionally poor so far.
"We were here as soon as we were allowed to start fishing and started alongside the foreign trawlers outside the 200-mile line. The catches were poor and the redfish were small. Then we shifted 15-20 miles inside the line and were getting some good quality deep redfish, but still in small amounts. We stayed there for a few days. Catches were from five to ten tonnes per day, which means 200-300kg per towing hour," Kristinn Gestsson said, adding that he has now taken Therney onto home grounds to wait for catch rates on the Reykjanes Ridge to improve.
There are now only four Icelandic trawlers fishing inside the line, including HB Grandi’s Örfirisey RE, and others are waiting for an improvement in the fishing.
Last year’s season was very different when there was heavy fishing right from the very first day and he said that last year it took around two weeks to take their quota.
If fishing does not improve, then it can be expected that the trawlers will have to keep fishing past Seamen’s Day. Therney and Örfirisey will take the company’s quota this year and each of them has a 900 tonne allocation for the season.
TheFishSite News Desk