Changes in catch quotas for commercial fishery in 2007 in the Russian Far East
By order No. 392 dated 30 November 2006 Russia's Federal Fisheries Agency has approved quotas for commercial fishery of aquatic biological resources on the continental shelf of the Russian Federation and in the Russian EEZ in the Far East Basin.
Total quotas 2007 exceed the previous year level by 190,000 tonnes.
Alaska pollock quotas 2007 have been increased by 180,000 metric tons on the quotas for the current year 2006. In the Karaginsk subarea the Alaska pollock TAC was previously distributed for inshore fishery and research purposes, while in the following year 2007 a quota of 48,000 metric tons of Alaska pollock can be covered by offshore operations. However, there is a slight discrepancy in regulatory documents: by the above mentioned order the quota has been issued for commercial fishery, while under the Fishery Regulations the APO fishery in the Karaginsk subarea is prohibited for the whole year and the new wording of the regulations prohibiting the APO fishery in the stock's spawning period only is still pending approval.
In the Bering Sea where the APO stock has been exhausted in the recent years the quota 2007 for commercial fishery has been boosted by 146,000 tonnes on the quota 2006.
In general, in the Sea of Okhotsk the commercial fishery quota of Alaska pollock has been reduced by 24,000 tonnes, while catches in the West Kamchatka subarea and in the Kamchatka Kurile subarea have been decreased correspondingly by 16,000 and 17,000 tonnes (taking into account the increase in the latter subarea by 34,000 tonnes in the year 2006). The Alaska pollock quota in the North Okhotsk subarea has remained on a par with the quota 2006.
Out of 32 species for commercial fishery quota increases have been approved for such species as sculpins (by 20,000 tonnes) to be harvested as bycatch only and flounder (by 28,000 tonnes). The dedicated flounder fishery is allowed in the Bering Sea and in the Sea of Japan where the quotas have been increased by 16,000 and 11,000 tonnes correspondingly.
Capelin quotas which have remained underexploited from year to year with the quota remainder for 11 months of the year 2006 amounting to 29,200 tonnes have been increased by ca.10,000 tonnes.
Thanks to the quota increase in the Sea of Japan by 8000 tonnes the saury quotas in all the seas of the Basin have been increased by 6000 tonnes.
Scientists recommend for fishery squid stocks of the South Kuriles where the quotas 2007 have been raised by 21,000 on the previous year level. In the meantime, the actual harvest of the species for 11 months of the year 2006 has amounted to 4500 tonnes out of the annual quota of 111,500 tonnes in the area.
The quota of red king crab in the waters of West Kamchatka has been set at ca.3000 tonnes for commercial fishery, while in the recent year the species has been harvested for research purposes only.
In the Sea of Japan catches of red tanner crab have been increased by 1000 tonnes. Increases have been also approved for such crab species as blue king, golden king, snow opilio and triangle tanner.
The quotas of pink shrimp Pandalus borealis and shrimp Pandalus goniurus have been raised by 3000 and 9000 tonnes correspondingly. The above increases can be attributed mainly to a boost of allowable catches of pink shrimp in the Sea of Japan (1200 tonnes up) and goniurus shrimp in the Bering Sea (8700 tonnes up).
In the meantime, the quota of Okhotsk herring has been cut by 32,000 tonnes. Longliners and trawlers will have smaller quotas of halibut (1200 tonnes down), cod (2800 tonnes down) and grenadier (1100 tonnes).
In the Bering Sea the quotas of wachna cod have been reduced by 9000 tonnes. Atka mackerel quotas in the Sea of Japan have also been cut down by 5000 tonnes.
As for distribution of the quotas between provinces of the Russian Far East Basin, the Alaska pollock quota for Primorsky Krai (capital Vladivostok) has been increased by 70,000 tonnes which is actually slightly down as compared to 78,000 tonnes for Sakhalin and Kamchatka taken together.
Decreases of the herring quotas for the provinces are as follows: 13,000 tonnes for Primorye, 3700 tonnes - Khabarovsk, 6700 tonnes - Magadan, 4800 tonnes - Sakhalin and 2400 tonnes - Kamchatka.
With the flounder quotas in the Basin increased, Vladivostok-based fleets will be able to harvest 14,500 tonnes of flounder more as compared to their allocations in the year 2006 thanks to higher quotas in the Sea of Japan and in the Bering Sea. Companies based in Sakhalin and Koryak Autonomous District can harvest by 6,000 and 4,000 tonnes of flounder as compared to 2006.
While the Atka mackerel quotas for Kamchatka-based users have been increased in general, due to lower quota of the species in the waters of the Kuriles and in the Sea of Japan Primorye-based fleets will have the Atka mackerel quotas more than 5000 down on the year 2006.
With the squid TAC increased in the waters of the South Kuriles, Sakhalin-based fleets have appeared to be in more advantageous position. The province's TAC of squid has been raised by 9000 tonnes.
The detailed comparative analysis of commercial quotas broken down between species, areas and provinces is published separately.