Sigurður Óli Thórleifsson has been recruited from Ísfell, Mustad Autoline’s distributor in Iceland over the last five years, bringing with him extensive experience and a strong knowledge of the Mustad Autoline product range and market.
Things are already busy for the new company, and in Iceland hand-baiting is gradually giving way as coastal longliners increasingly switch to autolining. The new Icelandic branch is also serving the fleet in Greenland, where he sees scope for growth.
“There’s a similar development there with the coastal fleet becoming more automated, with a lot of interest from the West Greenland fishermen in Ilulissat and Nuuk,” he said.
The new company’s first complete new system to be delivered is to Greenlandic fisherman Jens Abbelsen, who has invested in a Handymag longline system.
“This is ideal for boats with limited deck space, as this uses one metre long magazines instead of the larger magazines the bigger longliners use. He should be able to work 8000-12,000 hooks per day. This is for both cod and Greenland halibut, and this system works like a dream on both.”
Following the change of ownership, Sigurður Óli Thórleifsson was quick to book space at the 2021 IceFish exhibition, where the company has had a presence for many years, up to now always represented by a local agent.
“This is our first time under the Mustad Autoline flag,” he said.
“For us this exhibition is important as it gives us an opportunity to meet satisfied customers and get their feedback – and that helps us to do better. Plus it provides a place to introduce innovations.”
He commented that the Mustad range of equipment, which has so far been hydraulic, is being re-engineered so that the company can also offer electric versions of its systems, with an electric line hauler soon to be ready for testing.
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