Nearly all of Iceland’s pelagic trawlers are currently engaged in blue whiting fishing off the coast of the Faroe Islands, RÚV reports. Blue whiting fishing has been a real boon for the Icelandic fishing industry, following an unsuccessful capelin season.
According to information from the Directorate of Fisheries, almost 108,000 tons of blue whiting have been unloaded thus far this season. This total is expected to rise, as the catch taken in over Easter has not yet been added to it. It’s expected that the added catch will bring the catch total to 130,000 tons, which is half of Iceland’s blue whiting quota for the season. Several ships from other countries have also landed blue whiting around the Faroes in the last few weeks.
The blue whiting fishing season began at the start of April after Iceland came to an agreement with the Faroes about fishing in their coastal waters. There are eight Icelandic vessels fishing off of the southern Faroese coast right now and a handful of others are in the progress of unloading their catch or on their way back to Iceland now.
According to Bergur Einarsson, captain of the Hoffell from Fáskrúðsfjörður in the East Fjords, the blue whiting season is gaining steam, after a slow start. He said he was optimistic about the rest of the season and said it made a huge difference to be able to fish for blue whiting, since the capelin season was a failure. Many others in the fishing industry have seconded this, despite the fact that the blue whiting season never equals the capelin season.