The course of fisheries as per week 3/2018

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

Not a bad week – despite the herring stays deep.


Atlanto Scandic herring
The weather considered; we got a week being not too bad when it comes to Atlanto Scandic herring; 23.000 MT registered. Of this volume, as much as 17.800 MT was registered on Friday and Saturday.
The herring is still in the Norwegian Sea. Of last week’s volume, 21.900 MT were caught here. 12.000 MT were taken as far west as in the Loop Sea.
The remaining volume was taken in the Kaldfjorden, at the coast of Møre/Trøndelag, inside Lofoten and some 25 n.m. northwest of Torsvåg where three vessels got close to 600 MT.
The size of the herring taken far west was between 307-365 g, with an average at 350 g. This is an attractive size for skin free filets, i.e. if the fat content and quality are within what market demands. So far it is reported that the fat content is better than last year.
The herring staying closer to shore, is as previously reported, of smaller size. The herring taken northwest of Torsvåg, is from 195 to 230 g, and this is probably herring from Kvænangen now migrating southwards towards the spawning areas.
The fishermen report that the herring in open sea now is heading east, closer to the coast. The easterly catches have been taken some 60 n.m. northwest of Røst Island. The herring here tends to stay deep and widespread, making it difficult to get. Further west the herring is staying more together and as normal, it’s coming closer to surface during the night. It is said to be single catches reaching 1.100 MT.
In the forthcoming week, we expect the herring to reach the area near Træna/Myken islands, - and Røst, enabling more coastal vessels to join the operations. For purse seiners, we assume that some vessels now are prepared to focus on capelin.

The operations were early last week hampered by weather. The vessels got into operation on Wednesday and hence 13.200 MT were registered. The volume was shared by nine foreign vessels, (Scotland/Shetland), and three Norwegian vessels preferring to take all or part of their quota during winter.
Then operations have, as during the two preceding weeks, been carried out northwest of the Orkneys and partly north of the Hebrides. It is still reported high concentrations of mackerel in this area. - There is high activity; many vessels from a number of countries.
The average weight of the mackerel is varying from 345 to 413 g. As the buyers’ payment is based on the weight, the difference in price is significant, dependent on good sized or smaller sized mackerel in the catch.
The market is good worldwide, and both Scottish and Irish buyers are eager to get their hands on the mackerel. Norwegian buyers have a tradition for being competitive and are still hoping for some landings in weeks to come.

Horse mackerel
Seven different vessels registered horse mackerel last week. In the Hordaland/Rogaland areas, 83 MT were taken, - at Møre; 32 MT. In addition, one foreign vessel got 100 MT of horse mackerel when looking for mackerel.
The market is also good for horse mackerel.

Capelin/blue whiting
One vessel, “Endre Dyrøy” has gone west for the Icelandic capelin season. During the weekend, the vessel arrived and has observed capelin in different areas. The capelin stays deep however, and is difficult to get by purse. Hence the results are modest.
In the Barents Sea the season starts today, the 22nd of January. So far, no vessels are heading for the Barents Sea.
“Åkerøy”, which has been catching blue whiting in Faroese waters, is now heading for the blue whiting west of Ireland.  - Last year, we registered the very first catch of blue whiting from this area on the 6th of February.

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