The course of the Fisheries as per week 45/2014

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

This season's best week for Atlanto Scandic herring. The mackerel season towards an end - and still no horse mackerel.

Atlanto Scandic herring
This season's best week with 40.000 MT was registered in the auction journal. Of this volume 26.600 MT were taken by purse seiners, 8.600 MT by coastal vessels and 1.800 MT by trawlers. In addition three catches were registered from foreign vessels, amounting to 3.000 MT (Scottish, Swedish and Danish vessels).
The catching has been performed in two main areas. From the "Loop Sea" in the west and further northeast to some 70 n.m. west of the Lofoten Headland, 29.000 MT were caught. What is notable is that during the weekend herring has been caught at two extreme points keeping a distance of 250 n.m. from each other. From the fjords outside Troms County, mainly in the Kald Fjord, 11.000 MT were taken. The herring appears in this area somewhat earlier compared to last year.
The size of the herring caught in the Norwegian Sea had an average of 330-385 g, where the best size was taken southwest. The overall average was 354 g.
The prices kept steady at a fairly good level during the week with prices from NOK 5,25 to 6,36 for catches being  landed directly. The overall average was NOK 6,- or just below.
Following such a high weekly volume, the quotas are now diminishing. If all vessels now are catching their part + their flex. quota of 10 %, the potential for the Nw vessels is some 90.000 MT. As quotas will be reduced next season, a number of vessels though consider retaining some quota for 2015.  Further prices and availability of the herring will be part of such a decision.
In the forthcoming period we expect more of the smaller coastal vessels to participate in the Kald Fjord.  We also do hope that more foreign vessels will join.

Mackerel
Ever since the main season for mackerel started in September, last week represented the lowest volume with only 8.600 MT registered. Of this volume as much as 6.600 MT were landed by Irish boats and vessels from Shetland. Norwegian vessels landed the remaining part of 2.000 MT.
All catches were taken south and west of Shetland. The size was in the range of 330 -390 g and the auction prices were from NOK 7,61 to 9,02. The average price was at NOK 8,28.
In the forthcoming week just very modest volumes of mackerel are expected.

North Sea herring
At the main field north of Fladen in the EU zone, some 2.500 MT of herring have been caught. In addition 170 MT were caught in an area close to the Patch in Nw zone.
The size of the herring is by now smaller than was observed earlier in the season when the average size was at 200 g. The catches from last week had sizes between 169-192 g and an average at 182 g.
The North Sea herring prices have shown a nice increase during the period, and the range at the auctions last week was from NOK 3,70 -3,92 with an average at 3,84. Some vessels have still some quotas left.

Horse mackerel
A number of vessels intended utilizing the full moon days to chase the horse mackerel in the area west and southwest of Rogaland County. Until the stormy weather again took over by mid-week, no catches were registered of this unpredictable horse mackerel. By mid-week stormy weather forced vessels to go for other species or they  headed for a port.
Following next to no catches to report this autumn, 2014 will be a historic poor season when it comes to horse mackerel.

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