The course of the Fisheries as per week 8/2014

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

Far west the catching of blue whiting is good. At Iceland it paid off to "stay cool". Low activity for other types of fishing.

Blue whiting
Several vessels participated for blue whiting in international waters last week and the grand total came out with 25.600 MT. Periodically the fishing has been very good with short towing to fill the trawl bags. The challenge has been to get suitable hauls, combined with the many low pressures coming from west with strong winds at the fields. The operations have been carried out in different areas. By the beginning of the week, the vessels were far south (49 N 40') while the main fleet by the end of the week were operating some 100 n.m. further north. Also between these extremities blue whiting has been caught during the weekend.

Just one catch has been sold for consumption purposes at Killybegs, while the remaining part is sold at auction or via contracts for meal&oil purposes. Buyers are to be found both in Norway, Denmark and Ireland. The prices are between NOK 1,38 and 1,63 as the highest. Due to low global market prices for meal and oil, the prices are lower than last year when the blue whiting was paid by NOK 2,- in the same period.  The still uncertain situation concerning a bilateral agreement with EU leads vessels to fish when the blue whiting is available in international waters. In the forthcoming week more vessels will join, and if weather conditions are not hampering too much, it is still expected good catches.

At Iceland the capelin has been "absent". As the majority of vessels left Iceland and just 4 vessels stayed behind, the roomers told capelin was observed close to the coast north of the Saga Island. The first vessels arrived in this area on Wednesday, hit the capelin and started operating instantly. The quota factor was increased and Nw authorities tried to get a new prolongation of access to these waters. This was however, not accepted and the vessels went on catching until Saturday night.
As a grand total these 4 vessels got 5.900 MT in half a week. Having this good finishing, the results were good and patient waiting paid off.
The size of the herring has been between 47-51 pcs/kg and the roe maturation at 16 %. The  catches are sold to buyers at Iceland and in Norway with prices between NOK1,80 and 2,57. One catch was sold for meal&oil close to NOK 1,50.

In the Barents Sea the participation has been modest and just 5 vessels have got some catches last week. Grand total: 2.700 MT. The main reason for modest participation is that the capelin is still small (49-54 pcs/kg) and the roe maturation being just 10 %.
The catches are taken in an area close to the North Cape Bank. Russian sources tell of capelin in an area close to 71° N, 40°. From this area same size is reported as seen by the Nw vessels.
Last week's catches were sold for consumption purposes at prices very close to minimum price (NOK 1,80). On Friday an area north of the Magerøy Island was closed due to a high mix of cod.
It is not expected any higher activity in the forthcoming week. Hopefully better sized capelin will appear following a rising roe percentage making the capelin suitable for consumption purposes.

Atlanto Scandic herring
Low activity gave a modest result last week; 650 MT. This is a very small volume at this time of the year. Looking back at 2009 when the total quota was above 1 mill MT, we saw a weekly result of 35.000 MT in week no. 8!
The herring last week was taken off Sogn and the size is from 310-340 g with prices between NOK 4,44 and 4,87.
If there will be any herring in fjords of Rogaland county this year, remains to be seen. If so, local fishermen are ready. Last year there were just small quantities in these traditional Rogaland fishing areas,

As expected, not very much delivered from foreign vessels last week. "Research" alone landed 1.100 MT in Norway. Compared to 2013,  57.400 MT of foreign mackerel have been landed in Norway since the turn of the year. Last year the volume was some 33.000 MT. The difference may be explained by better market conditions and fishermen's hope for higher quotas.

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