The course of fisheries as per week 35/2018

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

Better for the North Sea herring, some horse mackerel for consumption. Still scares of coastal mackerel and “Svanaug Elise” is heading for the Norwegian Sea.

North Sea herring
Following some quiet summer weeks, the North Sea herring has “returned” last week giving a total of 10.900 MT registered. Of this volume, foreign vessels (Scottish and from Shetland) have contributed with 6.500 MT.
The herring caught in the EU zone was sold for consumption purposes, while the share taken in Nw. waters was sold for reduction purposes. The reason behind is that herring from EU waters contains more roe of high quality, enabling buyers to producing roe, and thus pay more for the herring.
Compared to what was seen during summer, the fishermen now report of better gathering of the herring. This is observed in Nw. waters - and in two fields east of Peterhead and north of the Orkneys in EU waters.
An eye on the quota status indicates that some 126.000 MT of the total quota of 180.000 MT now has been caught.

Mackerel
It has been a disappointing season for mackerel along the coast.
Last week just 400 MT were reported from smaller vessels. Hopefully some mackerel is to migrate to coastal areas from high seas, helping off to fill the quotas.
The bigger vessels are still anticipating starting their season. The only exception is “Svanaug Elise”. She was on Saturday heading for the “Loop Sea”. It remains to be seen if the mackerel in open seas now is available, - and of course; size and quality is importance this early in September.
Over the last period we have seen an increasing mix of horse mackerel in combined catches at the “Edge”. On Thursday, “Ligrunn” got 340 MT, initiating a certain “horse fever”, especially among  Austevoll vessels. During the weekend a dozen vessels have been chasing the “horse”. As a total, some 950 MT were caught for consumption purposes.
Byers report, however, that the fish is meager, and analyses so far indicate just 5,5 % fat content. This makes the horse mackerel, unsuited for the best paying markets in the Far East. -  We have to go back three years to find horse mackerel catches of some extent in September; then 4.200 MT were taken.

Atlanto Scandic herring
From the coast of Møre and Trøndelag counties, some 300 MT of Atlanto Scandic herring have been registered last week. The average size was 260 -310 g.
It is reported just modest observations of herring along the coast. To get an improvement, we shall need some herring to migrate to coastal areas from open seas.

Ocean sprat
Ocean sprat fisheries was opened on 1st of August and last week, three vessels set sail. All of them got catches; altogether 1.400 MT. In addition, one Swedish vessel reported 1.000 MT.
The catches have been taken in well-known fields for ocean sprat, mainly in German/Dutch sectors.
All catches have been sold for meal&oil purposes as the catches have been taken by trawl, in addition to having a high stomach content this time of the ear.

Indirect consumption
The vessels operating in their combined catching at the “Edge” have reported some 1.200 MT of blue whiting, 520 MT of Norway pout, 620 MT of argentine, 600 MT of horse mackerel and 30 MT of silvery pout. – This was all shared on ten vessels combining white and pelagic fisheries.

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