Approved TACs 2008 outline main catch trends in the Russian Far East (full story with latest amendments)

December 13, 2007 16:09

Under the order No.27 dated 28 November 2007 Russia's State Fisheries Committee has set the TACs 2008 for finfish and other aquatic products in the economic zone of the nation's Far East thus approving the Basin's total harvest in the coming year 2008 at 3,067,600 metric tons, nearly 160,000 tonnes up on the TACs 2007 set by the order No.409 signed by the Ministry of Agriculture on 14 December 2006.

As compared to the year 2007, the newly approved TACs for the year 2008 are higher by 191,000 tonnes for finfish species, 2900 tonnes for Echinodermata and 37,000 tonnes for seaweed.

The TACs for shellfish species have been decreased nearly by 22,000 metric tons at the expense of crabs (red king crab and snow crab opilio), shrimps (Pandalus borealis and Pandalus goniurus), while the TACs of mollusks (mostly squids) have been decreased by 42,500 tonnes.

Species

TACs, ‘000 metric tons

2005

2006

2007

2008

TOTAL*

2907.565

2802.078

2908.482

3067.595

Finfish*

2186.58

2084.366

2201.008

2392.628

Shellfish

74.749

77.569

92.292

70.875

Mollusks

434.744

422.692

431.258

388.7615

Echinodermata

9.565

10.86

12.971

15.896

Seaweed

190.48

195.18

162.125

199.276

* less salmon TACs

While in the current year 2007 the TACs in the West Bering Sea Zone have been increased by 185,000 tonnes and the TACs in the Sea of Okhotsk have been decreased by 50,000 tonnes, the TACs 2008 in the Sea of Okhotsk has been increased by 170,800 tonnes and the TACs in the Bering Sea have been decreased by 68,700 tonnes.

TACs of all the species broken down between the fishing areas

Bering Sea

East Kamchatka

North Kuriles

South Kuriles

Sea of Okhotsk

Sea of Japan

TOTAL

2008, ‘000 metric tons

717.163

280.949

203.147

471.903

1122.675

264.435

3067.595

2007, ‘000 metric tons

785.899

252.85

156.084

439.378

951.876

303.428

2899.732

2008 versus 2007, +/- ‘000 metric tons

-68.736

+28.999

+47.063

+32.525

+170.799

-38.993

+167.863

As for the species, the TACs have been increased for cod, Alaska pollock, wachna cod, halibuts, Atka mackerel, smelt, anchovy, sea cucumber, sea urchins, trepang and kelp.

Alaska pollock

The Alaska pollock TAC 2008 in the Russian Far East Basin has been increased by 151,000 tonnes. At the same time the APO TAC in the Bering Sea has been cut by 63,700 tonnes. The scientists attribute the TAC reduction to the weather conditions. More specifically, hydro meteorologists forecast that in the coming two or three years there will be a cooling which will normally adversely affect migration of the APO stock to the northwest part of the Bering Sea. Besides, the biomass of the West Bering Sea APO population and the abundance of the annual recruitment have so far remained at a low level. In the recent years no strong classes have been observed in the populations. As a result, the Alaska pollock TACs for the year 2008 in the West Bering Sea zone and in the Karaginsk subarea have been set at 624,000 tonnes versus 690,000 tonnes approved for exploitation in the current year 2007.

Increased fishing stock (according to the research surveys) in the North Kuriles has enabled to approve a twice bigger TAC of Alaska pollock reaching 56,600 tonnes versus 28,500 tonnes in 2007.

Improved conditions for Alaska pollock reproduction in the north of the Sea of Okhotsk in the beginning of 2000s as well as strict measures of the fishery regulation have positively influenced the condition of the Okhotsk APO stock. Therefore, the Alaska pollock TAC 2008 in the sea's north has been set at 697,500 tonnes with the largest increases approved for the West Kamchatka subarea (+139,000 tonnes) and East Sakhalin subarea (+24,000 tonnes).

The growing abundance of the fishing APO stock of the West Kamchatka subarea has been proved by the research surveys conducted by the scientists and it is estimated at 1.6 million metric tons. Thus, the APO TAC in the subarea has been set at 308,000 metric tons.

Poor abundance of the Alaska pollock stock and depleted condition of its fishing stock in the Primorye subarea have caused a decrease of the TAC falling nearly twice down from 9600 tonnes to 5200 tonnes.

For the first time the State Fisheries Committee has allocated the Alaska pollock TAC of 5000 tonnes in the Chukotka zone of the Russian EEZ.

Alaska pollock TAC broken down between the fishing zones

Chukotka Sea

Bering Sea

East Kamchatka

North Kuriles

South Kuriles

Sea of Okhotsk

Sea of Japan

TOTAL

2008, ‘000 metric tons

5.0

555.7

129.9

56.6

12.1

697.5

5.2

1462.0

2007, ‘000 metric tons

619.4

132.1

28.5

10.0

511.0

9.6

1310.6

2008 versus 2007, +/- ‘000 metric tons

+5.0

-63.7

-2.2

+28.1

+2.1

+186.5

-4.4

+151.4

In the coming year 2008 the fishermen of the Russian Far East will be able to catch more wachna cod in the Bering Sea (+3100 tonnes) and in the Karaginsk subarea (+4400 tonnes), while in the previous years the scientists used a cautious approach when recommending the TAC of the species.

