The course of Fisheries as per week 2/2016

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

Still good catches of herring up north, but disappointing when it comes to ocean sprat in the North Sea. The mackerel season has started among foreign vessels - and also some North Sea herring was registered last week. 

Atlanto Scandic herring
Some 34.000 MT were registered last week. Last Sunday herring was observed in the Norwegian Sea west off Skomvær Island. On Tuesday and Wednesday 7 catches were registered amounting to 2.100 MT. The observations were promising, but the position of the herring was deep, making it difficult to catch by net or trawl. Later in the week, the weather got worse, and the last vessel leaving this area, reported the herring to be wide spread and heading off shore. Again it was mainly in the area off Tromsø where the catching was performed. Some good results were registered despite some windy weather.
The herring has started its migration following the fact of catches being taken outside Senja Island. Later during last week, there were also catches in the Andfjorden area.
- But still it seems to be plenty more left in the Trømsø district. Also off Vesterålen and north-northwest of Andenes, vessels are no in operation. The first catch in this area was reported on Wednesday. The fleet reports of herring being spread over a huge area.
The size varies from 300 - 350 g, with an average at 334 g. The size is much the same regardless what area it has been caught in. The prices are tending down a bit, but are still fairly high.

Ocean sprat
As also reported a week ago, the expectations were high when the season started for ocean sprat. So far it has, however, been a great disappointment.  Some 3.200 MT were registered last week. When adding this to the 1.900 MT from the previous week, 5.200 MT now have been taken from the 20.000 MT total quota. If the catching is not shortly improved, some 15.000 MT will remain to be caught next autumn.

Mackerel
Foreign vessels' catching of mackerel has started, and 12.000 MT were reported to be delivered in Norway. This volume is to be divided on 10 different catches, every catch being taken northwest of the Hebrides, grid 4263. The size varies from 340 - 391 g with an average at 362 g.

North Sea herring
Two catches of North Sea herring were taken last week, amounting to 540 MT. Both catches were caught in the Nw zone, in the vicinity of Frigg and Heimdal, grid 0855. The size varies a great deal; average from 116 -156 g. Both catches were sold to Denmark.
Four vessels were last week heading for Skagerrak. So far no herring has been observed, and two vessels have already decided to leave the field.

Other species
One catch of horse mackerel (50 MT) was taken at Viking. The average size was 377 g and the catching was made by trawl.
Otherwise, there has been a low activity for industrial species, just 360 MT of Norway pout being registered.
In the forthcoming week, the catching of Atlanto Scandic herring is still expected to be good, but as migration has started, the catching areas will change in days to come.
It is also expected to be a good week for the foreign vessels hunting mackerel. Perhaps also some catches are to be made by Norwegian vessels as well? 

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