The course of Fisheries as per week 22/2017

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

High “speed” in North Sea herring fisheries, and another good week for sand eel.

North Sea Herring
Last week there was a record high activity for the North Sea herring and more than 18.000 MT were registered. Most of the herring was fileted, but also the very first catches of herring to be produced as matjes herring, was delivered, - both in Norway and Denmark.
It is mainly at two fields the fishing has been performed; even if also some catches were taken between these fields. In the south, the fishing has been carried out at the Patch Bank and westwards towards the border of EU waters, while in the north, the activity has been at the Viking Bank. One Norwegian vessel has been into the EU zone, grid 4244, getting a catch of 265 MT - with size 153 g as an average.
The herring keeping matjes quality, was found in the southern area, but also herring to be fileted has its origin here. 11 catches have been displayed, but not all catches were accepted as matjes quality and was then fileted. The matjes quality has not yet reached its peak, but following good conditions of feed, improvement is expected shortly.
The good conditions led on Thursday night to 4.800 MT being caught during 24 hrs., - in fact too much for a single night auction. Next morning this was solved however, as all catches then were sold.
The size varies from 147 – 191 g, with an average at 167 g. From the southern field, the average was 156 g and from the northern part; 171 g.
In the forthcoming week, high activity is still expected and hopefully the matjes quality improves.

Sand eel
Last week came out with good conditions and results for the sand eel fisheries. Some 24. 000 MT were registered and the fish has been easily available; vessels have taken as much as they wanted in 24-48 hrs.
The fishing has mainly been performed at English Klondyke, but some catches came also from Inner Shoal. The sand eel has been of good quality, and less stomach content has made it possible to produce some of it for “consumption”. Eight vessels have still quota left, some just for another turn, others to share on still more turns. Again, there has been some waiting time at the plants; 48-72 hrs., but for fish taken during one day it has not been any problems.
As from Saturday, the waiting time of 24 hrs. for deliveries meant for meal&oil purposes, was abolished. As just a small number of vessels still have quotas left, the activity will be reduced in the forthcoming week.

Mackerel
Some 100 MT were penned-in last week on the south-west coast of Norway. The size of the fish varies from 360 -500 g, and all catches are intended to be sold as fresh catch. As mentioned, some 100 MT were caught, while just between 80 and 90 MT are sold. - Some 240 MT are now still being unsold.
In northern Norway, there has so far been no mackerel observations, most likely due to weather conditions. We are still waiting for the first observations to be reported from the Vestfjorden area, or elsewhere in this part of the country.
On Thursday, a new minimum price was set in agreement with Sjømat Norge (Norwegian Seafood Federations) for mackerel; 1,7 øre/g for fish above 200 g, and the price was made applicable as from Monday the 5th of June. For fish by smaller size, the price is not altered.

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