The course of the Fisheries as per week 4/2013 (2)

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

Pelagic activity across huge areas last week. The capelin fishery in the Barents Sea is started and unusual good sized capelin at Iceland.  The Atlanto Scandic herring is on its way southwards for spawning, but less vessels were operating in the North Sea. Still good observations of mackerel far west and with good results.

Atlanto Scandic herring
Less vessels participated in catching Atlanto Scandic herring last week, thus the accumulated volume was lower than previous weeks: 25.000 MT.
The herring is now on its annual migration southwards along the coast of Norway and the southernmost catches were taken west of Rørvik. Fishing activity has been seen from Rørvik in the south and further north to an area west of Andøya Island.
The size is at an even level; 270-325 g with an average at 313 g. The prices are at an even level as well; from NOK 3,93 - 5,95 with an average of NOK 5,22.
Expectations are now linked to when the herring will appear at the traditional fields off Møre. While the purse seiners are busy hunting capelin, it is mostly the coastal fleet chasing the herring.

North Sea herring
Relatively few vessels were taking part in fishing North Sea herring last week and as a total 1.950 MT were reported from 10 vessels.
The catching has been carried out in the same area as previously, between the Viking bank and the Bergen bank at 60° N 30' just east of the EU zone borderline.
The herring is somewhat smaller now; from 140 - 193 g. The average: 158 g. With smaller herring, the portion of herring being less than 125 g, has increased. This again resulted in lower prices; from NOK 3,07 - 4,-  - with an average at NOK 3,67.
As a total so far this winter, close to 29.000 MT North Sea herring has been reported. This is an unusual high quantity at this time of the year. The main reason is uncertainties related to availability in the Nw zone, as the main part, following this year's regulations, has to be taken in Norwegian waters.
In the forthcoming week fairly low activity is expected.

Capelin at Iceland
Following promising observations and capelin of good size, several vessels headed for Iceland. As a total 15.800 MT were caught last week. Until last weekend when the high pressure faded over the Norwegian Sea, the conditions were optimal. Smooth sailing and catching over a short period of time, resulted in excellent quality.
The size was reported unusual big-sized; mixed at 35-39 pcs/kg. Thus the interest among the producers for consumptions purposes boosted. Norwegian buyers bought capelin at NOK 2,77 - 3,16.
During the weekend the weather was hampering the fishing and due to this fact, a few catches were landed in Iceland.

Capelin in the Barents Sea
The very first vessel was in position already upon start, Monday last week. Harsh weather, however, hampered the activity most of the week. Then more vessels joined, and on Friday the vessels got contact at 72°N 30', between the Tiddelybank and the Thor Iversen bank. However, the volumes observed and the size of the capelin was far from optimal.
On Saturday "Brennholm" registered better sized capelin (mix 42 pcs/kg) some 20 n.m. north of Sletnes. But the capelin disappeared and the hunting was resumed. Further north west (71° N 50' - E 29° 10') capelin was again observed.
As a total, three catches have been taken resulting in 3.600 MT sold for meal/oil purposes. These catches were sold to buyers in Denmark and the Faroe Isles at prices close to NOK 2,60. One catch (500 MT) were sold for consumption purposes at the same price level as was observed at Iceland.
Several vessels are now heading for the Barents Sea and high activity is expected in the forthcoming weeks.

The volume delivered by foreign vessels last week is the highest this season; 12.000 MT. The quantity is divided over 9 catches with "Voyager" taking the lead by 2.100 MT.
The mackerel is now moving southwards in its normal way and the catches were taken west of the Hebrides in the northern part to west of Northern Ireland further south during the weekend.  The reports tell of periodically high volumes available and the challenge is to make the hauls appropriate.
The size was between 391- 425 g and was sold according to contracts to Norwegian buyers.  The prices are set upon delivery based on size and quality.

Ocean sprat
Following the agreement with EU and regulations relative to ocean sprat, "Havdrønn" set course for the sprat in the southern part of the North Sea. After several days in this area, the fishing was closed resulting in just 135 MT. This catch was sold to be freezed.
From Horten community 23 MT of coastal sprat were reported.

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