The course of Fisheries as per week 48/2015

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

Lower volumes last week. The "horse" is still absent 

Mackerel
Two vessels from Shetland and one Nw trawler have contributed with respectively 2.850 MT and 550 MT. Thus last week's mackerel volume aggregated to just 3.400 MT. This is by far the lowest volume since the start of the season in September.
The foreign vessels got their catch inside the 12 mile zone west of Shetland, while "Gollenes" operated in waters between the Orkneys and Shetland. The average size was between 369 and 405 g. In following weeks just modest quantities are expected.

Atlanto Scandic herring
Also for the Atlanto Scandic herring there were low volumes last week; 7.300 MT as a total. The size of the herring was as previously seen, fairly big; average weight from 341-380 g, with a total at 359 g. Further south (Trøndelag) the size was 170-190 g. The demand for herring is still good and the prices are as a consequence high.

North Sea herring
A difficult week for the North Sea herring, just 3.000 MT were registered. - Harsh weather being one reason, another is the herring being "scattered" around and hardly available by net. 50% of last week's volume was taken by trawlers.
As in previous weeks, the EU zone has been the main area for operations. More than 2.500 MT were caught in this zone from areas north of Fladen to west of Frigg.
The size varies quite a bit, from 130 g - 180 g. Total average; 161 g. This is far smaller herring than observed by end of October when the average weight was more than 200 g.
Despite less herring, the market is good and we have to go back to last summer's matjes season to get better prices!
There is still some 19.000 MT left of the quota, including the flex. part. The challenge is that parts of this volume have to be taken in the Nw zone.

Horse mackerel
A couple of vessels are still patient and have been chasing the "horse" for some weeks. When suddenly luck strike, the optimism also reached vessels at port. Some 35 vessels set sails for the fields south west of Egersund.
The result, however; close to zero. 85 MT from four vessels. During the weekend there were no operations due to the weather. If this is the bottom line of this year's season is hard to say. There is a new moon by 11th of December and history tells that the last date for catching horse mackerel in the North Sea was by 10th of December in 2002.

Industrial species
Last week we registered higher volumes of blue whiting than what has been registered previously this season; 1.100 MT. For Norway pout where the catching has been terminated in the EU zone, 1.200 MT were registered.
From a Danish vessel 800 MT of ocean sprat and 100 MT of anchovy were reported. 

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