First catches of herring taken in the fjords of Troms County - and "horse fever" in the North Sea.
Atlanto Scandic herring
Last week came out as an average week, totaling 16.000 MT registered. The best day was Sunday with 7.500 MT. The operations in the Norwegian Sea have, when it comes to the Norwegian vessels, been performed some 200 n.m. from the coast line, both in the "Loop Sea" and in Norwegian waters close to 66°N. Two Irish vessels were catching in the Faroese zone, indicating that the herring now is available over a huge area.
Based on observations of whales in the Troms fjords, "Ketlin" aimed for this area and got 300 MT in the Vangsøy Fjord on Tuesday. Other vessels have been joining later last week, but without success.
The average size was in the range from 310-420 g. The best size was found in the Faroese waters. The size from the Vangsøy Fjord was between 357 and 382 g.
It is good news that the quota of Atlanto Scandic herring will be doubled next year. Even with a higher quota next year, there is a good demand for herring, and record high prices have been registered at the auctions.
In the forthcoming week we hope that the activity will increase in the Troms fjords, including coastal vessels. As a consequence of "horse fever" in the North Sea (see below), several bigger vessels now are expected to go for the horse mackerel in days to come.
Last week's total reached the same level as we have seen during the two previous weeks; 16.400 MT. 12.000 MT came from foreign vessels. This was vessel both from Denmark, Scotland and Shetland, mainly taking the mackerel by trawl. It was only the Icelandic vessel "Isafold" using seine. The Norwegian vessels taking the remaining part of the grand total, had 50 % (2.300 MT) taken by trawl, some 2.000 MT taken by seine - and close to 100 MT taken by liners.
The mackerel and thus the operations have been moving westwards and into EU waters. 15.500 MT was taken east of Sumburgh and further south and north east of Peterhead. Following good weather during the weekend, the mackerel gathered, and it was periodically reported lot of mackerel, making it possible to use short trawl hauls. In Norwegian waters the main part was taken at Viking, in addition to a "window" for liners in the vicinity of Karmøy Island.
As we have seen previously this autumn, the size vary, and the mackerel has been in the range from 350 to 415 g, - the average; 390 g.
Looking at what is left of the quota, some 6.400 MT still remain. This estimate is based on everyone utilizing their flexible part. This is after all, unlikely, so the remaining quota is in fact lower. Accordingly more modest catches are expected by Nw vessels in days to come. Hopefully foreign vessels still will choose to land their catches in Norway.
North Sea herring
The aggregated total of North Sea herring last week was fairly modest; just 800 MT divided on four catches. Three catches were by seine in the EU zone, south east of Frigg.
One Faroese vessel, "Tummas T" reported 260 MT taken in Skagerrak.
The herring in the North Sea has been quite widespread lately. Hopefully there will be an improvement, as there are still some volumes to be taken until the turn of the year. Including the flex. part, more than 55.000 MT still remain.
"Hardhaus" struck horse mackerel on Saturday night close to shore west of Haugesund. They got 250 MT by four sweeps, immediately initiating a "horse fever" leading several vessels to join in over the weekend.
On Sunday night some 30 vessels were in the area west of Karmøy Island, but so far the results are moderate.
Hopefully there still will be a hope for a good season as we now are entering November.
Fishing for indirect consumption
Following the fact of several trawlers being in the "mode" for mackerel, the catching along the edge has been moderate. Just 630 MT of blue whiting, 430 MT of Norway pout, and 250 MT of horse mackerel have been registered. Catches of horse mackerel near the edge, bring forward expectations for horse mackerel to be caught also for consumption purposes.