Varðin is a leading faroese provider of superior capelin, that is handled with the outmost care to ensure quality and freshness. Varðin deals in Icelandic capelin, not to be confused with the capelin stocks residing in in the Barents Sea.
Available forms: whole round
Freezing method: horizontal plate freezer
Gradings: females, males, mix
Roe content: 10% – 25%
Method of catch: seiner
Size (pcs/kg): 25-35, 30-40, 40-45, 46-50, 51-55, 56-60, 61-65
Packing (Blocks/carton): 2 x 14 kg
Fishing season: February
Gradings according to buyers specifications.
Capelin, also known as mallotus villosus, is a small forage fish of the smelt family. It travels in large shoals in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. The fish is well camouflaged with its olive-colored back which shade to silver on the sides. Males grow up to 20 cm, while females grow up to 25 cm.
Capelin is rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin A. The level of vitamins varies with the fat content of the fish.
Icelandic capelin matures in the ocean north of Iceland, around the edge of the continental shelf. They usually reach maturity in during spring in their 2 – 3 year. Once mature, the they migrate south to the plankton rich Icelandic waters.
There the capelin grows considerably by feeding on zooplankton. By October/November the capelin is fully grown and return to the waters north of Iceland. In January, this fraction of the stock goes on a on their final migration south to Iceland, where they will spawn along the southern and western coasts in February/March. The majority of them die as they beach them self’s while spawning.
The males have a mortality rate close to 100%. The eggs hatch and the larvae drift with the coastal to the sea north of Iceland and the cycle repeats its self.
Capelin is often processed into fishmeal and oils. It is also a quite popular in Japanese cuisine. The females are hung up to dry, then fried whole with its skin on and served as a snack. The capelin’s most priced asset is its roe, also known as masago in parts of Asia. Masago is a very sought after ingredient in the sushi industry. You might have seen it coating your maki rolls in sushi restaurants.
Capelin roe is also enjoyed as fine caviar in Russia and other Eastern European countries.