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Sardine catches in Namibia, South Africa drop, horse mackerel stable

Sardine catches in Namibia, South Africa drop, horse mackerel stable

BERGEN, Norway — Sardine catches in Namibia and South Africa during 2016 were reported to be smaller than in 2015, while horse mackerel landings were stable as the end market became more promising, according to the latest available figures.

This was according to Namibia-based fisheries consultant David Russell, speaking at the recent North Atlantic Seafood Forum in Bergen.

“Horse mackerel markets have been tight and there has been a drop in prices from 2015 to mid 2016. At the beginning of 2017 there were no product stockpiles, as has been the case in years immediately previously, so the market now looks more promising,” Russell said.

The total allowable horse mackerel catch in Namibia has been fairly constant at around 350,000 metric tons per year in recent years. In 2016 the TAC was set at 335,000t but was not initially completely allocated.

Catches immediately prior to October last year were relatively low, averaging about 50t per day, although in October they returned to an average of 130t per day, the latest available figures showed.

The biomass in the country’s waters was estimated to be in a good state, at about 1.4 million ton. Recently two refrigerated sea-water trawlers have been brought into Namibia, according to Russell.

The government has a plan to move away from a model dominated by companies processing and freezing at sea, forcing them to add value to products on land, in order to stimulate the local economy. This will be a trend, because Russian vessels are getting older, needing maintenance, Russell pointed out.

Angola’s horse mackerel fishery totals around 100,000t per year. The increase in catches of horse mackerel in Angola could be having an effect and it is pleasing to note that the trans-boundary management plans are in place, but full implementation still needs work, Russell said.

There has been an alarming decrease in trawler horse mackerel catches in South Africa in recent years, as fish became unavailable in the traditional grounds, possibly because of environmental reasons or an increase in the natural mortality, Russell pointed out.

The South African horse mackerel catch of mid-water trawlers for 2016 was estimated at 21,000t, significantly up from around 12,400t in 2015.

Horse mackerel catches in South Africa, which have hake as a by-catch, are much lower than the catches in Namibia.

South African purse-seiners target sardines, which are either canned or frozen for bait, or the industrial fishery targets anchovy and red-eye, which are reduced into fishmeal and fishoil.

Catches of those species in the last three years have been reasonable in South Africa, after a disastrous 2013, totaling about 350,000t in 2016, including 250,000t of anchovy.

In 2016, 76,000t of fishmeal were exported from South Africa, up 21% year-on-year. China, Turkey and Taiwan were among the largest export markets for those species, while Japan and Belgium were the main export markets for fish oil.

Read More Here: https://www.undercurrentnews.com/2017/03/21/sardine-catches-in-namibia-and-south-africa-drop-horse-mackerel-stable/

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