The course of the Fisheries as per week 42/2012

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

Difficult mackerel fishing and small sized fish. Good catching for Atlanto Scandic herring west off Lofoten. For the "horse"; great efforts and a poor yield.

Mackerel
A week with an uneven fishery and little fish available; only 27.000 MT of which vessels both from Denmark, Scotland/Shetland and Ireland have contributed with 17.100 MT.
For the Nw vessels the biggest mackerel has been inaccessible inside the 12 miles zone of Shetland. By the beginning of the week the vessels patrolled the borderline hoping to find some mackerel outside the border. As they did not observe any, the vessels moved SE of Shetland. In this area there was a good fishing and all the vessels got their catch. Friday was the best day; 4.700 MT for the Norwegians.
As mentioned, the size has been smaller outside the borderline. Average size for the Nw vessels is 350 g, being the lowest average this autumn.  For those fishing NW of Shetland - inside; the size is 403 g.
The prices reflect the small size; for Nw vessels the average price is NOK 6,91 with NOK 7,64 as a peak and NOK 5,55 as the lowest price. Foreign vessels delivering on contracts in Norway get of course better prices for bigger sized fish.
It is expected to be less mackerel in the forthcoming week. Just a few Nw vessels have still quotas left and several foreign vessels have as well finished their quotas.

Horse mackerel
Some 30 vessels have been chasing "the horse" last week in the traditional fields west and south-west of Rogaland county. So far a very poor yield; just 200 MT registered. The fishermen report of very modest observations and prices lie around NOK 7,- .
Hopefully the horse mackerel will appear in better quantities during the forthcoming week. As normal there are some expectations to the full moon next Monday.

Atlanto Scandic herring
Last week was this autumn's best so for the Atlanto Scandic herring with 27.100 MT registered. 1.400 MT was reported from a Greenland vessel and two Russian vessels with whole frozen herring.
The herring is caught over a huge area from the southern part of the Loop Sea (65°N) via 68° N 170 n.m. west off Lofoten to the zone around Spitsbergen as far north as 73°N 50' and 14°30' E. From time to time very good reporting is registered.  The last couple of days, also very good results are reported from off Lofoten. From the northern parts the herring spread out and the catching faded. 
Also last week coastal vessels were catching 200 g herring along the coast, totalling 1.250 MT.
The activity for herring  is very high in open sea with fish from 275-387 g.  Average; 355 g. The prices have been relatively high; NOK 7,25 as a peak and NOK 6,11 in the lower end. The smaller vessels got from NOK 3,50 to 4,61.
It is expected to be high activity also in the forthcoming week,  but the weather forecast is not the best. This will most likely hamper the catching.

Ocean sprat
Two vessels have been active in the southern part of the North Sea. Their catches were sold for reduction purposes.
Of the quota of 10.000 MT now 1/3 has been taken. Several trawlers are now heading for the sprat fields. Also when it comes to sprat, fishermen are hoping for the influence of the full moon.

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