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.
Closing of certain areas up north hampered operations. Uneven for the North Sea herring - and no horse mackerel so far despite full moon on Monday.
Atlanto Scandic herring
Last week's volume was the lowest since the season started, with just 9.200 MT registered. Of this quantity close to 1.000 MT were herring being onboard frozen by two Russian vessels, - in addition to 220 MT from three Irish vessels.
As previously reported, the activity in terms of herring has been in the Norwegian Sea - and along the coast. The activity in open sea has been fairly moderate; just 6 Nw vessels reported 3.700 MT. The weight of the herring has been from 317 - 350 g.
It has been a challenge to find sufficient volumes of herring in the Troms fjords outside the area being closed near Kvaløya Island. In this area it was registered 4.000 MT last week. On Sunday a "caution area" around Lyngøya Island was declared, due to mixed in cod and saithe, - in addition to what already was a closed area for fishing herring.
The size of this herring has been in the range from 294 to 391g at the best. In some catches the share of grade 1 herring (> 350 g) was observed to be as much as 90 %.
From the coast of Trøndelag the coastal fleet got 250 MT. This herring had as size from 200 - 230 g.
The market is still good for the Atlanto Scandic herring and thus the prices keep a steady high level.
Hopefully there soon will be more herring to approach coastal waters, reducing the mixed in part of white fish species, - with possible reopening of the areas closed at present.
A lower volume also for the mackerel. Ten vessels reported last week 6.700 MT. The main part, 6.100 MT came from foreign vessels, while three Nw vessels contributed with 600 MT.
The mackerel catches have been taken in the vicinity of Fair Isle south of Shetland. Periodically the observations indicate a lot of mackerel.
The average size has been somewhat smaller last week; from 352 to 395 g at the highest. The average size; 375 g.
North Sea herring
Great efforts from numerous vessels gave this season's highest quantity for a week; 11.900 MT were registered. To illustrate the efforts; 35 vessels participated with altogether 43 reported catches.
The fishing has been very uneven throughout the week, with catches from 900 MT at the highest by the Shetland trawler Serene, to just 20 MT in the low end of the scale. The herring is wide spread, and also size is highly variable. Some registrations indicate 223 g, and others just 132 g.
The operations have been carried out in EU waters in two areas. The main area has been southeast of Shetland at "Bressay Bank". Further south the activity has taken place north east of Newcastle. From this area it is still reported roe and milt, what is quite unusual at this part of the year.
Still some vessels have quotas left. Thus it is still expected to be some activity in the week to come. Hopefully the herring will stick more together, - and that the low pressures moving in from west are not hampering activities too much.
Following the full moon on Monday, expectations are at present for better outcome in terms of horse mackerel. Better results at the traditional fields are being hoped for. Some 15 vessels have during the weekend been in search, but no success so far.
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.