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.
Still good catching up north, extended quota for capelin, and the first vessel is heading for Iceland.
Atlanto Scandic herring
Another good week for the herring fisheries giving 31.100 MT of Atlanto Scandic herring divided on all types of vessels operating. As previously this winter, the catching has been carried out in fjords west of Kvaløy Island. Here as much as 13.800 MT were caught, and promising observations are still reported from this area. The remaining part was taken off Senja Island, further in Vesterålen and as far south as Værøy Island. Also in these areas it is reported to be a lot of herring now migrating southwards to spawn. The vessel "Havdrønn" operating further west, made good observation 75 n.m. west of Lofoten, but this herring was standing very deep and was not catchable by net.
The size of the herring is still fairly good from 280 - 350 g, with an average at 329 g, just marginally lower than what we saw one or two weeks ago. If we compare the Atlanto Scandic herring catching this year to last year, we can conclude that the volume this year is close to be doubled from 2015. The reason is to find in the prices, and we are in fact quickly getting close to having caught 50 % of this year's quota.
From eight foreign vessels (Scotland/Shetland) and one Norwegian, it was last week registered 11.300 MT of mackerel. The operations are performed northwest of the Hebrides, and from this area it is observed "fabulous" volumes of mackerel. The challenge is to localize a suitable volume before the trawl is launched. The size varies from 320 - 380 g. All catches are sold according to contracts and price is decided upon size/quality when delivered.
North Sea herring
Just a few vessels have set sail for catching North Sea herring in Skagerrak, and as a total 285 MT have been registered. In addition a penned-in catch of 50 MT was taken off Farsund.
From Skagerrak it is reported herring being quite widespread and difficult to catch by net. Trawlers got the best results. However, to use trawl, it is necessary to obtain a special permission.
From the Icelandic Marine Research, we on Friday got a recommendation of increasing the capelin quota (TAC) to 173.000 MT. Thus Norwegian fishermen get extended their quota being now 34.685 MT. How much it will increase depends on the "swap quantity" with EU, and EU will again make a swap towards Greenland. Norwegian authorities will work on this.
From the fields far west we during last week had contact with a Greenlandic vessel; "Polar Amaroq", catching close to 800 MT by trawl. The capelin has been widespread and difficult to get by net.
One Norwegian vessel, "Fiskebas" has set sail and is expected to be in the area on Tuesday. Following the extended quota signalized prior to the weekend, also Icelandic vessels are expected to head for the capelin field.
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.