The course of Fisheries as per week 19/2017

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

A low volume of sand eel last week, caused by stop in operations, - and – this season’s very first catch of North Sea herring registered.

Sand eel
Just 6.500 MT of sand eel were registered last week. Of this quantity 2.400 MT came from one Swedish and one Danish vessel. The reason behind such a low volume is that Norges Sildesalgslag on Wednesday stopped the catching of sand eel for reduction purposes. This stop was introduced as the sales situation for sand eel meant for meal and oil purposes was confusing, following the fact that the Norwegians buyer’s organization terminated the underlying agreement on Sunday 7th of May. Of last week’s volume, some 800 MT were sold for consumption purposes to Global/Egersund. A few buyers have indicated their limited interest for raw material for this purpose.
The catches taken by Nowegian vessels were caught at the West Bank. Today; 15th of May, a new advice is expected from the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) relative to sand eel. The fishermen are optimistic and hope for an increased quota. Of the original quota of 50.000 MT, some 10.000 MT remain. Of single vessels, seven vessels still have more than 500 MT left.
Today there will be a meeting between Norges Sildesalgslag and Sjømat Norge (buyer’s organization) in which the sales situation is the main topic. Hopefully the sales situation shortly will normalize, enabling vessels to resume their operations.

North Sea Herring
In addition to some smaller catches from Vågsøy Island in Sogn, “Svebas” has been in the area near Oseberg catching herring. On Friday, some 300 MT were registered having an average size of 159 g.
It has been a cool spring both in the air and in the sea. Thus, the fat content is still low. Analyses show that filets contained just 7 % fat, significantly lower than last year.
Another challenge is the amount of mixed-in mackerel. Following that catching of saithe along the coast also has observed unusual high levels of mixed-in mackerel, it is now also observed mackerel mingling in with the herring. Hopefully it will not be a severe problem in the forthcoming season.
Several vessels now report they are preparing for the herring.

Mackerel
Along the coast of Rogaland and Hordaland counties, the coastal fleet has penned-in some 30 MT of mackerel. This is fish being sold as fresh catch.
Sunny weather and more summerlike temperatures will have a positive effect on both fishing - and markets.

Blue whiting/Norway pout
From the “Edge” west of Karmøy Island, 700 MT of blue whiting were caught, and some 300 MT of Norway pout. The catches were delivered for reduction purposes in Egersund, mainly from vessels operating “combined”, i.e. also catching white fish.

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