The Norwegian pelagic fleet’s first landings of North Sea this year have been made in the last few days as the season begins.
The first North Sea herring of the season was landed last week by Sjøglans with 280 tonnes taken north of the Oseberg field, and landings have totalled almost 2000 tonnes so far.
Fiskebåt reports that herring caught on the Oseberg Field are in the 170-185 gramme bracket, with an average weight of 177 grammes, while fish caught further south weighs in at 144 grammes. The fish are reported to be in excellent condition with a significantly higher fat content than at the same time last year, although the fish can have a high feed content.
So far the herring have not had the fat content and condition needed for producing maatjes herring, but the Maatjes Hallen in Egersund is waiting for the first landings once the fish have reached peak condition and Sildelaget reports there is strong interest among buyers in bidding for North Sea herring.
The fleet was tied up on Saturday, while there were a dozen boats at sea on Sunday with herring scarce on the fishing grounds.