The course of Fisheries as per week 21/2016

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

Numerous vessels in operation, but the North Sea herring does not stick together - yet. Good results when it comes to mackerel in the south. 

North Sea herring
Additional vessels participating, gave the best week so far this season with 5.300 MT of North Sea herring. This volume was shared between 34 different vessels, a fact indicating that the fishery is not yet at its best.
By the beginning of the week harsh northerly winds hampered the activity, giving just modest results. As the winds calmed and summer entered the North Sea, the expectations increased. The herring was observed over a huge area, but the fish did not stick together which is not very beneficial for the results. However, this is not unusual this early in the season, and the conditions are expected to improve as we are entering June.
The vessels were divided between two areas; a northerly field in the vicinity of Oseberg where the herring has an average size of 170-195 g. Further south the operations have been in an area from Heimdal via "Koralbanken" and further south to the Ling bank. From the latter areas, the size is somewhat smaller from 117 to 180 g or less at the best.
All catches have been sold for consumption purposes in Norway to buyers from Egersund and up north to Harøysund. So far no vessels have been choosing the catch to be displayed in Egersund or Skagen.  The vessel "Slaatterøy" is expected to arrive in Skagen on Monday morning having 305 MT on board. It is reported a high demand for herring as the supplies so far have been low. Accordingly the auction prices are fairly high. The herring being delivered is fatty; samples proving as much as 19 %.
In the forthcoming week additional vessels are expected to join in heading for the North Sea. Hopefully there will be good conditions and also that vessels are spread to be able to supply buyers both with matjes and herring to be fileted.

Blue whiting
Last week came out with 3.500 MT, of this volume more than 2.000 MT were taken by the Faroese vessel "Jupiter" in Faroese waters. The remaining quantity was mainly taken at the "Edge" by ten different vessels. Most of these vessels are in for combined catching; both meal&oil purposes and white fish.

Operations along the coast
The summerly weather gave a boost to the mackerel fisheries along the coast from Rogaland to Sogn counties. The grand total was 154 MT last week. These were all catches meant for the fresh fish marked, but as high quantities were available, there is a certain "resistance" in the marked. Hopefully consumers soon will put mackerel at their menu as part of their feeling for summer!
Up north the fishing has not yet started, but reports say that the mackerel has been observed west off Lofoten. Vessels from the southern part of the county are now preparing for the mackerel and will soon be heading north.  - Last year the first catch was registered on June the 3rd.

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