A "marvelous" week for capelin in the Barents Sea, but stormy for the blue whiting vessels.
Capelin in the Barents Sea
An extremely good week for capelin, reaching 53.500 MT. We have to go back to 2010 to get a higher weekly volume, - at the time; 55.000 MT during week 9. That year came out with nearly 250.000 MT in the Barents Sea.
The operations this winter have been performed to the west, off northern part of Troms county, in the neighborhood of Fugløybanken, further on to the northern edge of the Lopphavet. In addition, we have a couple of catches further east off Magerøy island (Honningsvåg town).
The fishermen report “unbelievable” magnitudes of capelin in periods, being now on its way for spawning at the coast. The challenge is to find the outer line of where the capelin stays, to avoid too much fish in the purse. - Capelin is quite heavy to “work with” during winter time.
The capelin in the Barents Sea is smaller than what was caught out of Iceland. Mixed size last week; 49 pcs/kg and female size; 58 pcs/kg. As markets mainly ask for better sized capelin, the price level for consumption purposes is relatively low. Following high volumes, it is a challenge to have the fish sold for consumption. Accordingly, 24.000 MT were sold for meal&oil. As the global market for fish meal and -oil is good, the price difference is in fact marginal.
The roe percentage is high to be this early in March. On Sunday, it was observed at 22 %. Buyers are reporting the percentage (maturing) is close to be at a level when roe can be produced. – Probably in a couple of days.
Costal vessels, each having a quota at 300 MT, have now taken 15.000 MT, shared on 60 vessels. The dead-line to head for the fields, is the 6th of March by midnight. The Directorate will afterwards consider redistribution based on what is still left of quotas and participation. On Sunday night, five new vessels headed on.
Despite a week with harsh weather in the Atlantic, we got this season’s highest volume, reaching 34.3 00 MT. This was shared on 20 catches, giving an average of some 1.700 MT each. The main part was taken in international zone west of Ireland at 53⁰ N 30’. The remaining volume, except one catch, was taken at the north side of Porcupine. In EU waters.
The observations of blue whiting are very promising at the west. It has been a hard week, weather considered, both for vessels fishing, and for vessels heading for port. Following northeast storm, the sailing to Barra Head at the south part of the Hebrides, has been very tough for some of the vessels.
On Sunday night, five vessels are operating in international zone and one in EU waters. Bearing in mind that 44.000 MT now have been caught in international zone, the Directorate will consider the possibility of increasing the partly quota in EU to total quota for vessels using blue whiting trawl.
Early last week, three catches were registered totaling 68 MT. These were taken in Suldal and Sveio communities and at Møre.
The freezing Siberian cold last week, hampered operations for horse mackerel in southern part of Norway. We hope for better conditions in the week to come, and that the horse mackerel still stick together, having full moon the other day.