The course of Fisheries as per week 23/2017

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

The sand eel quota is taken, - the best week this season for North Sea herring, - and still no mackerel up north. 

North Sea Herring
Following a high number of vessels in operation, we got this season’s best week amounting a total of 19.700 MT registered. This volume was taken by 67 different vessels, both smaller coastal boats and trawlers/purse seiners. The weekend was the very best; 8.800 MT during 48 hrs.
The activity has mainly been performed in two areas in Norwegian waters, with one field in the vicinity of Oseberg, and another at the west side of the Patch Bank. From the EU zone, there was just three catches totaling 550 MT.
Despite the best week this year volume vice, the catching is not at its best as the herring both is widespread and goes deep. There has been plenty of small casts. On Sunday night, the herring was gathering at the Oseberg field and better casts were made. Hopefully this indicates an improvement.
From the northern areas, the herring size is in the range from 175-200 g. This herring is used for fileting, -the bigger the better when it comes to price in the auction.
From the area further south, the size is in the range from 150-175 g, and this herring is also the right size for matjes production. All buyers producing matjes are now ready, and according to buyers, the quality is improving.
Some vessels, in particular smaller coastal boats, have now finished their quota, but new boats are joining, and we expect still high activity at the herring fisheries in the forthcoming week.

Sand eel
With a volume last week of 7.800 MT, and “Odd Lundberg” with the remaining quantity well on board, the sand eel quota of 2017 (120.000 MT) is now all taken. For those having been operating last week, the week came out as very good and the activity was shared on two areas; Klondyke, 75 n.m. southwest of Egersund, - and Inner Shoal some 120 n.m. off Egersund.
It is highly positive that we since the 20th of April when “Sille Marie” reported this year’s first catch, the entire quota now has been taken. - Also in consideration of limited receiving capacity and a difficult situation related to price, as the fishing was stopped for a couple of days. It is also very positive that the sand eel has been observed at several banks in the North Sea, which is highly promising for years to come.
As usual most of the sand eel has been sold for indirect consumption purposes, to be raw material for fish meal and oil. Some 3.000 MT were sold to be frozen, being mainly later used as feed for tuna in the Mediterranean.
Everybody in the pelagic business in Norway is very happy, looking back on less than two months of operations - and the entire quota taken. As a reminder, we can mention that in the important meal/oil fisheries of anchovy in Peru, the quota is as much as 2,8 million MT. The fishing here is reported to be very good, and daily catches are some 40.000 MT, - in other words; the Norwegian quota taken during only three days!

The volume of mackerel from the smaller fleet at the southwest coast of Norway, fell last week compared to the foregoing week. The total last week: 220 MT.
These were catches mainly meant for the fresh fish market, both domestic and abroad, but some of it is also frozen. Even if there was a good fresh market last week, 240 MT are still penned-in.
The vessels watching for the mackerel up north, report so far no mackerel. Hopefully, as summer now reached the northern part of the country last week, this also will have an influence on the mackerel in the area, - but not so far. Last year the first mackerel was registered on the 6th of June.

Atlanto Scandic herring
A couple of vessels have been in the Lofoten area looking for herring, and there was one catch at Vikna on the coast of Trøndelag. Volume; some 300 MT.
The herring further north has a size in the range from 330 – 340 g, while further south, 220 g.

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