The course of fisheries as per week 44/2018

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

This year’s mackerel quota is close to be finished, while the Atlanto Scandic herring fisheries stopped last week due to weather.

19.010 MT of mackerel were registered last week, and status tells that just a modest volume now remains of the Norwegian 2018 quota.
The size of the mackerel caught by bigger vessels is from 320 – 435 g, with a balanced average at 408 g.  The Norwegian vessels have been operating in a vast area from southeast of Shetland and southwards to an area east of the Orkneys, while part of the foreign catches have their origin in an area southwest of Shetland.
Of what has been caught at the coast, four catches are penned-in in the municipality of Bømlo (southwest Norway); 40 MT and two catches further north (Sund) totaling 55 MT. The size; 170 – 350 g.
In the forthcoming week we still expect some foreign catches of mackerel, in addition to some coastal catches. Hopefully the weather conditions may improve.

Atlanto Scandic herring
Last week, we got a significant increase in catching Atlanto Scandic herring. So significant, that the fleet was called upon to reduce catching to enable buyers to receive the volumes. Last Monday, several producers had enough raw material to produce until last Thursday. - Both mackerel and herring were involved, of course.
23.700 MT were registered, mainly from bigger vessels, both purse seiners, trawlers and bigger coastal vessels. The common gear was purse.
In the Norwegian Sea, the operations have been carried out in a huge area from 64,5⁰ N, 2⁰ E and as far north as near 66,5⁰ N, 5⁰ E. This northern area is situated some 170 n.m. west of Træna. The herring caught at high sea is of good size; 335 -405 g, with a balanced average at 389 g. It is reported lots of herring, though standing deep and being “unwilling” to move to higher layers at night. Hopefully this may change by new moon later this week.
Herring did also appear in another field; Kvænangen in north Troms county. Some smaller catches have been taken, totaling 720 MT. This herring is far smaller with a size between 220 and 267 g and with an average at 255 g. So far, just four vessels have been operating in this field, and it is not reported any great volumes. What may possibly be migrating further into the fjords, is so far unknown, as these vessels are not allowed to operate here.

North Sea herring
The previous week’s good results of North Sea herring catches, continued into last week, and close to 7.800 MT were registered. Except 35 MT at the coast, the main part was taken by bigger vessels operating in high sea. From an area in the south part of the North Sea, off Newcastle, it was reported 4.410 of smaller herring (145 -190 g). There were as well four catches taken north of Ekofisk, totaling 350 MT. In addition catches have been taken both at the Ling Bank and the Bergen Bank, plus east of Shetland, mainly at Bressey Hole. The herring form the latter area was far bigger, form 212-252 g. On the disappointing side, the market for North Sea herring is modest and part of the catches were sold for reduction purposes.

Indirect consumption
Three vessels have been into the EU zone, catching Norway pout, amounting to 965 MT. In addition, some 125 MT have been caught at the “edge”. The volume of other species from the “edge” are 180 MT of blue whiting, 70 MT of horse mackerel and 70 MT of different species.
Except what has already been mentioned, four coastal vessels have taken 30 MT of horse mackerel. Catches were from 3 – 15 MT, all taken in an area from Bømlo to Kvinnherad municipalities.

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