The course of fisheries as per week 24/2018

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

An even week for the North Sea herring, a little better for mackerel up north, - and the sand eel season is over.


North Sea herring
Despite 48 hrs. with strong winds forcing the fleet to port, last week came out better than the week before. Close to 18.200 MT were registered and shared on 124 catches from 73 different vessels. Last week as well, the activity was linked to areas from Heimdal in the south and northwards to Statfjord. In addition, 4.660 MT were registered from EU waters, again from several areas; Bressay Bank, Bressayhole and as far west as 12-15 n.m. south-southeast of Sumburgh Head and north to the Viking Bank.
There have been some catches of good sized herring; best size at 238 g. As a grand total, 3.670 MT have been registered with size from 200 g and higher. The best size was taken in the north, in the Statfjord area, grid 2853. The average was 183 g.
The North Sea fisheries have this year been quite demanding with a lot of smaller sweeps for most vessels. Following real strong southeast winds during the week, the hope was now an improvement with better gathering of the herring. But unfortunately, so far, no improvement.

Last week gave a hope of having some better luck for the mackerel in northern waters but became a disappointment. Once again, we must blame the weather. Last week’s grand total of mackerel came out with 442 MT, and of this volume just close to 250 MT came from the north.
The average size was from 380 – 450 g. The first catches were taken north of Lofotodden, grid 0514, while later the catching was performed in the Vestfiorden, in the area from Grøna to Tannholmen islands, grid 00-05. In the forthcoming week, we hope for improved weather, enabling the fleet to get better results up north.
At the west coast 190 MT of mackerel were caught, all being penned-in. 120 MT of it was registered for fresh sales and 85 MT were sold for this purpose last week. As of Monday, some 185 MT remain unsold to the fresh market. The catching has been carried out from Strand community in the south to Roan in the north, but most of the mackerel was taken near Bømlo island and further south.

Other fisheries for consumption purposes, Atlanto Scandic herring, coastal sprat and horse mackerel
Of other fisheries, close to 110 MT of Atlanto Scandic herring were taken with a size of 265 – 240 g.
1 MT of coastal sprat was penned-in in Kvinnherad community, with size 70 pcs/kg. And finally; one catch of horse mackerel, 15 MT at the coast of Møre. – The average size; 500 g.

Indirect consumption
As mentioned, the sand eel season came to an end last week, with a final catch of 550 MT. In addition, it has been taken six catches of blue whiting, altogether 2.400 MT. Of this volume, close to 2.000 MT were taken by a Faroese vessel, caught in the Faroese zone, grid 3012. Of other species; 230 MT of silver smelt and 460 MT of Norway pout. Except the sand eel, the Norwegian catches were taken at the “edge”.

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