The course of the Fisheries as per week 23/2014

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

Top quality for the matjes herring, but difficult sales. Mackerel catching in northern waters in progress - less activity for the sandeel.

North Sea herring
Prior to the start of the season, the predictions told it to be a difficult season - and so it has been. The buyers' interest is limited; at the tele auction just five plants have been participating. A number of vessels have taken this into account and are fishing for meal&oil purposes. As a grand total 21.300 MT are registered, of which 6.500 MT have been sold for fileting, 10.700 MT for meal&oil and 4.100 MT for matjes including 1.200 MT sold in Denmark.
The quality of the herring is very good now and the buyers of matjes call the quality excellent. However it is uncertain how it further develops and there is a demand for less sized herring.
Even if catching and quality are good, the prices are less good. At the auction the price has been from NOK 3,00 - 3,65 of which some is herring for matjes production. At the matjes auctions the price was from NOK 3 - 5,03 in Norway and NOK 4,02 -4,62 in Denmark. For meal&oil the price was NOK 2,50. The catch areas for matjes are the Ling Bank, while the best filet herring is taken at Viking and Oseberg. In the forthcoming week the catching is expected still to be good and more plants will be producing filets.

Mackerel
Last week the mackerel catching got on. As the very first vessel; "Svebas" registered 85 MT on June the 2nd  from an area southwest of Værøy Island. Later during the week some vessels landing with net, got catches off Lofoten and Vesterålen. By the end of the week the fishing also started in the Vest fjord and on Saturday the first registrations came from Helligvær and Landegode. The fish is good sized; 400 - 505 g with an average at 479 g. The mackerel taken off Lofoten/Vesterålen had just moderate  stomach content, which is different from the mackerel taken in the Vest fjord.  So far two plants have started production, Lofoten Viking on Værøy and Norway Pelagic in Lødingen. The buyers report good quality. As a total 1.950 MT are registered from this area.
The prices vary from NOK 6,25 to NOK 8,01 with an average at NOK 7,85.
In the south some 220 MT are penned-in; 80 MT aimed for fresh sales and 140 MT to be frozen. The sale for freezing is easier than fish for fresh sales. Last week 50 MT were sold for fresh sales while 295 MT were unsold.

Sandeel
Last week the catching of sandeel was very moderate as expected. 8 catches were registered amounting to 3.500 MT. Last Sunday a "cautious" area was introduced at the West Bank and  later on expanded, but on this Sunday this precaution was instantly terminated. Of the total quota close to 13.000 MT remain.

Other industrial species
From the edge some industrial trawlers delivered 1.300 MT of blue whiting and some 600 MT of other industrial species.

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