The course of fisheries as per week 23/2018

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

Last week: The North Sea herring widespread, and the very first catch of mackerel in the north.

North Sea herring
High participation in the herring fisheries last week; 58 different vessels caught 15.800 MT last week. This was shared on 220 registrations, so – needless to say; there has been a lot of sweeps and poor gathering of the herring.
Looking back on the week, the daily volumes had a range from 0 on Tuesday to 5.100 MT on Sunday. Northern winds, some days quite strong, have characterized the entire week. This is a type of wind hampering the catching as the bate, normally gathering the herring, does not “bloom” to the same extent. A positive volume on Sunday may be a signal of influence from the new moon coming up. Normally this is a good season for North Sea herring, and hopefully condition and volumes improve in the forthcoming week. - New moon on the 13th of June.
The fishermen have their focus in Norwegian waters these days, and of above mentioned volume, 12.000 MT were caught here. This was at a well-known field from the Patch Bank and northwards to Oseberg.
The size of the herring varied from 120 – 212 g. The average in Norwegian zone; 162 g.
The remaining volume, taken in EU waters, was caught some 40 n.m. southeast of Shetland. Here, the herring was of more even size in the range from 138 – 151 g.
For matjes herring production, which normally should have been in full swing right now, the quality is not yet at the top. According to buyers, both quality and shape are uneven for herring in the same sweep. Some catches have also had too low stomach content. Stomach content is for the matjes production crucial for the taste.
In the forthcoming week, it is expected still to be high participation. Hopefully the outcome will improve as already mentioned, with herring size and quality more as the market wants.

Sand eel
Just two vessels; “Morten Einar” and “Vikingbank” have been catching sand eel over the last week, getting a grand total of 2.600 MT.
The activity has mainly taken place in north direction of Klondike and the East Bank.
Just one vessel has still some quota left, and most likely the season will be terminated early this week.

From Rogaland in the south to Stadt in the north, some 160 MT of mackerel have been penned-in by smaller vessels.
In general, the size has been good with an average at 433 g. In the high end; 500 g – and 234 g in the lower end.
Following a good size, the price for mackerel to be frozen is good, and thus several catches have been sold for this purpose.
Some 200 MT are still penned-in. Following good results in the fisheries, especially in Rogaland, several vessels have already reached their preliminary quota “ceiling” of 30 MT. Hopefully the final quotas will shortly be decided to enable further catching while the good-sized mackerel still is available.
Up north the very first mackerel was caught on Sunday by “Scombrus”; 20 MT in two sweeps. The catch was taken 30 n.m. west of Værøy Island. The average size; 395 g.
The fishermen have observed a lot of mackerel in the area west of Værøy Island, and hopefully this mackerel will migrate into the Vest Fjord Basin making it available also for smaller vessels.

Indirect consumption
Vessels operating in combined fishing at the edge, registered close to 1.100 MT of blue whiting, 1.000 MT of Norway pout, 430 MT of silver smalt and 120 MT of silver pout.

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