Photo: Asgeir Høgset, Kristian Dahl, Even Bowitz/ Norges Sildesalgslag
The Norwegian Pelagic Fishing Course in Week 6
Tuesday, February 13, 2024, 01:00 (GMT + 9)
Good blue whiting fishing in the west, and the herring are still far north.
As the week before, it was a lean herring week with only 5,400 tonnes in the journal. This quantity was fished by 11 different boats. Vessels belonging to the trawl group have contributed the most with 2,700 t, ring seines 2,000 t and coastal the remaining 700 tonnes.
What is unusual about last week's herring fishing is that it takes place unusually far north for February. The boats have caught as far north as N 70⁰ 40′ and Ø 16⁰ 00′, which is around 70 n.miles from Ringvassøy. The southernmost catch taken just under 50 n.miles north of Andenes.
The herring has been difficult to catch as it has also stayed deep at night. Of the week's quantity, only 1,000 t was fished with a seine.
The sizes of the herring vary from 282 g as the highest average to 241 g as the lowest. The average for the entire catch is 272 grams.
A couple of boats have been looking for herring west of Lofoten in the hope of finding the big herring that come in to the coast from the Norwegian Sea. There are reports of some herring registrations, but here too it is deep all day long.
In the coming week, some boats will still be fishing for herring in the north. The hope is that there will also be catches of the big herring.
When the weather has allowed it, the blue whiting fishing has been very good. In total, 41,100 tonnes were fished last week. This is from 23 different boats with catches from 300 t to 2,500 t as the largest catch.
At the start of the week, the catches came from the north-west of the Porcuepine bank in the EU zone. When "Birkeland", which has taken its quota in the EU, was caught in international waters on 6 February, the boats pulled south-west beyond 200 miles.
A storm hampered the fishing at the start of the weekend, but otherwise the fishing has been very good with good trawl hauls after short tows.
Just under 95,000 t of the quota of 390,000 t have now been fished. Last year at the same time, we had barely started in international waters. Then there was the first agreement on fishing in the EU zone on 18 March.
In the coming week, several boats will be fishing for cod, and if storms do not hamper fishing too much, we expect a very good week of cod.
Two Irish and one Scottish boat have been fishing for mackerel north and west of the Hebrides. It has registered a total of 1,900 tonnes.
The average weight of the mackerel is around 400 g.
Most of the foreign boats have finished their mackerel fishing for the winter, and we therefore expect very few landings in Norway in the future.
34,000 t of foreign mackerel have been reported so far this winter. Last winter, the quantity was 47,000 t, with the last catch on 13 February.
For the Barents Sea, no boats have set course for the capelin (Mallotus villosus) fields yet. Possibly the first will go next week.
From the boats fishing for cod in the north, there are reports of capelin in cod stomachs in Eastern Finnmarka. Several fishermen have also recorded, what one assumes are, sonar on sonar in the same area.
In Iceland, four boats have been on a new fishing trip last week. The boats arrived in port at the weekend and it is expected that the data will be reviewed within a short time.
Based on what we hear from our contacts in Iceland, one is not very optimistic before the quota council arrives.
Author/ Source: Kenneth Garvik / Norges Sildesalgslag (translated from original in norwegian)