The course of the Fisheries as per week 24/2014

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

Weekly record for the North Sea herring - best week ever in our time.
Up north high activity and a mackerel record despite not very summery weather.

North Sea herring
Following a difficult market when it comes to herring for consumption purposes, several vessels have chosen alternatively to deliver their herring for reduction. This led to a record high quantity last week, amounting to 33.900 MT. Of this volume 22.900 MT were delivered for reduction purposes.  The remaining part (11.000 MT) was sold for consumption with two different "lines of destination":  - 4.700 MT of matjes herring displayed in Egersund and Denmark. For filet some 5.000 MT - also sold to Norwegian and Danish buyers.
The fishermen report observing a lot of herring in the North Sea and a number of very good hauls. Due to limited access to the EU zone, the vessels concentrate on getting their share in the Norwegian zone. The main part of these catches is taken just east of the mid line some 140 n.m. west of Egersund.
From the areas west of Oseberg the herring has disappeared and there was very little herring left to cover the demand for 220+  herring. Some single catches taken in the EU zone have proved the right size. And on Sunday the fleet struck this size at the Patch Bank.
The prices have been, as seen previously, rather low. For matjes; from NOK 3,12 - 4,77 at the best in Denmark. For filet from NOK 3,- to 3,28.
Due to the small volume of bigger sized herring, there was a marginal price rise towards the end of the week. For meal&oil the price was at the level of NOK 2,50. Some single catches got NOK 2,60.
In the forthcoming week high activity is still expected, but hardly at the level from last week. Hopefully there will be favourable access to both bigger and medium sized herring fit for filet production.

Mackerel
A fairly great number of vessels participating, resulted in a record high volume also when it comes to mackerel up north. 5.000 MT were registered. Some 3.800 MT have been taken by coastal vessels delivering their catches themselves, while 1.200 MT were delivered penned-in by the minor vessels.
The mackerel have been caught in the basin of the Vest Fjord from Helligvær in the southern part to an area near Stamsund in Lofoten north. - The size was in the range of 420-510 g and the average: 475 g.
Prices were between NOK 7,50 and 8,00. For the penned-in fish somewhat lower; NOK 6,31 to 7,65.
Even if it has been a good week volume vice, the weather has not been the best. Winds from north and low temperatures lead to "spreading out" the mackerel.  Hopefully the weather may change; sunshine and more summery temperatures would considerably improve the catching.

Sandeel
Another week with just moderate volumes registered;  5 vessels have caught 2.500 MT. Especially by the beginning of the week the catching was very moderate.  Later on it improved somewhat, but then on Sunday the winds from north appeared and hampered the catching. The catches last week were taken at Outer Shoal (Ytterbanken). - Prices; NOK 1,75.
Of the total quota some 10.000 MT remain. As the catching cease in a week's time, the conditions have to improve if the quota shall be fulfilled. Hopefully the wind will not be too difficult for the fishing activity.

Blue whiting/ Norway pout
From the Egersund Bank in the south via the Reef to the Easter part of Patch, 2.200 MT of blue whiting were caught. From the edge the search for Norway pout gave 900 MT.
Prices; from NOK 1,45 - 1,60.

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