The course of Fisheries as per week 49/ 2016

Published: by Roar Bjånesøy

Less Atlanto Scandic herring up north. Better for the North Sea herring and horse mackerel from Irish vessels.

Atlanto Scandic herring
As foreseen the volumes of Atlanto Scandic herring are getting lower; just 2.200 MT last week, the lowest volume registered this season. The entire volume was taken by costal vessels and 2.000 MT were caught in the fjords outside Tromsø.

The size varies from 300 - 372 g, with an average at 335 g. At the coast of Trøndelag 200 MT were caught with a size in the range from 200-230 g.
Observers' reports from the Troms fjords state significant lower volumes than what has been normal over the last couple of years. For some of the vessels this fact is hampering operations. Thus some of the vessels are now finishing, turning home.

In the forthcoming week the activity at the herring fields is expected to be even more moderate. Hopefully some herring may migrate from open sea towards the coast before the turn of the year, giving vessels being ready to operate in waters closer to shore an opportunity.

It should also be mentioned that there is good observations of herring in the Norwegian Sea north of the Faroe Isles. In this area good catches were taken by the beginning of the week, - during a short period. In which direction this herring intends to migrate preparing their spawning (late winter), is hard to tell. Hopefully data from research surveys in February may give an indication.

North Sea herring
When it comes to the North Sea herring, the volumes have increased compared to the previous two weeks. The grand total last week was 5.100 MT, of which 3.650 MT were caught in EU waters and 1.450 MT in the Norwegian zone.

In the EU area southeast of Shetland the size was in the range from 157 - 181 g.  There is a good market for this type of herring - being reflected in auction prices.
Lower activity is though expected in the week to come. Just a few vessels have still some quota left which has to be within 90 % of the grand quota if the remaining part shall be transfered onto 2017. Following the individual quota extension made by the Fishery's director on Monday last week, just 1.172 MT remain in these waters. The total quota was 60.000 MT.

Horse mackerel/mackerel
Two Irish vessels reported close to 600 MT of horse mackerel and 150 MT of mackerel last week. The horse mackerel was trawled west of the Orkneys, while the mackerel was taken west of Shetland. The weight of the mackerel was in the range from 270-295 g. Following a modest season for Nw vessels, the auction prices were good.

Two Nw vessels have been registering four penned-in catches; altogether 125 MT. The horse mackerel caught closer to shore is far better sized; some 500 g.

Coastal sprat
"Spjæringen Senior" has also last week been operating in the Oslo Fjord looking for sprat. The vessels got 25 MT of good sized sprat being delivered in Sweden. Average weight; 45 pcs/kg.

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