The course of the Fisheries as per week 6/2014

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

A lot of herring, but few vessels at Møre. Seasonal start for the capelin in the Barents Sea, but still nothing to be found at Iceland. From west there are deliveries of mackerel, while the vessels operating for blue whiting are hampered by strong winds.

Atlanto Scandic herring
Relatively few vessels in operation at the herring fields. Being early in the season while the herring is available at Møre, a weekly quantity of just 11.300 MT is fairly low. The main reason has to be found in low quotas, several vessels already finishing their quotas and a consequence of foreign vessels having no access to the Nw zone.
As mentioned above, the fishing is carried out off the Møre coast. The herring arrived early in these areas and it is periodically reported good observations of herring. The challenge is to find the "right accumulation" of herring to cast. The size is very even between 320-340 g. The roe is still hard and so far no spawning is reported.
The auction price had a small drop to an area between NOK 4,75 and 5,30. The week average; NOK 5,07. Still less vessels are expected to participate in the forthcoming week.

Mackerel
Last week as well the foreign vessels fishing mackerel had a good week. To Nw buyers there have been 8 different vessels landing their catch; - altogether 10.400 MT. The mackerel is no quickly migrating southwards. During the week it has moved from the field south west of the Hebrides to an area west of Ireland at 54° N.  The size is improving. By the start of the week the average was 360 g, while by the end of the week the size was 390 g. So far the foreign share of mackerel at the auction is 48.000 MT compared to 32.000 MT last year. Following a longer distance from the fields to deliveries in Norway, less volumes is expected in the forthcoming week.

Capelin
Both at Iceland and in the Barents Sea the vessels are chasing the capelin.
At Iceland with no results. In the beginning the fleet was quay side due to the weather. When the wind calmed down, 25 vessels set sail and was chasing the capelin. So far no capelin has been observed and fishermen's patience has been tested. Nw vessels can go on fishing until the 15th of February inside the Icelandic zone.
Icelandic vessels have been in operation in more shallow waters closer to the coast, south east of Iceland. Nw vessels have no access to these waters.

In the Barents Sea the first vessels hit capelin at the North Caper bank by mid-week. From this area it is reported 2.500 MT divided on 4 vessels. The catching was at its best by the beginning of the week and during the weekend just smaller catches were reported.
The size is fairly small; mixed catches at 53-55 pcs/kg. This is generally too small to be of good consumption quality.  Catches being sold for consumption purposes are sold at minimum prices or just above (NOK 1,80). One catch was sold for meal&oil.
Hopefully the vessels will get better sized capelin shortly for consumption purposes. From the Russian zone capelin is reported, but Nw vessels have no access to this area yet.

Blue whiting
Three vessels were heading for international waters and the blue whiting. Two vessels, "Eros" and "Birkeland" arrived during the weekend, but stormy weather hampered further operations. The weather forecast is not very favourable, - hence it is highly uncertain when operations may start. Last year the first blue whiting catch was reported on the 8th of February - from the EU zone. From the international zone the first catch registered was on the 14th of February.

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