Norges Sildesalgslag has reported a great week on mackerel, a positive one on sandeel but another poor week on North Sea herring in week 24 of 2022.

A good week on mackerel and positive sandeel. Photo: Norwegian Seafood Council

Norges Sildesalgslag has reported a great week on mackerel, a positive one on sandeel but another poor week on North Sea herring in week 24 of 2022.

Sales Manager, Kenneth Garvik reports:

North Sea herring:
We had another weak week on the North Sea herring with only 6,300 tonnes registered. This is divided into 22 catches from 45 tonnes as the lowest to 1,050 tonnes as the largest quantity.
Of the week’s quantity, 2,400 tonnes are sold for consumption, and the remaining 3,900 tonnes for flour/oil.

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A look at the herring converted for consumption shows that it is relatively small with average weights from 129/175 grams, with a weighted average of 139 grams.
The explanation for the low average weight is that herring fishing has taken place relatively far south. And all herring is fished unusually far south. That is, south of the N 58⁰, which is located at the height of Lindesnes.

There have not been the large registrations in this area and for the boats that can only fish with nets, it has been extra challenging. Of the week’s quantity, as much as 5,400 tonnes have been fished with trawls.

Several boats have searched for herring further north during the week, but here “blank screens” and zero herring registrations are reported.

With such poor fishing, there will be relatively few boats in activity for the North Sea herring. The hope was that larger herring would “appear” further north in the North Sea. Consumer buyers report a great need for larger herring for fillet production.

Sandeel:
After several weeks of poor sandeel fishing, we got a boost this week with 13,300 tonnes in the journal. The boats have sat and trawled on the traditional sandeel banks in the hope that the sandeel would literally emerge from the sand.

It was only after the herring boats had registered something that was not herring that “Vikingbank” tried the trawl in a new area northeast of the West Bank. There was a full flap and the rest of the boats set course for the new field.
There was an unusually large sandeel in this field with an average length of over 25 cm. In addition, a trawl hall of as much as 800 tonnes is reported from the new sandeel field.

The fishing on the new field slowed down quickly and this weekend there has been bad fishing again.

There are now 15,600 tonnes of the quota of 95,000 tonnes left. The last fishing day is 23 June, and we can only hope that there will be another species of sandeel before that time.

Blue whiting:
Of the 12 different boats, 4,500 tonnes of blue whiting were registered last week. The catches vary from a few tonnes from combi fishing along the “Edge” to over 1,000 tonnes from the Norwegian Sea.

In the Norwegian Sea, three boats, then mainly from blue whiting trawls, have fished reasonably well for blue whiting around N 64⁰.

For Norway pout, just under 1,000 tonnes have been fished and herring 320 tonnes.

Mackerel:
It was the summer’s best mackerel hatch with 2,200 tonnes from the coastal fleet. And it is the mackerel fishing in the north that contributes by far the most in the week’s quantity with 2,080 tonnes distributed over 111 catches. Several boats focus on mackerel fishing in the north, and last week 40 boats fished for mackerel in this area.

Fishing in the north has taken place over a relatively large area. In the Vestfjord basin, there has been a throw from Værøy and almost all the way to Skrova.
This weekend, the boats pulled to the outside of Lofoten and further north Vesterålen to Stø as the northernmost fishing area.

It is fine mackerel that is fished in the north with average weights of around 500 grams.

The fishermen report that it is difficult to be in the right place when the mackerel gather in the individual area. It is fast, and it is only for a short period that it is catchable. We can hope for sun and summer in the north, and the bloom of bait that collects mackerel in larger quantities.

In the south, Rogaland is the best area for mackerel.

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