Last week the Norwegian Mackerel fleet caught 2,500 tonnes and this week there has been little fishing as the fish stay in the deep waters of the fjords
The Norwegian mackerel season has gone from the highs of one week to the lows of the following week as mixed fishing affects the fleet.
Last week saw the best of the summer fishing so far with 2,500 tonnes of mackerel being landed. Out of this, 2,250 tonnes was caught in the Vestfjord areas. So good was the fishing that few fishermen could recall there being such fishing in the area for a long time.
The good fishing caused a lot of boats to head north with 38 boats having been recorded as registering catches, in addition with some co-opting.
The mackerel in the north is usually large in size with average weights in the range of 450 to 520 grams.
In the south, where the main fishery was in Rogaland and Bømlo, the quantity was slightly lesser than the previous week with a little more variation in sizes. Most of the mackerel are around 400g, and are full of eggs now approaching spawning. Small mackerel weighing as low as 200g has been caught in other areas.
Then this week, the mackerel fishing in the West Fjord has stagnated somewhat as the fish are deep and difficult to catch. Some vessels have also left the area in search of better fishing.
“Some vessels have left the fjord, but many of the vessels that have left have started catching NVG herring. The size varies somewhat, but good quality of herring is reported,” says Røttingen. “The delivery options for herring in the north are good. But if the availability of the mackerel gets better, they will be back mackerel fishing again, too.”
In the south, mackerel fishing has varied in part due to weather conditions, but when the weather is in place, fishing has also been good. The size of the mackerel has been varied, but now seems to have leveled off. We had a period of pier catches that went to freezing.
“In addition, the EU duty-free quota is assumed to be exhausted and there has been a reduction in the minimum price. This led to a very good sale with 64 tonnes at auction as well as some sales outside the auction.
“Despite the current situation, the export of fresh mackerel is well above all expectations, and it is positive that the sales stay up so that we get a continuity in the export of fresh mackerel to the EU,” concludes Røttingen.