The course of fisheries as per week 5/2019

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

Atlanto Scandic herring is difficult to get - and less mackerel from western waters. Still no capelin quota at Iceland.

Atlanto Scandic herring
A relatively moderate week for Atlanto Scandic herring, totaling 18 600 MT registered. The main reason has been that the herring is staying deep, in addition to strong southeast winds through most of the week. Trawlers have got the highest volume which indicates how difficult it has been for purse seiners.
By early week, the catching was performed east of the Træna depth. Later in the week, the herring was migrating southeast towards Træna. During the weekend, the fleet has moved further south as the herring now seems to keep a straight course towards the spawning areas at Møre. The southernmost vessels “touched” herring just west of the town Sandnessjøen.
The size is still good with an average from 320 – 379 g. Balanced average; 347 g.
Hopefully we shall get some good weather conditions - and herring being more available for purse seiners in the forthcoming week. We expect several vessels to keep track with the herring going south, both Norwegian and foreign vessels.

Mackerel
As foreseen, the deliveries of mackerel from foreign vessels are beyond the peak. Just 3 900 MT of mackerel were landed by six different vessels last week; three being Irish vessels, two Scottish and one Norwegian.
The mackerel is now on its way southwest, and by early week the vessels were in activity north of the Hebrides, while the last catch from “Sheanne” was taken west of the isles, 150 n.m. further southwest.
The size of the mackerel varies from 340 g in the low end to 430 g as the highest average. It seems like the mackerel on its way southwards, has split up, as the best sized mackerel leads on. Following the fact that the mackerel is constantly being caught further and further away from Norway, we expect even lower volumes delivered in the forthcoming week.

Horse mackerel
Just one catch of 15 MT last week from “Hanne Marie”. The catch was taken at North Møre. This is the lowest volume for one week this season, as we throughout January had a total of 650 MT from coastal vessels along the west coast.

Blue whiting
Two vessels have been operating in the EU zone, northwest of the well-known blue whiting bank, “Porcupine”. They got some 4 000 MT. The fishing has not been at its best and the blue whiting – as normal this early in the year, has been difficult to “handle”. At present, six Norwegian vessels are in operation, and more vessels are on their way to join.

Capelin at Iceland
The Icelanders, now being at their second capelin survey, had to seek port shelter in the middle of last week due to the weather. On Friday, the vessels again were operating, and during the weekend they had good conditions north if Iceland.
According to the skipper on “Polar Amaroq”, they were observing capelin during the weekend, but shall need several days to get a proper over view. In addition to capelin, they also report a huge number of whales north of Iceland. This is also what the herring fishermen observe along the north coast of Norway. In 2017, the final quota was not set until the 14th of February, and the Icelanders are of the opinion that temperature conditions this year are quite like 2017.
We “cross our fingers” and hope for a quota fairly soon. - The challenge ahead is the last day of fishing; on the 22nd of February.

You may follow the survey at https://skip.hafro.is/ .

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