The course of Fisheries as per week 1/2016

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

A good start for the herring up north and promising observations of herring in the Norwegian Sea.  - Disappointing however, when it comes to ocean sprat in southern part of the North Sea. 

Atlanto Scandic herring
The first week of the New Year came out with a total volume of 25.900 MT. Of this quantity the coastal fleet delivered 22.300 MT, while the purse seiners had the remaining part; 3.600 MT.
The activity has been performed in the fjords off Tromsø and further south at the northwest side of Senja Island. So far there is no indications yet of herring migrating. The buyers report of good quality and fairly high fat percentage. The development of roe and milt is not yet significant.
As we also observed during last autumn, the size is good with weights between 290-355 g, with an average of 336 g in the northern part.
Before the weekend a common pelagic initiative ("Pelagisk Dugnad") urged the vessels heading north to look for herring in the Norwegian Sea on their route. Several observations were made, and on Sunday night a couple of vessels have come into operation some 90 n.m. west of Røst Island. It remains to be seen if the vessels are able to trace the herring until the spawning survey starts by early February.
The prices have been stable and fishermen's interest for participating is increasing. In the forthcoming week we accordingly expect more purse seiners to join.

Ocean sprat
The expectations were high when the season started for ocean sprat in the southern part of the North Sea. Unfortunately it has been a disappointing week resulting in just 1.900 MT registered. This volume was shared by 5 vessels with catches from 100 to 550 MT. Trawling has proven to give the best results.
The weather has in periods been harsh with lot of wind. Based on experience, the sprat is easier to get hold when the weather is calm. The operations have been carried out in well-known fields in the Dutch sector at 53°N 30'. One catch were sold for consumption purposes. - Both size and quality was acceptable to the buyer. The clue is to have a quick and short operation to keep the raw material fresh upon delivery! Other catches were sold for reduction purposes in Norway.
Some vessels have already concluded their sprat season. As per today there are still 18 vessels left in the southern part of the North Sea.

North Sea herring
10 vessels have during last week registered 4.200 MT of North Sea herring. All catches were taken in Nw zone in an area close to the Viking Bank. The average size was in the range from 146-165 g. All catches except one were sold for consumption purposes. The price has been somewhat lower than before Christmas.
In the forthcoming week the activity will be more moderate.

Following windy weather by turn of the year, foreign vessels came into operation by end of the week. 4 catches were registered last week amounting to 4.700 MT. The catches were taken west/northwest of the Orkneys and the size was from 340 - 355 g. The catches have been sold according to contracts in Norway. 

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