The course of Fisheries as per week 24/2017

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

Another good week for North Sea herring fisheries, less mackerel penned-in in southern areas, and still no mackerel observed up north. 

North Sea Herring
Some 17.000 MT were registered last week, close to 3.000 MT lower than the foregoing week, but still a good fishery. Of this volume, some 12.350 MT were sold to be fileted, - 4.650 MT sold for matjes.
The volume sold for matjes production, - displayed in Egersund (2.750 MT), was sold both to Norwegian buyers, and to Danish buyers, - the herring then displayed in Skagen (1.900 MT). The herring to be fileted was also sold to both Norwegian and Danish buyers, respectively 11.100 MT to Norwegian plants, and some 1.250 MT to Danish. The size of the herring sold as matjes was from 150 – 194 g, with a weighed average at 167 g, while for the herring to be fileted; from 155 - 205 g and with an average at 180 g. By the end of the week some better sized herring was caught at the Viking Bank, which gave a price increase.

Mackerel
16 catches last week, with altogether 65 MT of mackerel, all being penned-in at the west coast. The size was, as previously, from 300 – 450 g. Last week the market was good, and some 105 MT were sold at the fresh mackerel auctions. Still 107 MT remain unsold, and hopefully the positive trend will go on into this week.
In Northern Norway, a fleet is ready for the mackerel, but so far no mackerel has been registered. The fishermen are now “joking”; telling that the mackerel fisheries this year has been cancelled. Just some very small fish has been seen in an area where the mackerel should be expected to appear.
Vessels fishing for Greenland halibut off Lofoten/Vesterålen, have observed the mackerel in open sea, but this mackerel will hardly set course for the Vestfjorden. Hopefully, it may be turning towards the coast further north.

Atlanto Scandic herring
Last week some ten catches were taken altogether giving 460 MT. The Atlanto Scandic herring was mainly caught in Lofoten, but some catches were also taken further south off Møre/Trøndelag counties. The average size in Lofoten was 300+ g, while further south; 220 -230 g. One catch in Vesterålen gave an average at just 180 g.

Industrial catching
Last week’s volume came out with 3.355 MT for indirect consumption. Main species caught, were sand eel (800 MT), blue whiting (1.500 MT) and 700 MT of Norway pout. The remaining 350 MT were bycatch of different kind, as horse mackerel, silver smelt, silver pout and others.
Except for the catch of sand eel, found at traditional fields, the fish has been caught at the “edge”. One vessel is heading for the Norwegian Sea looking for blue whiting, but has so far reported nothing.

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