The course of fisheries as per week 37/2018

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

Unusual little of mackerel last week. Better for the North Sea herring – and some sprat and horse mackerel.

North Sea herring
Last week came out as a relatively good week for the North Sea herring; 8.200 MT registered. Of this volume, one Scottish vessel (“Ocean Star”) and one vessel from Shetland (“Serene”) have contributed with as much as 5.200 MT. This is by the way, the last “new comer” in pelagic fisheries on the “other side” of the North Sea.  The catches made by these vessels were taken just north of the Orkneys. The herring is now in the process of spawning and the average weight is in the range from 210-215 g.
Among Norwegian vessels, mainly purse seiners have taken part reporting 2.900 MT from the south part of Fladen. Of this volume some 800 MT were sold for consumption purposes and the remaining part for reduction. The final part of 100 MT was by-catch by trawl, and some penned-in catches near the island of Sotra.
Less activity is expected in days to come both for Norwegian and foreign vessels. The foreign vessels are close to finish their quotas, and the Norwegians will concentrate on mackerel in weeks ahead.

Last week’s mackerel volume was not impressing; just 500 MT, where “Radek” having operated in the Loop Sea came with 230 MT. Such a low volume has never been seen previously in a corresponding September week. The average volume from the three last weeks reached 23.000 MT – as a comparison.
The remaining volume was caught smaller vessels penning-in mackerel along the coast from Tysvær in Rogaland to Vanylven in Møre. The trailers have had a difficult season, delivering just a minimum last week. Again, strong winds can be blamed.
During the weekend, a few vessels have been looking for the mackerel in the North Sea, where “Radek” alone got some catch on Saturday morning. The others report no promising observations. Foreign vessels catching in the Loop Sea are also reporting of mackerel “disappearing”. Sudden changes of appearance are not un-normal, so hopefully the mackerel may re-appear closer to the Norwegian coast to improve results.
What is the main concern, is the unstable weather forecasted. Low pressures are queuing up from west with just very short weather windows in between.

Horse mackerel
A few vessels have been chasing the horse mackerel also last week, however, with a disappointing result. Just 630 MT.
Of this volume, 350 MT were sold for consumption, while the remaining part was by-catch from other fisheries to be delivered for reduction purposes.
Hopefully the conditions will improve later this autumn. We must go back to 2014 to find an aggregated volume of above 10.000 MT. Then the volume reached 14.000 MT.

Ocean sprat
Five vessels have been operating in the southern part of the North Sea, and as a grand total they have taken 2.500 MT. The fishing has in periods been very good, and the vessels have got their quotas of 550 MT in a relatively short period.
The catches have been taken by trawl in Dutch waters of the EU zone and were sold for fishmeal production in Norway. As per now, one Norwegian vessel is still in operation.

Indirect consumption
The vessels operating at the “Edge” caught 870 MT of blue whiting, 300 MT of Norway pout, 250 MT of argentine and 50 MT of silvery pout.
This was all shared on seven vessels combining catching of pelagic/white fish.

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