The Norwegian sandeel fleet say they were pleasantly surprised by the record increase in the quota to 250,000 tonnes announced by the Final Quota Council on Friday.
“This is fantastic news for us in the trawl fleet,” said boat owner and skipper at Mostein 1, Bjarte Nordtun.
“We would like to thank the researchers a lot and commend the good cooperation we have had over the past few years on the sandeels,” said Nordtun.
Marine Research (HI) claim that their scientists believe they have broken a code when it comes to the management model that Norway began in 2011 when they introduced their own Norwegian quota per area, with fishing in larger parts of each area.
“So far everything seems to indicate that the management model works. We have seen a steady improvement in almost the entire Norwegian economic zone. I hope and believe that we have broken a code,” says stock manager in HI, Espen Johnsen
“The key is good acoustic cruises, good catch data from the fishing fleet and area-based management that prevents excessive local fishing pressure,” he explains.
When Nordtun was notified of the increase yesterday, Mostein 1 was on its way to Egersund with 615 tonnes.
“We started at the West Bank, but had the last tails at Inner Shoal. The north wind with temperature drops made the fish a little inaccessible at times, but it has been very good this year, says Nordtun who will be out on the next trip.
“It will be a busy time in the next 5-6 weeks until June 23 when the fishing is to be completed,” he remarked.
The sandeel quota this year was currently set at 70,000 tonnes when the fishery opened on April 15. There was then a preliminary increase to 110,000 tonnes on 6 May when some vessels began to complete the take-off quota. When Eros landed at the quay after the cruise, the final quota of 250,000 tonnes is now the highest in many, many years and the news of the increase came unexpectedly to the Norwegian sandeel fleet,
So far the fleet has fished just over 78,000 tonnes. After the last increase, just over 170,000 tonnes remain to be fished.
“The first catches came on April 17, after the fleet went to sea on the 15th. We had 3 catches then, since then it has been hit,” says sales manager Odd Fredrik Andersen in the Sildelaget.
“The weekly quantities from the start-up in week 16 up to week 19 have been 6,900, 22,800, 28,000 and then 18,100 tonnes last week,” says Andersen.
So far this week (week 20) it has been fishing up to 5,000 tonnes.
“There will be some hectic weeks ahead for both the fleet and the facilities. The fishing is to be completed on June 23, so with 170,000 left on the quota we hope to reach the goal,” says Andersen
Sales Director at the Sildelaget, Knut Torgnes is also pleased with the quota increase.
“The market out there wants fishmeal and fish oil and the total supply globally in 2020 has been undercover especially with less anchovetas fishing in Peru,” says Torgnes.
“Now a new quota has been set down there, so it remains to be seen if it will have any effect on the price level in the big picture. Either way, this increase in Norway is good news for both the fleet and the industry in the flour and oil sector,” says Torgnes.
Torgnes also refers to figures which show that from week 16 to week 19 the fat percentage has increased from 3.5% in week 16 to 7.6% from the first samples from the catches in week 19.
“This shows that the fish is in good condition and in good development, which is also confirmed by the researchers from the cruise,” says Torgnes.
Fredrik Andersen, CEO of Prima Protein in Egersund, is also positive about the quota increase.
“It is very positive that the stock of ebony is so large. Now it will be exciting if the fleet manages to fish up the entire quota in the time we have left,” he finished.
Source: Norges Sildesalgslag