The course of Fisheries as per week 21/2017

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

This season’s best week for sand eel. The North Sea herring season well started, and good results for mackerel in the south.

Sand eel
Last week came out as this year’s best week with a total of 25.400 MT of sand eel registered. The entire volume was taken by Norwegian vessels, and in periods the catching was very good.
The activity has mainly taken place in two areas. By the beginning of the week, the vessels were operating at Outer Shoal, - when “Gollesnes” was fully loaded in a short time at Inner Shoal on Thursday, the vessels headed southwest. During the weekend the vessels have been fishing at three different sand eel banks.
To regulate the deliveries in accordance with the capacity in the area Egersund – Ålesund, the vessels have been told to wait before a new turn. As several vessels now have fulfilled their quotas, the waiting time was reduced for larger catches on Sunday, from 48 to 24 hrs. If the fishing goes on by the same frequency, there will no need for further waiting in a short while.
Having a look at the quota status, we see that 87.400 MT have been caught from a total of 120.000 MT. Within a few weeks, the quota is likely to be filled.

North Sea Herring
In the North Sea herring fishery, the activity has increased, and 7.500 MT were registered last week. The very best day was on Thursday; Ascension Day. The activity has been at the west side of the Patch Bank, west-southwest of Karmøy Island. The reports tell of a good gathering of herring in periods.
The size of the herring has been very even; from 151-172 g. The average; 163 g.
So far the herring has been sold for filet production. Following an increasing fat percentage, we expect the matjes production shortly to start. On Sunday night, “Birkeland” reported 250 MT of herring to be displayed in Egersund, - however, the reactions from Dutch buyers in Egersund indicated still lack of fat content and “shape”. The herring was then fileted.
As the season has started, a new minimum price for North Sea herring was set, following the dynamic model, effective as from today; Monday 29th of May: NOK 2,98. Buyers wanting herring for filets, are looking for better sized herring than what was available last week. The ideal average should be some 200 g. This herring is normally available in the vicinity of Oseberg, but vessels operating here, have so far not made any promising observations. - We expect more vessels to join in during the forthcoming days.

As being normal by the end of May, and with somewhat more summerly temperatures, the mackerel is now more available along the west coast. The smaller coastal vessels have reported 207 MT of mackerel. Rogaland is the county having the best catches;156 MT were registered. - This mackerel will be sold as fresh catch. However, the market is not quite able to receive these volumes. Some of it will most likely be frozen.

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