– It is particularly positive that there are sand eel on all the large, old sites, says Erik Bonde Pedersen, Chairman of the Board of TripleNine. – That ensures a good spread of the fishing.
He adds that, as an added bonus, the fish are very large and high quality. They contain more oil and yield more solids than usual at this time of the year.
– There are also far fewer one-year old sand eel in the catches and the fish are significant larger than before, says Erik Bonde Pedersen.
– The sand eel population is therefore doing very well, which documents that there is enough food for the sand eel in the North Sea, says Erik Bonde Pedersen, who on this background is very optimistic with regard to the fishing both this year and in the future.
According to the Chairman, one of the positive developments which help weigh down the positive scale is the low fuel prices, which are now around DKK 2.30 as against approx. DKK 5.50 last year.
By contrast, the negative scale includes far lower prices paid, especially for fish oil, which has declined from approx. DKK 9 per kilo last year to approx. DKK 3 today.
This is partly due to farmed salmon diseases in Chile, which have resulted in the feed industry not being able to buy all the domestic production of fish oil. Chilean oil is therefore being offered on the European market, which of course pushes down prices.
– Nonetheless, I am generally optimistic with regard to sand eel fishing, concludes the Chairman, who is also convinced that the final sand eel quota set for the North Sea will be 400,000 tons, as recommended by all experts and proposed in the original statement.
– That will be the outcome if there is any sense in the world, he adds.
The Chairman states that during April and until mid-May, approx. 56,000 tons of high-quality sand eel has been landed at TripleNine’s Thyborøn factory, which he considers entirely satisfactory.
– Moreover, it is extremely positive that the upgraded production line in Thyborøn is operating very well at full capacity, which has also meant that we have not needed to redirect raw materials to other factories, concludes Erik Bonde Pedersen.