The Atka mackerel TACs have been increased by 19,250 tonnes, including 11,550 tonnes in the East Kamchatka subarea and 14,100 tonnes in the North Kuriles.

As the cod stocks have been exploited at 87%, the Committee has increased the cod TAC 2008 by 23,600 tonnes.

Cod TAC broken down between the fishing zones

Bering Sea

East Kamchatka

North Kuriles

South Kuriles

Sea of Okhotsk

Sea of Japan

TOTAL

2008, ‘000 metric tons

19.3

30.1

8.1

4.2

18.473

2.7

83.098

2007, ‘000 metric tons

17.1

16.786

3.7

3.2

15.494

3.21

59.49

2008 versus 2007, +/- ‘000 metric tons

+2.2

+13.314

+4.4

+1.0

+2.979

-0.51

+23.608

The Committee has also approved considerable increases of the TACs of such poorly exploited species as anchovy (+32,000 tonnes), saury (+158,000 tonnes), squid (+376,000 tonnes) and seaweed (+199,000 tonnes).

At the same time, as compared to the year 2007, the new TACs 2008 have been decreased for such species as herring (-7340 tonnes), flounder (-16,221 tonnes) and halibuts of the Sea of Okhotsk (-800 tonnes).

Species

Bering Sea

East Kamchatka

North Kuriles

South Kuriles

Sea of Okhotsk

Sea of Japan

Herring

2008, ‘000 metric tons

6.635

1.375

195.802

1.515

2007, ‘000 metric tons

6.635

1.375

203.037

1.825

2008 versus 2007, +/- ‘000 metric tons

0

0

-7.235

-0.31

Flounder

2008, ‘000 metric tons

30.01

14.2

2.6

0.84

49.321

20.88

2007, ‘000 metric tons

30.0

12.1

2.6

0.84

58.102

30.42

2008 versus 2007, +/- ‘000 metric tons

0

+2.1

0

0

-8.781

-9.54

Halibuts

2008, ‘000 metric tons

6.3

1.287

0.445

0.99

13.181

2007, ‘000 metric tons

4.7

1.405

0.445

0.99

13.97

2008 versus 2007, +/- ‘000 metric tons

+1.6

-0.118

0

0

-0.789

The decrease of the herring TAC in the Sea of Okhotsk can be attributed mostly to diminishing abundance of the population, high mortality rates in 2001 due to difficult ice conditions and poor recruitment of the resources.

Catches of flounder in the Russian Far East are dominated by yellowfin sole at 70-80%. At present the scientists have been observing a decreasing abundance of the species. As a result, the TACs of all the flounder species have been cut by 16,200 tonnes.

Just like in the current year 2007, the crab TACs for the year 2008 cover 13 species, but the TACs 2008 have been cut by 6600 tonnes on the TACs 2007. The decrease of the TAC has been approved mostly for snow crab opilio of the North Okhotsk subarea (-1800 tonnes) and the Karaginsk subarea (-278 tonnes) as well as red king crab of the West Kamchatka subarea of the Sea of Okhotsk (-1861 tonnes). The TAC of the red snow crab in the Sea of Japan has been cut by 645 tonnes and the TAC of the triangle tanner crab in the Sea of Okhotsk has been reduced by 550 tonnes. At the same time, the TAC of golden king crab has been slightly increased from 415 tonnes last year to 506 tonnes in the waters of the North Kuriles and by 88 tonnes in two subareas of the Sea of Okhotsk (North Okhotsk and West Kamchatka subarea).

Unlike the shrimp TAC increasing trend observed in the Basin in the recent year, the shrimp TACs 2008 have been reduced by 14,700 tonnes. According to the research surveys, the fishing stock of pink shrimp Pandalus borealis in the Kamchatka-Kurile subarea has dropped 1.5-fold, which has become the reason for Committee to reduce the TAC of the species by 1650 tonnes. The pink shrimp TAC in the Bering Sea has been also decreased by 1000 tonnes. The forecasted abundance of the fishing stock of shrimp Pandalus goniurus in the Bering Sea has turned out to be unreasonably high. As a result, the TAC of the species has been cut by 11,250 tonnes.

According to the scientific forecasts, the abundance and the current condition of the squid stocks in the Russian Far East Basin have been fairly strong. The squid TACs have remained unexhausted year-on-year. Thus, due to the absence of sufficient grounds for an increase, the squid TACs 2008 have been reduced by 42,500 tonnes, including 22,500 tonnes in the South Kuriles and 20,000 tonnes in the Sea of Japan.

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