The course of Fisheries as per week 3/2017

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

Good catching of herring during the weekend, and this year’s best week for mackerel.

Atlanto Scandic herring
An average week for the Atlanto Scandic herring with a total registration of 24.200 MT. Bad weather hampered the activities by mid-week. When again weather calmed, we got a good weekend with as much as 13.300 MT on Saturday and Sunday.
Of last week’s volume, coastal vessels had 15.800 MT, purse seiners 4.900 MT and trawlers 2.100 MT. In addition one foreign vessel brought 1.400 MT.
The catching has been performed in two main areas; in the fjords off Tromsø - and in open sea west of Røst Island.
Observations from the Tromsø fjords indicate that the herring is already on its move as sizes vary quite significantly. In addition the availability and catching are highly uneven from one hour to another. On Saturday there were also some catches off Botnhamn in Senja Island further south. Due to mixed in cod, the Directorate closed the Kaldfjorden for purse seiners on Friday.
At the field off the coast, there were 15 catches with altogether 8.300 MT. The main area for these operations was close to 60 n.m. west of Røst Island. From this field the fishermen report good observations. The challenge is that the herring behaves in a way making it difficult for both seine and trawl. The herring goes too deep for purse seine, and is vertically widespread for trawlers.
At Møre, from Hitra Island to Stadt, 9 catches were taken by coastal vessels amounting to 235 MT. This is local herring with a size from 185-230 g.

As we have seen over the last couple of weeks, the size up north is highly variable. The best sized herring; 359 g, was taken in open sea, while the smaller with an average of 240 g was taken in the fjords. From this area we also observe grade 4 herring (125-200 g) , - as much as 25 %. The estimated average was 319 g.
In the forthcoming week we shall see if it’s really due time for the herring to start its spawning migrations southwards. Dependent on the weather we still expect high activity in the week to come.

We had the best mackerel week since the turn of the year with a total of 21.000 MT registered. The catches, except one (“Magnarson”) with 930 MT, were all from foreign vessels. The vessels were from Sweden, Denmark, Scotland/Shetland and Ireland. Their catches represented high quantities; 640 MT in the lower end and 2.100 MT in the highest.
The catching has taken place north of the Hebrides, close to the smaller isles of Roan and Sula Sgeir. As previously seen this winter, there are good observations in these waters. The size varied from 350 - 410 g with an average at 371 g. Provided still activity in this area, we expect vessels to head for Norway to deliver their catches also in days to come.

Horse mackerel
From Sunnhordland (south part of Hordaland County) three catches were penned-in; 38 MT from smaller coastal vessels. The horse mackerel had a size of some 500 g.


North Sea herring
One vessel; “Ligrunn”, reported one catch of North Sea herring, taken by trawl in EU waters, southwest of Shetland.
The size was surprisingly small; 115-130 g. Accordingly the interest was limited for consumption purposes.

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