Norges mackerel fishing upturn

The upturn in mackerel fishing has been welcomed but landings are down compared to the 2021 fishery. Photo: Norges Sildesalgslag/Krossford (2022)

Norges Sildesalgslag has welcomed the upturn in mackerel fishing saying last week was a great week, and this week there are reports of a lot of exploration.

Mackerel landings had slowed for Norwegian processors with the fleet catching between 1,000 and 2,000 tonnes daily, with the best catch registering at 4,656 tonnes. The Norwegian fleet has around 75 fishing boats currently operating on the mackerel fishery.

“Last week was fantastically good where it finally took off with the fishery. We fished a total of 55,000 tonnes, of which over 11,000 tonnes were caught on three different days. Then things got busy both at sea and on land, and at the sales table,” says Sales Manager Kenneth Garvik.

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This week, however, the fishery has slowed down, as factor that fishermen can’t quite put their finger on.

“We are now somewhere between 3,000 and 3,500 tonnes of mackerel in the last two or three days. We don’t know why this is so, but it could be due to the weather. The mackerel likes the good weather as we do. When it is warm and fine, it gathers to eat food, and it is therefore easier to catch. As it is now with stormy weather and wind, it will therefore not be as easy to find,” explains Kenneth.

“Now there are 75 large boats that are out searching in the Norwegian zone in the Norwegian Sea, so there is no shortage of effort. It will be exciting to see what the days ahead bring. In the same week last year, we caught 60,000 tonnes, which was considered a record week. Last August we caught a whopping 149,000 tonnes of mackerel, which was unusually good,” says Kenneth. “This year, on the other hand, we have fished 73,000 tonnes in August, and we estimate that the month of August this year has a smaller quantity than last year.”

“What is worth mentioning is that there has been a very positive fishery for the smallest coastal fleet in recent weeks, from the Møre coast in the north and further south along the Vestland coast. This is a different picture than we saw last year, in a positive sense. – We can only hope that the mackerel gathers again and that we can fish the entire quota. Now 86,000 tonnes have been fished out of 284,000 tonnes in this year’s quota,” concludes Kenneth.

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Norges Sildesalgslag welcomes upturn in mackerel fishing but catches still low

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