The course of the Fisheries as per week 9/2014

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

Blue whiting fisheries hampered by storm. Capelin roe maturation in progress in the Barents Sea.

Blue whiting

The best week this season despite long periods with stormy weather. From international waters a grand total of 29.500 MT blue whiting were registered last week. Several vessels have participated and 18 vessels have reported their catches.
The catching has been performed in different areas inside a distance of 300 n.m. from the southernmost (50°N) to the northernmost (55°N) field. The main volume have been taken between 51°N and 52°N, being straight west of the southern peak of Ireland.
As mentioned, the weather conditions have been difficult with low pressures frequently passing the areas west of Ireland. In the short "windows" in-between, the challenge has been a high number of vessels very close in the same area, - both Norwegian and Russian vessels. In addition it has been difficult to hit the "strips" of blue whiting. Several vessels have been delivering without having been fully loaded.
The main part (27.000 MT) is sold for reduction purposes. Both Norwegian, Danish and one Irish producer have been buying. The price for meal&oil has been between NOK 1,38 and 1,64.
For consumption purposes in Killybegs 4 catches have been sold amounting to 2.500 MT at prices from NOK 1,77 - 1,88. The average size has been varying from 129 g in the lower end to 170 g at the best. The better sized blue whiting is taken in northern areas.
During the forthcoming week there will also be high activity. Hopefully the weather will calm a bit and blue whiting being still available.


In the Barents Sea the activity has been modest with just 9 catches amounting to 3.500 MT. The capelin is from the southern edge of the North Cape Bank and further southwest towards an area off Ingøy Island and Hjelmsøya Island in the western part of Finnmark County.
The capelin has been fairly small with mixed sizes in a range between 47-54 pcs/kg. This is not the optimal size for the Japanese market being the most important for consumption purposes. The roe maturation is varying between 10 and 15 %, based on on board samples. Some buyers report of capelin having already 17 %.
Last week's catches were sold for consumption purposes and the price varies from NOK 1,81 to 2,04 at the most.
A vessel shooting her trawl for capelin east of Vardø town, got 140 MT of herring in the haul. The herring had an average size of 150 g.
Following the roe maturation observed over the last days, more vessels will now be joining in for the capelin.

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