Record year for Bergur-Huginn

Record year for Bergur-Huginn Bergur-Huginn’s trawler Bergey. Photo: Guðmundur Alfreðsson

Icelandic fishing company Bergur-Huginn is celebrating its 45th anniversary, as well as a record year for its two trawlers Bergey and Vestmannaey.

The company was established in 1972 in the Westmann Islands by the Huginn and Bergur fishing companies to order one of the first stern trawlers to be built for an Icelandic company. Vestmannaey was built in Japan, one of a series of trawlers for Icelandic companies, and was operated first as a fresher trawler before being converted to a factory vessel. The company subsequently changed course investing instead in smaller fresher trawlers and selling the factory vessel. The company was acquired by Síldarvinnslan in 2012.

2017 started with a seamen’s strike that continued for seven weeks of the year until the fleet was back at sea on the 19th of February. Both trawlers had a good winter season, making two or three landings each week until both were out of service for maintenance in the summer.

After a good summer’s fishing, the autumn months have seen slimmer pickings with both fishing off eastern Iceland. Bergey and Vestmannaey ended the year by docking in the Westmann Islands in mid-December to give their crews a well-deserved break.

The two trawlers between them landed 8575 tonnes of fish during 2017, with a catch value of around ISK 2 billion, and setting a record for the company. The previous company record was set in 2008 with 8493 tonnes, although then Begur-Huginn operated three trawlers. What makes this record more remarkable is that the trawlers have only been in operation for ten months of this year.

During 2017 longstanding manager Magnús Kristinsson retired after 44 years with the company and Arnar Richardsson took over.

The next chapter of the Bergur-Huginn story is the decision to order two new trawlers to replace Bergey and Vestmannaey, and the 28.95 by 12 metre newbuilds are part of a series being built at Aukra in Norway for owners in Iceland featuring twin-screw propulsion and a new generation of deck equipment.

The new Bergey and Vestmannaey are scheduled to be delivered in March and May 2019.

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