The course of fisheries as per week 2/2019

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

Still a lot of herring in Kvænangen and the Reisa Fjord. The availability of mackerel west of Shetland seems good.

Atlanto Scandic herring
As much as 23 000 MT were registered during the second week of the year. The operations are mainly performed by the coastal fleet. And, - with one small exception caught at Møre, the operations have been carried out in Kvænangen and the Reisa Fjord. The size has been as previously; from 180 to 257 g, balanced average at 241 g.
The plants up north are working hard, while the bigger vessels chose to deliver their catch at the west coast or even in Denmark.
The vessels operating in open sea observing bigger herring in the Norwegian Sea before Christmas, had no success and harsh weather forced them back to port. By the end of last week, a couple of vessels tried again, and we are told that good observations were made, but the herring stays very deep. Some vessels are also approaching the 69⁰ N, just off Bø in Vesterålen and are reporting observations. Hence, it now remains to be seen how long the herring still will stay in Kvænangen before starting its migration. At this time last year, the herring was leaving the fjords, leaving behind just very small herring.

Close to 12 000 MT of mackerel were registered last week. This volume was shared on 15 catches of which 10 were taken by Norwegian vessels; 4 900 MT altogether. Then 5 catches were taken by foreigners, some 7 700 MT. The activity has been performed west and northwest of Shetland, grids 42-50, 42-60 and 42-61. The size varies from 370 to 415 g, with a balanced average at 391 g.
The interest of Norwegian vessels to participate in the winter season for mackerel, is much higher than usual. It remains to be seen how this activity will influence the totality.

North Sea herring
The first week of January, 5 vessels headed for Skagerrak to look for North Sea herring. The outcome was modest, just close to 200 MT. Even if the weather was not bad, it is reported moderate observations so far.
One vessel has been into EU waters, in the neighborhood of Bressay Bank, grid 42-33, getting a catch of 430 MT. The size was from 125 – 138 g and was later delivered in Denmark.
In the outer Oslo Fjord, (Horten/Sandefjord area) one vessel got two catches being penned-in; 60 MT. The average size was 145 g and was sold to Sweden.

One catch of 345 MT was registered, and thereby the quota is fulfilled for sprat. Then next, we must wait until August when a new quota should be available. As may be known; the quota year for ocean sprat is from 1st of August till 31st of March.
Also, some coastal sprat was caught in the Oslo Fjord; 90 MT. The catches were delivered in Sweden. – Size; 42-45 pcs/kg.

Horse mackerel
At the coast there is some activity in the horse mackerel fishery. Last week, 11 vessels have taken altogether 13 catches, totaling 150 MT. The catches vary from 3 to 40 MT, and the size has been from 400 – 500 g. 5 catches were taken in the north part of the west coast, the remaining part, further south.

Blue whitingOne vessel has for some days been looking for blue whiting in Faroese waters, and another vessel just joined in. The reports tell of a moderate outcome, some 200 MT during 24 hrs. and less activity later in the week. The operations are carried out in a limited area and several vessels are operating, especially, - no surprise, vessels from the Faroe Isles.

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