The course of the Fisheries as per week 39/2013

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

The mackerel has a difficult spread and is hard to get. Good sized herring from a Greenland vessel
and improved outlook for Norway pout in the EU zone.

The mackerel catching has been difficult last week, the fish being unpredictable and during periods spread over huge areas. Despite this fact, this season's best week came up with 36.800 MT registered. Of this quantity more than 20.000 MT were caught on Tuesday and Wednesday. A great part of the purseiners has been in activity and 110 vessels have registered their catch during last week.
By the beginning of the week the catching took place in well known areas just north of 60° N, south west of Oseberg in the Nw zone. On the best days part of the fleet moved into the EU zone and catches were registered from both sides of the border line. The catches during the weekend is mainly taken in the EU zone, except a few catches taken some 60 n. miles west of Stadt. As already observed this autumn, the size is fairly small compared to previous years. Just 4 catches proved an average above 400 g,  - 420 g at the best. In the lower end; 290 g. The week's average; 367g.
As normal the prices are changing following the size of the fish. In the low end the price was NOK 7,- and at the best: NOK 10,49 giving a total average of NOK 8,87. Compared to last year during the same week, the price then was NOK 7,70 with an average weight of 400 g.
Referring to the total, the aggregated catch so far is 86.200 MT from a total quota of 163.154 MT (including the "flex quota"). Anticipating larger quotas in the year to come, it is expected that vessels will utilise the possibility represented by the "flex quotas". Some 10 purseiners and bigger coastal vessels have now finished their 2013 catching.

In the forthcoming week, the activity is still expected to be high. The hope is that the mackerel will concentrate enabling a more stable catching. Maybe the fish will start moving during night with the potential of night catching. By the end of the forthcoming week it is forecasted  stronger winds which might hamper the fishing.


Atlanto Scandic herring
A Greenland vessel reported last week a catch of 750 MT, taken by trawl in the Faroese zone. The herring was of very good size with an average of 386 g.  From the smaller vessels further north there is just three catches reported; 80 MT altogether. There have been just modest herring observations in the Lofoten area/ the Hadsel fjord last week.


Norway pout and blue whiting
From trawlers fishing these species, it is registered 1.850 MT of which Norway pout represents  1.340 MT. Catching along the edge from Egersund to Bømlo, gave mixed catches. In addition there are some good catches of Norway pout from the northern part of Fladen in the EU zone. All these catches have been sold to Norwegian meal&oil producers, and the prices have been varying between NOK 1,65 to NOK 2,33 dependent on species. Following good observations of Norway pout in the EU zone, some vessels have prepared themselves into this area.


Coastal sprat
This year's season has been at a historic low level. So far just 100 MT of sprat are reported. All catches are taken in the Sogne fjord.

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