Good start of the year mackerel fishery for Scottish fleet

Good start of the year mackerel fishery for Scottish fleet

The traditional start-of-the-year mackerel fishery for the Scottish mackerel fleet proved fruitful, with boats reporting abundant shoals of good-sized fish.

Fishing mainly to the north-west of Orkney, the plentiful fish on the grounds meant the fleet typically worked short, one or two day trips, landing their catches into Shetland, Peterhead, Norway and Denmark. The short duration of the trips ensured that the quality of the fish landed was excellent, with mackerel being in good demand from both domestic and international buyers.

Most of the mackerel fishing had been completed by the first week of February, when around half-a-dozen boats which have a share in the small Scottish quota of Atlanto-Scandian herring moved north to work a short fishery off the Lofoten Islands, Norway. Some boats are also currently fishing for blue whiting to the west of Ireland, where the stock is currently undergoing a period of strong recruitment.

The next major fishery will be for MSC certified North Sea herring, which generally begins around the middle of July and lasts until the end of August. There will then be a short lull, before the Scottish pelagic fleets heads out to the grounds once more in October to fish for mackerel in a fishery that usually lasts until mid-November.