Norwegian boats fishing mackerel in northern waters are reporing good catches with over 6,000 tonnes recorded since mid-June
Better weather and higher temperatures in the north contributed to a usable mackerel hatch for the coastal fleet with 2,350 tonnes in the record and of this quantity, as much as 1,300 tonnes were fished this weekend, reports the Norges Sildesalgslag website.
“The first part of the week in the north was characterized by westerly weather and low temperatures so the mackerel was scattered and barely visible to the fleet. With sun and calm, the mackerel gathered, and the boats got good throws and loads in the boats. With the exception of a few catches in the Bodø / Gildeskål area, it is in Vesterålen, around Hadseløy, that most catches have been taken. There is still large mackerel in this area with average weights around 500 grams.
“Since the first catch in mid-June, 6,300 tonnes have now been fished north. For the whole of last year, 5,900 tonnes were caught. But there is still some way to go to the quantity we had in 2015 when 18,600 tonnes were fished.
“Of the week’s quantity, just under 80 hours have been reported from Rogaland in the south to Sunnmøre in the north. The mackerel from here is smaller with average sizes from 250 – 500 g,” says the Norwegian Herring Sales Association.
“In addition to Norwegian mackerel fishing along the coast, large-scale fishing is taking place in the Smutthavet, as well as in Faroese waters. In the Smutthavet, around 40 boats, mainly from Russia and Iceland, have fished over a large area. Faroese boats report daily rates in their fishing of 150-350 t fished with trawl.
“The boats “Einar Erlend” and “Sander Andre” set out before the weekend on a search round in the Norwegian Sea and were all the way west to the border with the Smutthavet. They registered mackerel in several places, but only “crackers” that could not be caught with a net. On Sunday, they were back in the Vesterål area.
“We can only hope that the summer stays in the north and that mackerel in northern Norway continues to thrive in the future,” concluded Sildelaget.