Russian pelagic vessels have caught as much Barents Sea capelin this season as they had during the last season in 2015, as there was no fishery in 2016 and 2017, and the prospects are looking good for the continuing season.
According to the Federal Fisheries Agency, ten Russian vessels are fishing mainly in Norwegian waters for capelin with catch rates ranging from five to 20 tonnes per towing hour, and six vessels have left the grounds to discharge.
Petr Savchuk, deputy head of the Federal Fisheries Agency, reported that conditions are not stable, as the fish are migrating fast towards the Norwegian coast and due to changeable weather conditions. He commented that the by-catch of herring has been minimal and is within the limits set by the Norwegian authorities.
Research organisation PINRO predicts that the capelin will continue their migration, with larger fish to be expected and the densest shoals of capelin are inside the Norwegian EEZ. A large pre-spawning concentration of capelin towards the Norwegian coast is likely, while there is also a likelihood of concentrations of capelin forming along the Mumansk Bank and the Murmansk region coast.