Comparable analysis of commercial capture quotas in the seas of the Russian Far East Basin in 2007-2008

March 12, 2008 11:07

Russian companies' quotas for commercial offshore fisheries in 2008 have been decreased by 17,000 metric tons as compared to quotas 2007, the conclusion has been made by FISHNET analysts after a thorough study of the order 74 dated 19 December 2007 issued by the State Fisheries Committee.

Some fish species have been expelled from the list of quota-regulated species and in the Petropavslosk-Komandor subarea (East-Kamchatka zone) the Committee has allowed companies to harvest only ca.15,000 tonnes of squid, 500 tonnes of black cod and 350 tonnes of crab species. Such species as Alaska pollock, cod, halibut, flounder and Atka mackerel have been allocated for inshore operations of Kamchatka-based fleets.

Slight increases on 2007 have been approved for such species as wachna cod (1400 tonnes), ocean perch (580 tonnes), Atka mackerel (1600 tonnes), lycodes and black cod (970 tonnes). The Alaska pollock quota 2008 has been approved at 1.2 million tonnes, 86,000 tonnes up on 2007. The saury quota in the South Kuriles zone has been increased by 6000 tonnes, while the squid quota has been decreased by 43,000 tonnes in the same zone and by 20,000 tonnes in the Primorye subarea of the Sea of Japan.

Quotas in the West Bering Sea zone and in the East Kamchatka have been reduced by more than 100,000 metric tons, including more than 90,000 tonnes of Alaska pollock. For other species up and down fluctuations have been not large.

Quotas in the North Kuriles give the fishermen the opportunity to make up the loss of other species by means of increasing Alaska pollock catches by 11,000 tonnes and Atka mackerel by 7000 tonnes.

Quotas in the Sea of Okhotsk have been increased by nearly 150,000 tonnes, mostly thanks to larger allocations of Alaska pollock rising by 170,000 tonnes up on 2007. At the shores of East Sakhalin the Russian fishermen will be able to harvest 24,000 tonnes of APO more. At the West Kamchatka to the north of the 54th degree North, the fleets will be able to harvest 130,000 tonnes of Alaska pollock more than in 2007, though the scientists warn that a considerable bycatch of undersize fish is possible in excess of allowed volumes.

Those companies willing to make up for the last year's lost catches (not through their fault) of Okhotsk herring will be disappointed as the Okhotsk herring quotas 2008 have been reduced by 10,000 tonnes.

Flounder quotas have been decreased in all the areas. The dedicated fishery of the species is possible in the Bering Sea where the catch volumes have been reduced only by 600 tonnes. At the same time, in the Sea of Japan the stocks of the species have been strongly depleted, due to which the catch quotas 2008 have been decreased by 6000 tonnes on 2007.

While in 2007 the quotas for commercial red king crab fishery in the waters of West Kamchatka have been approved at ca.3000 tonnes, in 2008 the fishermen will be able to harvest only 100 tonnes of red king crab in the Ayano-Shantarsk area, where in 2007 the quotas were allocated to Magadan and Khabarovsk companies for inshore operations.

While in 2007 the deepwater pink shrimp quotas have been increased by 3000 tonnes, the allocations for the year 2008 have been decreased by the same figure due to lower quotas in the Bering Sea and in the Kamchatka Kurile subarea of the Sea of Okhotsk.

As for the provinces, considerable decreases on 2007 have been approved for Vladivostok-led Primorsky Krai Territory (minus 17,000 tonnes) and Sakhalin Oblast (minus 16,000 tonnes). Magadan fishermen have lost only 3500 tonnes. At the same time, quotas of Kamchatka, Koryak Autonomous District and Chukotka Autonomous District have been increased by 13,500 tonnes and Khabarovsk quotas have been raised by 7000 tonnes.

However, due to a considerable increase of Alaska pollock quotas 2008 in the Sea of Okhotsk the fleets based in Primorsky Krai (capital Vladivostok) will be able to harvest by 34,000 tonnes more than in 2007. As for other provinces, the situation is as follows: Khabarovsk fishermen will be able to harvest by 9000 tonnes more, Magadan fishermen will be able to increase their total harvest by 3700 tonnes, Sakhalin - by 23,000 tonnes and Kamchatka by 17,800 tonnes.

Increased saury quotas will also allow Primorye fishermen to raise their catches by 2300 tonnes.

Comparative analysis of catch quotas is given in two tables in the end of the March issue of the Russian Fish Report to be published soon. Subscribers to the Russian Fish Report can also download a pdf-file with the tables from the Publications section of at

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