The course of fishery as per week 25/2017

Published: by Jarle A. Hansen

Less North Sea herring - and still no mackerel up north. 

North Sea Herring
Compared to the previous weeks, last week came out with a disappointing volume of just 8.500 MT. Several vessels have been in operation, but the catching has been slower every day; on Monday 3.000 MT, – on Saturday just 240 MT registered. There are different opinions to why this is the situation, but after all, it is not unusual that the North Sea herring “disappears” in periods. On the weather side it has not been optimal, - mainly wet, grey and cool. On Sunday, the wind turned from north, and on in the late evening, the herring were gathering unexpectedly.
Last week’s fisheries have mainly (6.800 MT) been performed in Norwegian sector from Oseberg and further north towards Gullfaks. The herring is of good size; some 200 g. The quality is fit for skin free fileting meant for the European market. There has been an increase in prices, leading to a new minimum price of NOK 3,35 as from today; Monday.
The remaining volume was taken in the EU waters. The activity has been in different areas from west of Fladen and on to the “Forty-miles Ground” south east of Shetland. The herring is here smaller with an average of just 90 -159 g at the best. This herring is mainly being used for matjes production. - Of this year’s quota of 145.000 MT, 76.000 MT now are caught.
Hopefully the fishing will again improve, enabling the fishermen to offer the buyers herring by the size of 200 g, - and to get more herring in the Norwegian zone to prevent a “squeeze” related to the allowed EU quota later in season.

Neither last week there was observed any mackerel up north, and several vessels have now given up and are heading southwards. Further south on the coast, “Buefjord” reported one catch of 52 MT on Sunday, taken east of Frøya Island.
At the west coast the smaller vessels have reported 100 MT to be sold as fresh catch. The market has been fairly good. 190 MT are still being penned-in.

Atlanto Scandic herring
Several vessels have been chasing the Atlanto Scandic herring last week, and from 11 different vessels, 1.000 MT have been registered. The activity has been linked to two areas; one in Lofoten, and another off Møre/Trøndelag Counties.
The best catches have been taken by the bigger vessels in an area close to Hitra/Frøya islands; 285 MT. The average size of the herring; 230-250 g.
From Lofoten; smaller catches, - but herring by better size. The average here was from 250 – 310 g.

Industrial catching
1.350 MT of blue whiting were registered last week. Of this volume, “Talbor” has contributed with 950 MT caught both in Faroese and EU waters.
In Norwegian waters, vessels operating “combined” with white fish, have taken 400 MT of blue whiting, 870 MT of Norway pout, 200 MT of horse mackerel – and some other species.

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