The course of fisheries as per week 25/2018

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

The North Sea herring is still widespread, – and miserable weather condition for the mackerel up north.

North Sea herring
Despite the efforts, last week came out with disappointing results for North Sea herring. Just 11.600 MT were registered. This volume was shared on 160 registrations, of which some consisted of several sweeps. It is fair to say that the gathering was miserable.
Of last week’s volume, Wednesday was the best day with 3.900 MT. In the period from Friday to Sunday, the outcome was just 2.800 MT in comparison.
As some 2/3 of the quotas must be taken in Norwegian waters, the fleet has been focusing on the Norwegian zone. Never the less, last week several vessels choose moving into EU waters as the results here have proved better. Hence, 5.300 MT of last week’s volume were caught in EU waters.
The activity in the EU zone has mainly been carried out southeast of Shetland. The size here has been from 130 g in the low end to 188 g at the best. The average; 162 g. It is herring from this area which has proven to be the best quality for matjes production.
In Norwegian waters, the fleet has been operating from the Patch Bank in the south and further north to Statfjord. The size has been varying quite a lot, and as normal, the best size has been found in the northern parts. In the low end; 120 g, – 236 g at the highest with an average at 191 g.
Along the coast of Sogn and Fjordane county, “Albacore” has got two catches with a total of 230 MT. The herring has been good sized; from 260 -270 g.
Norwegian authorities have been requested to approve a higher flexibility enabling the fishermen to postpone 25 % of a given year’s quota into the following. So far, it is anticipated an opinion by EU, as the North Sea herring is a shared stock.
Several skippers are now worried about the stock, and some of them, with many years of experience, cannot recall a season being like what they have at hands. As the situation now appears, some of them in fact are in favor of reducing the quota.
A new hope is a high pressure under way into the North Sea. Maybe this will give better conditions for the herring fisheries and cause the herring to get together.

Mackerel
Following promising observations of mackerel up north two weeks ago, last week has been a disappointment. Just 35 MT were caught by two vessels. The reports tell about small volumes of mackerel being observed, and bad weather with strong winds and low temperatures are assumed to be the reason.
Also, in southern parts of Norway, the volumes have been modest; just some 90 MT caught from Rogaland county and northwards to Trøndelag. This has been catches from 100 kg and further up to 12 MT caught in Rogaland. In this area some promising observation have been made during the weekend.
120 MT of mackerel remain penned-in, of which 90 MT have been taken in Rogaland.

Atlanto Scandic herring
The lack of mackerel has pushed some vessels to look for Atlanto Scandic herring inside the Lofoten area. From the municipalities of Flakstad and Vestvågøy, 11 catches have been caught amounting 350 MT.
The herring has been good sized; 330 -370 g.

Indirect consumption
By vessels operating in combined fishing at the “edge”, 600 MT of blue whiting, 400 MT of Norway pout, 300 MT of silvers smelt, and 50 MT of silver pout have been caught. These volumes were shared on five vessels combining white and pelagic fisheries.

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