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Purse seiner photo: Fredrik Hansen (2018) | Norges Sildesalgslag

Best sandeel week of the year and there’s been registered a decent gathering on the North Sea Herring

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Monday, May 25, 2020, 17:20 (GMT + 9)

Sand eel:

A total of 28.500 MT, from 33 catches, was registered in the catch journal this week. The volume of the catches ranged from 275 MT at the lowest, to 1.770 MT as the larges catch. Friday was the best day where we got 8.900 MT in the journal.  

As previous weeks, the fishery has taken place at multiple grounds, and at the beginning of the week it mainly took place at the Inner Shoal and Vestbanken. However, the fishery wasn’t the greatest here as the sandeel spread out when more vessels arrived. Throughout the week the fishery became good at the Outer Shoal and the fleet gathered here on Friday/Saturday. A handful of vessels also started to trawl on Klondyke on Sunday.

The fact that there’s sandeel on multiple locations matches the researchers’ observations, and it is important to spread out the fleet so they don’t all gather in one area.

So far, a total of 121.000 MT of the 250.000 MT quota has been caught and with four weeks left to fish we need a weekly volume of 32.000 MT to fish all of it.

No matter the volume outcome, there’s no doubt that this sandeel season will have the best turn over ever. We’ve already exceeded last year’s record of 370 million as the prices this year are about 20% higher than last year’s at this time.

All but three catches this year has been sold to Norwegian plants in Egersund and Møre. The plants went straight from producing blue whiting to sandeel and have been working night and day to keep up.

We’re hoping that the weather will be nice the following week and the fishery decent.

North Sea herring: 

This week we got a pleasant start on the herring fishery with 1.500 MT in the journal. The six catches ranged from 80 MT to 500 MT.

“Sjøglans” left port May 18th and reported 275 MT from Vikingbanken already the next day. They spoke about a good gathering on the herring and on Wednesday we received further reports confirming the great accessibility from this area.

The size of the herring was somewhat small for this area, with an average size of 138-159 gram. The buyers report of an even size and the preliminary fat analysis show a fat percentage of 13. Considering the cold moth of May that we’ve had the fat percentage is considered decent and we’re positive to the maturation.

There’s a decent demand in the market for herring, especially canned products – in these corona times.

There’s been strong winds on the ground this weekend, and more vessels sat course for the ground on Sunday.

We’re hoping the temperature will increase and for decent weather, and maybe it’ll be matjes quality on the herring by Whitsun. 

Mackerel / horse mackerel:


As usual, around this time period, there’s been more mackerel reported and about 45 MT was sold for the fresh market. The catches have been caught from Strand county, Rogaland in the South to Kinn county, Vestland in the Norht.

The size of the mackerel ranges from 320-500 gram. The buyers report of a bit more uncertainty than normal in the market.

In addition, a total of five horse mackerel catches and 42 MT have been reported. These catches were caught in Hjelmeland, Askvoll and Vanylven.

Author: Kenneth Garvik  / Norges Sildesalgslag



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