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.
Fishing Atlanto Scandic herring sets new records in the Norwegian Sea and up north.
As expected there were less mackerel last week, with the lowest weekly volume registered since the start of the main season early September. As a total 13.200 MT were registered. Of this quantity as much as 11.200 MT came from six foreign vessels. The remaining part was caught by five Nw vessels, of which "Fiskeskjær" set a new record with 1.400 MT alone.
All the mackerel has been caught in the EU zone, where vessels from Shetland have been operating close to their "home" both west and east of the isles. The Nw and Danish vessels caught the mackerel from 40 - 90 n.m. east of the Orkneys. From both fields it is reported good observations.
The size of the mackerel is in the range of 344-415 g, with an average at 377 g.
We still expect low volumes in the forthcoming week. Just a few vessels have any quota left. Also foreign vessels are getting closer to what is their limits volume vice.
Atlanto Scandic herring
Atlanto Scandic herring was registered by 16.600 MT last week. Half of this volume was taken in the Norwegian Sea. - The remaining part was taken in the fjords of northern Norway. In the Norwegian Sea the operations have been partly hampered by weather. In addition to the Nw vessels chasing herring northeast and north of 66° 30' (west off Træna islands); we have registered catches from the "Loop Sea" where two Danish and two Irish vessels have been catching.
From the Kaldfjord and other neighboring fjords it is reported herring periodically staying very deep being difficult to get by net. The volumes seem lower compared to last year, and the vessels have to try several times to get enough.
The size is however, good; group 1 (>350 g ) are dominating and the average weight lays at 362 g. - The demand is good for Atlanto Scandic herring and thus prices are record high. This year's max quantity is fast coming closer. Even taking into account the flex. part, just 26.000 MT or less remain.
In the forthcoming week the activity is expected to move more into the fjords.
North Sea herring
A difficult week behind us; 5.900 MT were reported. Of this quantity 5.000 MT were taken on Sunday. All catches, except one, were taken in the EU zone.
Early in the week the vessels were as far south as east of Newcastle, where it was difficult to get the right size. The fleet moved later northwards and when winds had calmed down, the catching resumed south of Bressey Bank 60 n.m. southeast of Shetland.
The herring from this area is varying in size from 134 to 183 g. This is an unusual difference size vice inside a limited area. The smallest herring having not the same market demand, are getting lower prices, leading to relatively big differences in the herring first hand prices.
Including the flex. part some 27.000 MT remain. The flex. part is not expected fully caught, so as a fact probably not more than 20.000 MT remain to be caught. The quota in the EU zone of 50.000 MT is expected to be increased to 60.000 MT in the near future in reference to an agreement made with EU.
Blue whiting/Norway pout/ Ocean sprat
Of this type of catching just 200 MT of blue whiting were reported and 1.150 MT of Norway pout. At Fladen some 7 or 8 Nw vessels are looking for more Norway pout.
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.