The course of Fisheries as per week 5/2016

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

High activity in Icelandic waters for capelin. 

Atlanto Scandic herring
As foreseen we got the lowest weekly volume registered last week, totaling 5.000 MT. Of this quantity, 2.000 MT were delivered by two foreign vessels.
The operations last week have been performed in an area from Skomvær and further north to the outer part of Andøya Island. It is quite unusual at this time of the year, to observe herring this far north, as by February one normally gets herring off Møre. Herring still being in northern waters has been confirmed by the vessels doing an Atlanto Scandic herring survey. On their way northwards, they did not they hit herring before being west off Brønnøysund. The size of the herring is still fairly good with weights from 310 - 347 g, with an average at 331 g.
In the forthcoming week we expect lower activity and tension is linked to how far south there will be catches.

Mackerel
Stormy weather causing vessels to stay in port, characterized the start of the week. But on Wednesday the activities were resumed. On Thursday onwards, twelve vessels reported 12.900 MT. Just one of these catches came from a Norwegian vessel, as the main part came from Scottish, Irish and Danish vessels.
The mackerel has over the last couple of weeks been found in huge quantities north and west of Butt of Lewis, the northern peak of the Hebrides. The catches last week came from this area, and according to the fishermen, the mackerel does not seem to be in a hurry to migrate further south towards Ireland.
The size has been somewhat better than seen over the last couple of weeks; best weight registered was 400 g, in the lower end; 360 g.
It is still expected to be landings of mackerel in the forthcoming week.

Capelin at Iceland
With several vessels taking part, the accumulated volume reported from Iceland last week reached 25.100 MT. Of this quantity the main part was taken during the weekend; 9.700 MT on Saturday and 11.700 MT on Sunday. The first catches were taken north of the Saga Island in the area near Grimsey Island. After starting with uneasy weather, the vessels coming from Norway hit capelin east of Iceland at the traditional fields. As weather improved, the herring became available for netting, and there were some fine catches on Thursday. Friday the weather again was hampering, but as soon as the winds calmed, the catching resumed successfully.
The size of the capelin was good; 37- 47 pcs/kg. The share of females is often decisive to number of capelin per kilo.
The capelin market for consumption purposes is good and just a tiny part was not sold for consumption purposes. Norwegian buyers from Skudesnes in south to Tromsø far north have been purchasing more than 60 % of last week's volume. The remaining part, except one catch being sold in Peterhead, was sold to Icelandic buyers at the northeast side of Iceland. Vessels crossing the Norwegian Sea, a distance exceeding 500 n.m., need in deed calm weather to be able keep the quality of the capelin intended for consumption.
As a total 55 vessels are no in operation, and of these vessels, 21 have already fulfilled their quotas. On Monday morning it was northeast winds hampering activity. Later this week the weather is expected to improve and hopefully the fishing will be good.

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