Norwegian Sandeel season 2021 kick-off today
Today, 15 April signals the start of this year’s sandeel season for the Norwegian fleet who have a current quota which is set at 110,000 tonnes.
After a fantastic season in 2020, where over 244,400 tonnes of sandeels were delivered by Norwegian vessels to a value of around €87 million, there is great excitement associated with this year’s sandeel fishing reports Norges Sildesalgslag.
It is expected that the quota will be increased later, Havforskningen (the Norwegian Marine Institute) will embark on its acoustic sandeel cruise with the FV Kings Bay on April 21, just 6 days after the fishing starts. Due to the high start-up quota of 110,000 tonnes, which last year was 70,000 tonnes, the team at Norges Sildesalgslag expects more boats to be ready for fishing starting on 15 April.
Last year, the preliminary quota of 70,000 tonnes was already increased to 110,000 tonnes on 6 May 2020 with the following reasons:
1) ensure continuity in fishing (many vessels had already fished their original quota at the beginning of May),
2) ensure continuity and utilize the capacity on the receiving side
The final quota was announced after the results of the April/May research cruise came back when it was then increased to 250,000 tonnes.
The first landing of sandeel came on 17 April last year with the fishing taking place over the remainder of April, May and June with each month recording landing of 41,200 tonnes, 117,700 tonnes and 86, 000 tonnes respectively.
Overall, 244,300 tonnes of sandeel was fished which was nearly double the total of 124,800 tonnes for 2019.
All of the sandeel landings went to fishmeal/oil manufacturing.
The Norwegian Government has introduced tighter controls on this year’s fishery after a number of complaints was received over the large amount of bycatch such as haddock which found its way into the processing system.
The Government has notified all sandeel fishing vessels that the landing of cod, haddock or saithe for processing in fishmeal/oil is forbidden.