The matjes season in good progress, but close to end of season for sand eel.
Fairly good catches of coastal mackerel
North Sea herring
The matjes (herring) production in Egersund and Skagen has started and 5.700 MT were registered last week. The catching has mainly taken place in the EU zone at the northern edge of Fladen. The herring had a size of 135 -164 g. - Further north, at Oseberg, some catches have been registered with herring between 185 – 200g.
From the week’s volume of matjes, 4.500 MT are already on its way to the matjes “capital”; Egersund. Byers’ report that the quality so far is better this year than in 2010. The good quality has immediately been reflected in the prices to the fishermen. By the beginning of the week, due to low volumes, prices above NOK 14 were observed. During the weekend, the prices have been between 7 and 8 NOK even with a pressure at the production capacities following high volumes. In Denmark prices have been between NOK 8,60 and 10,97.
As a total, 25 vessels have participated in the matjes catching, and in the forthcoming week, it is expected that even more vessels will join. In case continuous good catches, it can be a challenge for the industry’s capacity to undertake the volumes. Several filet buyers are now looking for herring between 180-200 g, and will be ready this week. Hopefully the fleet will spread out and be more moderate in catching - considering the volumes.
From this year’s quota of 110.000 MT, only 4.800 MT remain. Last week 15 Norwegian vessels and one Danish reported 8.100 MT. 4.500 MT were caught in the Nw zone and 3.600 MT in the EU zone. The price for meal&oil production have been in the range from NOK 1,60 – NOK 1,74 One catch of 200 MT were sold for consumption purposes at NOK 2,- . Just modest volumes are expected in the forthcoming week.
Even if summer has taken a break along the coast, the mackerel catching has been of extraordinary nature. The fishermen observe more mackerel than for years. Totally the coastal vessels have reported 370 MT of mackerel (penned in). - “Gardar” caught 125 MT outside Værøy/Røst. Following such high volumes, difficulties are seen to sell all the mackerel as fresh. Two plants, Skude and Austevoll, have started freezing. Fairly good sized fish are paid by more than NOK 10,- to the fisherman.
A few vessels having left the sand eel fishing, have as an alternative gone for blue whiting at “the edge”. The hope was to get some blue whiting fit for consumption purposes. So far, reports tell that the fish is small with stomach content and just modest catching. On Sunday two minor catches were sold for meal&oil.
Bergen, 6th of June 2011