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Small Pelgics
El Niño is causing issues for the anchovy fishery off South America [November 2016]
El Niño is causing issues for the anchovy fishery off South America. According to the fishing company Pesquera Camanchaca, anchovy catches during the first quarter of 2016 are down by 94% compared with last year, and furthermore the fish are of a smaller size.

El Niño is having a negative effect on fisheries in India as well, according to reports from the country's Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI). Fish landings in the southern state of Kerala declined by 16% in 2015, with sardine landings plunging 60% as a combined result of El Niño, overexploitation and fishing juveniles.

In the USA, the government has banned practically all sardine fishing on the west coast in an effort to protect the species. Since 2007, the sardine stocks have declined by a disturbing 90%, and now need to be left in peace to recover. It will probably take a few years before any results can be seen.

Norwegian exports of small pelagics increased significantly during the first quarter of 2016. Total exports of whole frozen mackerel went up from 48 700 tonnes during the first three months of 2015 to 69 100 tonnes during the same period in 2016 (+41.9%). Whole frozen herring exports grew by 54.1% during the same period, to 41 600 tonnes.

Nigeria was once again the largest market for Norwegian mackerel, and accounted for 11.6% of total Norwegian mackerel exports. Other important markets were Japan, Ghana and China.
In terms of herring, the largest importers of frozen Norwegian herring were Ukraine (36.3% of total exports), Egypt (26.7% of the total) and Lithuania (12.0% of the total).

Dutch exports of frozen herring increased slightly during the first quarter of 2016, from 34 000 tonnes to 35 000 tonnes (+2.9%). Shipments increased to Egypt (+14.7%) and Nigeria (+54.3%), but declined to China (-23.9%).

China has been well established as a re-processing country for a number of small pelagic species, including mackerel. In the first quarter of 2016, the country's exports of frozen mackerel continued to grow, albeit at a very much slower rate of that in 2015. In the first quarter of 2015, Chinese mackerel exports grew by almost 64%, but in 2016, growth had slowed to just 2.4%. Even so, the total amount of Chinese frozen mackerel exports was impressive at 55 000 tonnes during the quarter. The main markets were the Philippines, Egypt and Viet Nam.

The herring fishery in Iceland was late getting started this year [October 2016]
The Norwegian Institute of Marine Research (IMR) has recommended that the North Sea herring quota be cut by 12% to 426 259 tonnes, down from 518 242 tonnes last year. The herring stock is in good shape, according to the IMR, but scientists are worried about recruitment, which is poor at the moment. The main reason for this is a higher natural death rate than normal this year.

The North Sea herring is reported to be "fat and fine" by fishers and traders, according to FiskeribladetFiskaren. Fat content was measured to be 15.5%, which is quite good. Herring caught further south were smaller in size.

Fishermen active in Skagerak (the area between Norway and Denmark), on the other hand, are complaining that the herring is spread all over the place in smaller shoals, and that the fish are very small, about 10 fish to the kg, which is too small for human consumption. It therefore goes to reduction, and at considerably lower prices than herring for human consumption. Later in the season, it is expected that the herring will form larger shoals and be easier to catch.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game reports that some 32 000 tonnes of herring will be available for harvesting in the Togiak region this year. This represents about 20% of the estimated biomass in the region, which has been set at 162 244 tonnes.

The Togiak roe herring harvest for 2016 was set at 13 763 tonnes, which is a reduction of 26% compared with last year's landings, although reasonably close to the 2004-2013 average catch of 14 066 tonnes.

Supplies of mackerel will be somewhat tighter this year [September 2016]
The mackerel summer season in Norway was off to a slow start at the end of May. Usually, this fishery starts sometime in early June, but fishers reported sightings of mackerel earlier this year. Early landings indicate that the season will be an average one, perhaps with a somewhat smaller volumes landed than last year. On the bright side, mackerel prices are slightly higher this year. Much depends on the weather, with warmer temperatures likely to bring improved landings.

Canadian environmentalists are criticizing the authorities for setting an overly high quota for Atlantic mackerel this year. According to the Ecology Action Center in Nova Scotia, the mackerel biomass is critically low. The quota has been set at 8 000 tonnes, while the advice by a panel of scientists was just 800 tonnes for both 2014 and 2015.

After two years of efforts by the UK Mackerel Industry Northern Sustainability Alliance (MINSA), the northeast mackerel fishery was granted MSC certification in May. According to MINSA, the mackerel stock is in good shape, and the MSC certification will help promote this resource to the consumers.

Supplies of the main species such as mackerel and herring will be somewhat tighter this year. Thus, one can expect prices to increase in general, although this will inevitably also depend on the development of currency exchange rates.

Mackerel Market Report - April 2009 [April 2009]

Global mackerel markets appear to have experienced mixed fortunes during the past year, affected by fluctuating currencies, drops in landing quota reflected in unit value, and a major market (Russia) imposing a temporary ban on imports.
Download file ... 

Mackerel Market Report - February 2009 [February 2009]

Global mackerel markets appear to have experienced mixed fortunes during the past year, affected by fluctuating currencies, drops in landing quota reflected in unit value, and a major market (Russia) imposing a temporary ban on imports.
Download file ... 

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Version Française

Thursday 23 March 2017
Top Info


Fish Info Network Directors meet at Conxemar, Vigo
In October each year the Spanish Association of Wholesalers, Importers, Manufacturers and Exporters of Fish products and Aquaculture (Conxemar) organizes the International Frozen Seafood Exhibition in Vigo, Spain.

Back to back with this event Conxemar jointly holds an international conference together with FAO. This year the conference was dedicated to cephalopods, a group of molluscs that includes squids, cuttlefishes, and octopus. The conference also provides the backdrop for various side events such as the Vigo dialogue on decent work in fisheries and aquaculture, and the meeting of the Fish Info Network (FIN).
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