Good week for sand eel

Last week was this season’s best week for sand eel for Norwegian boats, – several vessels with modest volumes of North Sea herring.

Sand eel
It was a good week for sand eel, totalling 19.100 MT, the best week this season. The volume was shared on 22 catches and 19 vessels.
The catching has been performed in different areas, and by the start of the week, the registrations came from Klondike. Later, the fleet moved south to the vicinity of the West Bank, and a few vessels at Inner Shoal. During the weekend, the fishing has been carried out further north, at both Klondike and the East Bank.
The catching has been uneven, as in the first part of the week, the volumes were modest. During the weekend, as the summer heat came upon us, the volumes increased, – and so the size of the sand eel.
Looking at the status; it remains 11.600 MT of the 2018 quota of 70.000 MT. Some 20 vessels have finished, and we expect low volumes in the forthcoming week.

North Sea herring
A number of vessels have now started the North Sea herring activity, and a grand total of 5.100 MT were registered last week. This is after all, a low volume considering the efforts made. The volume was shared on 34 catches, giving an average of just 150 MT each catch. Best single catch; “Røttingøy” with 320 MT.
The reports tell about low concentration and very few “dots” available for sweeping. Early in the week, and on Saturday, it was northern wind at the fields, normally hampering the herring fishing.
The fishing has been performed on three different main areas in Norwegian waters, from Oseberg in the north and further south to Heimdal, and west of the Coral Bank in the south end. In EU waters, there has been some catching west of Frigg.
The size varies, and as normal, the best size has been found in northern areas. Here, at Oseberg, the average weight was from 165 -180 g. From the fields further south, where normally herring for matjes purposes is found, the average was from 123 – 160 g.
Buyers still report that the quality for matjes purposes is not good enough yet, – due to low fat content. Most catches have a high stomach content, and hopefully the quality shortly improves for matjes production. The auction arrangements in Egersund is ready as from today; Monday the 28th of May.
In the forthcoming week, we expect the quota advices for next year on North Sea herring. It is always linked to high interest what will be the outcome; now the fishermen have seen less herring than previously.
Several vessels will head for the herring fisheries and buyers are prepared for production. Hopefully there will be an improved concentration of herring, boosting the North Sea herring fisheries.


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