The course of fisheries as per week 2/2018
The second week of the year; - not the busiest in pelagic, and by the end of the week, harsh weather forced the fleet to port.
Lower volumes last week. The "horse" is still absent
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.
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.
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.
Strong winds hampered fishing operations.
High activity for the North Sea herring, while for Atlanto Scandic herring it is nearly over, - especially for the smaller vessels.
Record last week with more than 180 million individual herring being caught.
More than 37.000 MT of Atlanto Scandic herring last week - and some ocean sprat for consumption purposes.
Several challenges in the fisheries for Atlanto Scandic herring.
When weather conditions were not too severe last week; good results for Atlanto Scandic herring, - an increasing number of vessels into the North Sea herring fisheries, giving a better result, - and still some mackerel.