The course of the Fisheries as per week 44/2012

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

The season's best week for herring in the north. Some mackerel and North Sea herring, but disappointing for the horse mackerel.

Atlanto Scandic herring
The season's best week for Atlanto Scandic herring totalling 36.900 MT registered for sale. 700 MT from foreign vessels. Day to day quantities show that the beginning of the week was the best part - and finally again on Sunday with the peak quantity of 10.300 MT.
The main catching has been performed in the area from 68° 40' N and 5° 50' E which is some 160 n.m. north west of the Lofotodden.  -During the weekend there has also been some catching further north east in an area 120 n.m. west-northwest of Vesterålen. A few catches also taken north of 72° N.
The herring taken at high seas is generally of good size; 280 -361 g. Average weight for the lot; 344 g.
The prices keep steady at a fairly high level. The best sizes from the biggest vessels get between NOK 6,54 and 7,11. The average price: NOK 6,91. The smaller herring from coastal areas get from NOK 4,69 to 5,65. The average here is NOK 5,00.
A lot of vessels are now heading northwards for the herring. But the weather forecast tells harsh weather in the week we are into which executively will hamper the activity.

The season is close to be terminated for the Nw vessels with just very few still left with quotas. As a total, 5.000 MT were registered last week of which 3.800 MT were from foreign vessels.
The mackerel for some weeks now staying inside the 12 miles borderline west of Shetland, is lately been seen migrating further westwards making it accessible to both Nw and Irish vessels. The use of purse seins is difficult in these waters being both shallow and exposed to harsh weather. The size of the mackerel west of Shetland is between 339-395 g. One catch from inside the zone was sized 410 g. The average for all these catches is 389 g. The prices are in a bracket between NOK 6,97 and 8,61, with an average of NOK 7,64.
In the week we are into just modest catches are expected.

 North Sea herring
Several vessels with quotas left have been after the North Sea herring inside the Nw zone. As a total, 4.800 MT are registered last week . Just modest quantities are reported from the Nw zone and by the beginning of the week the catching was performed close to the EU borderline at 58° 30' N. Later the fleet spread east towards the Utsiragrunnen. The herring is fairly small; 137 -180 g - the main part being 150 g. The herring is sold to both Danish and Nw buyers at prices from NOK 4,40 to 5,30. The average price; NOK 4,81.
Hopefully the herring later this season will move further east into Nw waters enabling the remaining quantities of 42.000 MT to be caught. Also better sized herring will hopefully improve markets possibilities.

Horse mackerel
The expected better catches during the full moon failed. Just 1.000 MT from 30 vessels prove this fact. So far there have just been a few observations of horse mackerel in the North Sea and just 3.300 MT are registered all together. The prices last week: just above NOK 7,00.
The main part of vessels having been chasing the "horse" lately, are now changing their focus in direction of herring - either in the North Sea or even further north for the Atlanto Scandic herring. However, a few stay behind still hoping to get the horse.

Ocean sprat
Also this week some vessels have been trawling for the sprat in the southern part of the North Sea. Four catches were registered totalling 1.270 MT. The sprat is sold for reduction purposes and sold at approx. NOK 2,50.
Some activity is expected also into this week.

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