The North Sea herring fisheries well started, Norway pout towards an end, and in the north; first catch of mackerel.
North Sea Herring
Following a rather modest start, the catch results improved last week and reached a total of 7.700 MT. Of this quantity 4.300 MT have been displayed (for matjes) in Egersund while the remaining part was sold for filet production.
On Tuesday the first catches were displayed. The herring was skinny, however, and not fit for matjes production - and hence sold for filets. Later in the week, the fleet moved north and found some better sized fish also being more fatty - and matjes production got started.
The prices for matjes varied from NOK 4,95 to 9,17 at the best. For filets the prices are from minimum NOK 4,50 to 5,26. As a consequence of small differences price wise, some fishermen tend rather to go for the filets. The demand for filet is good from about 10 plants in Norway, Denmark and Scotland.
The main part of North Sea Herring has been caught to the west inside the EU zone between “Fladen” and “Forty Miles”, southeast of Shetland. There are good observations in the area and the vessels have in general got their catches already during their first day of operation. During the weekend the strong northerly wind has hampered the catching in the Nw zone north of 60° N.
The season for Norway pout is near to be closed with just 10 % left of the quota. Last week 11 vessels reported their catches and as a total 4.800 MT were registered. Of this quantity 800 MT were taken in the EU zone after drawing lots among the vessels. In general the catching has not been too good, but some found their luck, especially at the “West bank”.
The main part of the catches has been sold on contract at around NOK 2,- For catches preferring the auction and choosing a wide bid area, the top price was NOK 2,36. In the forthcoming week just a few vessels are expected to continue, some saying there might be an extended vessel quota coming up.
Following last week’s splendid weather, the catching of mackerel improved significantly in the southern part. In addition the first catches were reported in the north. There is almost no interest in freezing this southern mackerel now and the catches are sold as fresh at prices just above NOK 15,- By the end of the week still 160 MT were penned-in and unsold. In the north the mackerel is sold for freezing at prices between NOK 7,75 – 9. Average size is about 490 g.