The course of the Fisheries as per week 2/2014

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

Herring catching in northern areas from west of Lofoten and into the fjords of Troms County. Mackerel delivered from foreign vessels, and at Iceland the catching of capelin has started - for Icelandic vessels.

Atlanto Scandic herring
Herring catching is the type of activity chosen by most pelagic vessels into 2014. Last week 29.000 MT were registered. Of this quantity 21.300 MT came from coastal vessels.
The catching has been performed in different areas; in the fjords of Troms west of Kvaløya island and also in the Malangen area where herring is again observed. It is several years since herring last time was observed in this area. At the western part of Vesterålen and Lofoten it has in periods been a good fishing. Vessels are now reporting that the herring is observed moving south to the spawning areas.
The size of the herring varies from 300 g to 353 g at the best. The herring inside the fjords tends to be the smallest. The average is 333 g.
Prices vary both in relation to size, quantity and bidding area. Penned-in herring is sold at NOK 4,10. Direct catches are sold at an average of NOK 5,06 with NOK 4,20 in the low end delivered up north and NOK 6 further south.
Following reduction of quotas, numerous smaller vessels have taken their quotas but in the forthcoming week there is still expected activity form all types of vessels.

Mackerel
From foreigners there has been registered 7.000 MT of mackerel from seven different vessels.  These are vessels both from Scotland, Shetland, Ireland and Denmark. The fishing is as it uses to be at this time of the year north of the Hebrides. A lot of mackerel is observed in this area and the challenge is to get a proper haul when there is a high density of fish.
The size has an average between 360-380 g. All catches are delivered under contracts and the price is set relative to size and quality.
From buyers' side it is reported to be a good global demand for mackerel.  It is however unfortunate that there is no bilateral agreement yet with EU to also enable Nw vessels to catch mackerel now.
It is expected to be more foreign deliveries in the forthcoming  week.

North Sea herring
Two trawlers have been operating in the North Sea getting altogether 640 MT of herring.
Two catches are taken at the Viking Bank with a size from 162-175 g and one catch was taken east of Frigg with smaller herring ; 140 g as an average. The market for North Sea herring is modest as there is still herring stored, and the herring is also being meagre at this time of the year.
Prices last week: NOK 3,14-3,42 delivered to Nw buyers.
From the Oslo Fjord a coastal vessel got 20 MT delivered to a Swedish buyer. 

Costal sprat
From the Horten/Tønsberg area 3 catches of good sized sprat were registered amounting to 60 MT.
Two of the catches were sold to Sweden and one to Norway.

Capelin
So far no Nw vessels are heading for Iceland and the capelin there. From Icelandic sources it is reported that the local vessels have commenced their fishing, but harsh weather has been hampering the activity  in periods. By Sunday night a handful of vessels were in position 60 n.m. north of Langanes trawling for capelin.  Catches up to 1.200 MT are reported.
Nw vessels are not allowed to use trawl in this fishing: Normally they have to wait until end of January when the capelin can be caught by net. Last year the first catch by a Nw vessel was on 19th of January.

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