The course of fisheries as per week 2/2018
The second week of the year; - not the busiest in pelagic, and by the end of the week, harsh weather forced the fleet to port.
"Horse fever" among larger vessels, but strong winds hampered the fishing. - Less herring in the north.
As foreseen; the volume of Atlanto Scandic herring last week was reduced to a modest quantity of 10.500 MT. Most of this volume was taken by coastal vessels, but also purse seiners and a Scottish trawler took part.
Following less and smaller vessels in operation, just 2.100 MT came from the Norwegian Sea off Træna islands. 8.400 MT, - the remaining part, was caught in the fjords northwest of Tromsø city, - as previously, mostly in the Kaldfjord, but now also in the Kifjord and further north.
The herring has had more variations than earlier this autumn; 300 -390 g. The smallest herring is from the northern waters being grade 3; 200-299 g and grade 4; from 125-199 g. The average size was 340 g.
Due to a lower volume the prices rise. Penned-in herring from NOK 5 with NOK 5,95 at the peak. Direct delivery somewhat higher; NOK 6,05 to this season's highest price when NOK 7 was passed.
In the forthcoming week the activity will be further reduced.
Most vessels had given up the horse mackerel this season when vessels by accident hit this unpredictable fish in Skagerrak - and the "fever was on". As a grand total 6.100 MT were taken last week. The main quantity was taken from Skagerrak in east to the Ling bank in west. In addition 150 MT were taken along the Norwegian coast of Sogn and Møre by four coastal vessels.
As so often before, the catching has been hampered by strong southeast winds. On Wednesday it was a complete stop for the seiners. Another challenge is that the horse mackerel now is migrating towards EU waters. The speed is about 2 knots/h, and by Sunday night the first vessels were inside the zone chasing. The allowable quota in EU waters is just 3.500 MT and we know that catching is difficult in these waters. Following small volumes of horse mackerel globally available by this size, the auction prices have been good. The prices have been in the range from NOK 8,50 to NOK 10,64 as the peak. When a vessel gets more than 600 MT it goes without saying that this is representing a golden chance for vessel and crew.
In the forthcoming week high activity is still expected. Sunday night some 45 vessels were in operation. Hopefully there still will be some more catching when the wind shifts/calms - or if additional fish appears.
Just one catch, 800 MT from a Shetland trawler last week. The catch was taken west of Shetland with an average size of 380 g.
North Sea herring
A number of vessels have still quotas left and early last week 5.400 MT were registered. Following the widespread of "the horse fever" the activity for North Sea herring has been more moderate and during the weekend just 225 MT were registered. The main part was taken in the EU zone in an area southeast of Shetland - in addition to a few single catches in the Norwegian zone.
The size has been varying from 150 to 225 g. The smallest herring does not get the best price; - from NOK 4,- to NOK 5,14. On Friday the directorate altered the factor for catching in the EU zone: those still having quota left may catch 65 % more of the quota in these waters. This brings about a better opportunity for everyone to fulfil their quotas and to catch herring giving the best prices.
It is not expected high activity in this fishery before "the fever" cools a bit.
Norway pout/Blue whiting
From the Fladen in the EU zone 1.250 MT were caught by five vessels. The catches were sold for meal&oil purposes.
Strong winds hampered fishing operations.
High activity for the North Sea herring, while for Atlanto Scandic herring it is nearly over, - especially for the smaller vessels.
Record last week with more than 180 million individual herring being caught.
More than 37.000 MT of Atlanto Scandic herring last week - and some ocean sprat for consumption purposes.
Several challenges in the fisheries for Atlanto Scandic herring.
When weather conditions were not too severe last week; good results for Atlanto Scandic herring, - an increasing number of vessels into the North Sea herring fisheries, giving a better result, - and still some mackerel.