The course of fisheries as per week 46/2018

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

Even higher volume of Atlanto Scandic herring compared to the foregoing week, and as much as 565 MT of sprat, mostly from the Trondheim Fjord.

Atlanto Scandic herring
Last week proved to be the very best week this season for Atlanto Scandic herring, and new vessels joining, are boosting the results. Altogether 39.700 MT were registered. Mainly two fields have been central; in the Norwegian Sea just south of 68⁰ N, some 180 n.m. west of the Lofoten point, - and at Kvænangen in north Troms county. The volume was 25.210 MT from the Norwegian Sea, and 14.060 MT from Kvænangen. In addition, twelve catches have been taken in different areas outside, from the Vest Fjord up north to Møre further south. Aggregated from these areas; 430 MT.
As we have seen previously, the size differs. In the Norwegian Sea we have a balanced average of 383 g, while at Kvænangen; 258 g.

North Sea herring
Also, when it comes to North Sea herring, we have seen some good results last week. 15 catches aggregating 4.625 MT were registered, mainly caught by purse seiners. Purse seiners had 3.770 MT of which 2.620 MT were sold for consumption purposes. The average size; 170 – 220 g.
Coastal vessels caught 810 MT of which 10 MT were penned-in. The remaining part was sold for meal&oil purposes. Trawlers have taken 45 MT being by-catch in other operations. The catching in the EU zone has mainly been carried out southeast of Shetland and east of Fair Isle, and some 3.800 MT were taken in EU waters.

In mackerel fisheries, we register that there are little quotas left, and the number of foreign landings has been falling, even if we last week got what we think is “all time high” from one single vessel catching mackerel, both seen from volume and value perspective. As a total 7.775 MT were registered and foreign vessels had 5.380 MT of it.
Still, operations of Norwegian vessels are carried out southeast of Shetland, while the foreign vessels are operating more on the west side of Shetland. The average size is smaller than it used to be, from 330 - 445 g with a balanced average at 402 g. We see a tendency of more mixed-in fish below 250 g, in some cases as much as 10 %.

Horse mackerel
Another disappointing week for vessels chasing “the horse”, even if we noticed a light “horse fever” when the Swedish vessel “Astrid” registered close to 100 MT from Skagerrak, - also mentioning “Havdrøn”, getting 200 MT as by-catch west of Egersund. As a total, 625 MT were registered, of which 245 MT were by-catch from trawlers, 55 MT caught by coastal vessels and 325 MT caught by those vessels operating at the traditional fields.

It was a good week for sprat, and as much as 565 MT were caught. The highest volume was taken in the Trondheim Fjord, but also in the Sogne Fjord we registered four catches with altogether 100 MT. The size of the sprat in the Sogne Fjord was 120 pcs/kg, while in the Trondheim Fjord the sprat was somewhat bigger, with 91 -100 pcs/kg. In the Sogne Fjord the sprat was penned-in, while in the Trondheim Fjord operating vessels deliver directly to plants.

Indirect consumption
As already mentioned, North Sea herring and horse mackerel have been delivered for indirect consumption. In addition, the trawling fleet has registered 520 MT of blue whiting, 240 MT of argentine, and 70 MT of Norway pout taken at the “edge” and 1.855 MT of Norway pout caught in EU waters.

Other businesses
Two vessels have been in activity for ocean sprat in the south part of the North Sea. The possible results are unknown so far.
By authorities there might be an opening for penning-in operators to deliver directly to buyer/bilge well vessels at the field, as was the case last autumn/last winter. Hopefully the decision will be taken early this week.

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