The course of fisheries as per week 47/2017

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

Record last week with more than 180 million individual herring being caught.


Atlanto Scandic herring
This year’s best week, with 44.400 MT registered. This is 1.800 MT more than in week no. 2/17, being the best week last winter.
As previously observed, it is in two areas where the main operations are carried out. One in the Norwegian Sea where as much as 35.500 MT were caught, and another in northern part of Troms County where 8.600 MT were caught.
From Møre/Romsdal 325 MT were registered.
In the Norwegian Sea, the herring is still found in western areas and most catches were taken in the Loop Sea. Just 6.300 MT were taken in the Norwegian zone.
The herring is highly wide spread. Between the southernmost and northernmost catch, it is more than 190 n.m. This is equal to the distance between Stavanger and Stadt at the west coast of Norway.
It is herring by good size; weight from 350 -398 g, with an average at 376 g.
In Kvænangen up north, most herring moved inside the ‘fjord line’ and made further catching difficult. Based on some testing, the Directorate, on Friday, opened for catching also further into the fjord. During the weekend, there has been some good catching in this area. However, the size here was smaller, with an average at 217 g. The lowest weight was a 190 g and the highest at 230 g. Due to grade 4 herring (125-200 g)
mixed in, the herring from this area has a difficult market. Some herring was accordingly sold for meal&oil purposes.How much herring there is still to be caught, is difficult to tell. As we see it now, a number of fishermen will choose to fish less than their quota, and some 50.000 MT may still remain before the end of the year. An extended “flex” for vessels, will most likely make this remaining part smaller.

As expected the volumes of mackerel last week were modest. Four vessels came up with altogether 2.500 MT. Two foreigners had 2.000 MT and from Norwegian boats we got 410 MT from a purse seiner and 50 MT from a trawler.
The catches are mostly taken west of Shetland. It is reported to be a lot of mackerel in this area, but the mackerel tends to stay within the 12-mile line.
The size of the mackerel from the western part has been between 380 – 405 g. In a smaller catch from the south side, the size was just 210 g as an average.
There are very few Norwegian vessels still having quota left. Accordingly, we expect just modest volumes in the forthcoming week.

North Sea herring
Also, when it comes to North Sea herring, we got this season’s best week with a total of 8.400 MT registered. Tuesday was the best day. During the weekend, strong winds hampered the activity.
The entire volume was taken in EU waters at well-known fields as the “Dutch Bank”, “Bressay Bank” and Forty Mile Ground”, all situated southeast of Shetland. The gathering and availability of the herring is changing all the time, and several vessels have therefore uses trawl. 1/3 has been taken by trawl.
The size has been in the range from 157-194 g. The average; 179 g.
Only a few plants are producing North Sea herring, and following high volumes by early week, the consequence was some waiting time for vessels. One catch was sold for meal&oil.
By “flex” of 14.528 MT inclusive, close to 40.000 MT remain from the quota. We expect the catching to be lower than the quota allows, and a realistic forecast for the remaining volume, will be in the range from 16 -20.000 MT.
On Sunday night, a lot of vessels were at the field. With a more optimistic weather forecast, there is a hope for the herring to gather, thus improving the catching.

Ocean sprat
Two vessels have registered 970 MT of ocean sprat. The good news this week is that 760 MT of this volume were sold to King Oscar to be canned. This is big sized sprat caught in the North Sea; 75-85 pcs/kilo. The catches were taken at “Cleaver Bank” in Dutch sector.
Two more vessels can join this fishing, and if they finish their mackerel, there will be 800 MT left of the quota of 10.000 MT.

Indirect consumption
Just three vessels have been in operation for this type of fishing, with the modest result of 530 MT of Norway pout and 190 MT of blue whiting, - plus some smaller volumes of North Sea herring, silver smelt and horse mackerel.

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