The early-year mackerel fishery is continuing to give good results, including a steady succession of landings to the three processing companies at Peterhead, reports David Linkie.

The Pelagia Shetland processing factory at Lerwick also received mackerel from a combination of local and Fraserburgh midwater trawlers last week.

With all the Scottish midwater fleet fishing some 100 miles north of Cape Wrath last week, skippers were reporting vast swathes of mackerel over a wide area of ground. In addition to miles of almost continuous big marks, which have regularly been seen at this time of year along the deepwater edge, providing clear evidence of the strength of the stock, the increasing appearance of younger fish is providing further good news on the stock’s long-term health.

Although severe gales impacted on fishing at the start of last week, a number of Irish vessels steamed up the Minch from Killybegs ready to start fishing when conditions improved.

As Storm Christoph swept across the North Atlantic bringing 50-knot northerly gales at the end of last week, mackerel activity was again curtailed.

Main image: Altaire and Artemis lying either side of the west pier to land mackerel to the Northbay Pelagic processing factory at Peterhead last week. Both vessels are scheduled to be replaced by new midwater trawlers from Karstensens shipyard.


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