The course of fisheries as per week 5/2018

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

The herring has reached Træna, capelin fisheries at Iceland, and still some landings of mackerel from foreign vessels.

Atlanto Scandic herring
We have seen three even weeks for the herring. Last week came out with 24.600 MT, some 1.300 MT more than the week before. The best single day, was Friday with 9.000 MT shared on 40 catches. The coastal vessels are now fully taking part and had as much as 17.900 MT of last week’s total volume.
After having been staying west of Røst and staying deep, the herring is now moving towards the areas off Træna, - in magnitudes. Following good weather and being easier to get, the fleet now operates in this area and will be following the migration further southwards.
The size of the herring is in the range from 320-368 g with an average at 348 g.
More coastal vessels will join in for their quotas as the herring is getting available along the coast. Catching far out into the Norwegian Sea is not the convenient for the smaller vessels, rooming 100-300 MT. We expect the herring to move on towards the spawning areas. When it will reach Møre is always a thrill. To compare with; last year’s first catch at Møre, was on the 9th of February.

From the operations near Iceland we have registered some 6.000 MT last week. This volume was shared on twelve vessels with catches from 100 – 1.100 MT.
The operations have been carried out in different areas and capelin has been observed over a relatively wide area. The capelin being found southernmost is caught at the east side, south of 64⁰ N 50’. This is unusual far south considered this early in the season. Norwegian vessels are not allowed to operate south of 64⁰ N 30’. The catches taken further north, was taken some 30 n.m. northwest of Langanes.
The capelin, especially far north, has a high degree of stomach content. The catches taken last week have therefor been sold to meal&oil production.
The size has been good; mixed catches from 38-42 pcs/kg. This is a size for direct human consumption, and hopefully the stomach content will be reduced, making the capelin more suited for this purpose.
Following results from the concluded survey at Iceland, the total quota at Iceland was increased from 208.000 MT to 285.000 MT. This also gave an additional part to Norwegian vessels, now being allowed to get 73.824 MT.
By midnight, on Sunday, 38 vessels have arrived or are heading for Icelandic waters. Four vessels have already finished their quotas. As this is being written, the weather is stormy and most vessels are seeking shelter in ports.  – Hopefully both weather and fishing activities will improve in days to come.

In the Barents Sea no vessels are so far in operation or intend to start. It is possible that the very first will head for the Barents Sea during the forthcoming week.

Foreign vessels were registered with 11.800 MT last week. This volume came from seven Irish, three Scottish and one Danish vessel. Sunday was the best day for mackerel; 7.600 MT.
The mackerel is moving southwest as being normal this time of the year. The first catches by early week were taken northwest of the Orkneys, while later, on Sunday, the catching was made west of the Hebrides.
The weight is varying from 355 g in the low end to 430 g in the higher. The average; 385 g. - Following lower quotas this year, the market is good and prices are tending upwards since the turn of the year.
As the mackerel is migrating southwest and the distance to Norway increases, the number of vessels to deliver in Norway, decreases. We still hope for some landings in the forthcoming week.

Blue whiting
One catch last week; the vessel “Østerbris” with 2.250 MT. The catch was taken in the EU zone at the north side of the Porcupine Bank.It is observed great magnitudes of blue whiting, filling up “the sack” in a short time.
Still another Norwegian vessel has now joined.

Horse mackerel
Several vessels have been chasing the horse mackerel into the fjords of west Norway. From an area north of Stadt, 75 MT were taken, and from Hordaland county, another 75 MT were taken. The horse mackerel to be found in the fjords, is of good size. A catch from Nordmøre, gave an average size of 580 g. This fish is attractive in the markets and you don’t need a high volume to be well paid.

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