Detailed outlook for salmon season 2007 in the Russian Far East

May 17, 2007 16:35

The salmon season 2007 can be the most successful for the Russian fishermen which are expected to harvest 320,000-330,000 tonnes of salmon.

According to the scientific forecasts, this year the main salmon season will start on the pink salmon grounds at the southwest coast of Sakhalin in the closing ten days of May. Approximately at the same time the fishermen will begin harvesting chinook salmon and sockeye in the waters of East Kamchatka and in July-August pink salmon, sockeye and chum salmon will be running in all the main areas. In September large scale chum salmon fishery will be conducted in Sakhalin and in the Kuriles.

Sockeye for Japanese market

Driftnet vessels are the first to start harvesting salmons out of the research program of salmon monitoring. They are expected to leave for the grounds in the third ten days of May 2007. Those ships are also the first to supply high quality sockeye salmon products playing an important role for most of the Japanese buyers.

In the year 2006 Russian sales onto the Japanese market were complicated by fairly carry-over previous-year coldstore inventories which were strictly limiting the users' potential of extra purchases. Sales of driftnet salmon in Japan were reported at prices as low as 650 yen per kilo. However, the Russian producers will try to drive prices up to the previous level of 1000 yen per kilo as even that level will hardly cover the fishermen's rising expenses of fuel and materials. After sales failure on the Japanese market in 2006 the Russian producers have been trial-selling onto the alternative markets of the North America and Western Europe. Some shipowners have already purchased and installed equipment needed to freeze fish to the EU standards.

In the recent months the opportunities for sales of Russian salmons on the Japanese market have been getting gloomy as the producers have been facing a gradual leveling of domestic and export prices. Nevertheless, in the first quarter of the current year 2007 import of Russian products grew by 10% as compared to the same period 2006. The average prices on the Japanese market actually grew only by 3% to ca.475 yen per kilo. That will be hardly attractive for the Russian producers in view of the salmon season coming soon, even more so the sockeye TAC in the West Kamchatka has been cut by 20% from 23,300 tonnes to 18,500 tonnes (in the waters of East Kamchatka the TAC has been decreased by 80% from 5000 tonnes to 9000 tonnes).


The salmon fishery is treated as inshore fishery conducted with undertime pressure therefore it is extremely important for the fishermen to be well informed on potential catches and terms of the fishery start and finish.

In the current year 2007 the TACs of Pacific salmon is recommended at 397,244 tonnes, according to the order No.59 dated 15 March 2007 issued by the Russian federal service for nature exploitation surveillance Rosprirodnadzor.

The above TACs are broken into the fishing areas as follows:

West Bering Sea zone - 2296 tonnes, of which 300 tonnes of pink salmon, 1119 tonnes of chum salmon, 873 tonnes of sockeye, 4 tonnes of chinook.

East Kamchatka zone - 106,891 tonnes, of which

Karaginsk subarea - 92,559 tonnes, of which 78,000 tonnes of pink salmon, 11,163 tonnes of chum salmon, 2850 tonnes of sockeye, 500 tonnes of coho, 46 tonnes of chinook;

Petropavlovsk-Komandor subarea - 14,332 tonnes, of which 2600 tonnes of pink salmon, 3245 tonnes of chum salmon, 6200 tonnes of sockeye, 1563 tonnes of coho, 724 tonnes of chinook.

West Kamchatka coast - 62,918 tonnes, of which:

West Kamchatka subarea - 28,327 tonnes, of which 18,300 tonnes of pink salmon, 8516 tonnes of chum salmon, 377 tonnes of sockeye, 1077 tonnes of coho, 57 tonnes of chinook;

Kamchatka Kurile subarea - 34,591 tonnes, of which 11,650 tonnes of pink salmon,3940 tonnes of chum salmon,18,165 tonnes of sockeye, 769 tonnes of coho, 67 tonnes of chinook.

Continental coast of the Sea of Okhotsk - 37,652.5 tonnes, of which:

Magadanskaya Oblast- 16,136.5 tonnes, of which 14,200 tonnes of pink salmon, 1780 tonnes of chum salmon, 2.5 tonnes of sockeye, 154 tonnes of coho;

Khabarovsky Krai - 21,516 tonnes, of which 8000 tonnes of pink salmon, 12,954 tonnes of chum salmon, 75 tonnes of sockeye, 487 tonnes of coho;

Amur River and estuary - 6285 tonnes, of which 1032 tonnes of pink salmon, 5253 tonnes of chum salmon.

Primorye subarea - 1172.9 tonnes, of which:

Coast of Khabarovsky Krai - 1058.6 tonnes, of which 1000 tonnes of pink salmon, 58.5 tonnes of chum salmon, 0.1 tonne of coho;

Coast of Primorsky Krai - 114.3 tonnes, of which 21 tonnes of pink salmon, 80.3 tonnes of chum salmon, 13 tonnes of masu salmon.

West Sakhalin subarea - 9641 tonnes, of which:

Southwest Sakhalin - 7132 tonnes, of which 2714 tonnes of pink salmon, 4409 tonnes of chum salmon, 9 tonnes of masu salmon.

Northwest Sakhalin - 2509 tonnes, of which 1609 tonnes of pink salmon, 900 tonnes of chum salmon.

East Sakhalin subarea -116,343 tonnes, of which 109,962 tonnes of pink salmon, 6343 tonnes of chum salmon, 20 tonnes of coho, 18 tonnes of masu salmon.

North Kurile zone - 2390 tonnes, of which 1000 tonnes of pink salmon, 660 tonnes of chum salmon, 440 tonnes of sockeye, 265 tonnes of coho, 25 tonnes of chinook.

South Kurile zone - 51,655 tonnes, of which 42,514 tonnes of pink salmon, 9134 tonnes of chum salmon, 6 tonnes of sockeye, 1 tonne of masu salmon.

The TACs of all salmon species for fishery with fixed seine gear have been increased by approximately 40% as compared to last year. The main rise has been approved for pink salmon, the TAC of which has been increased by nearly 100,000 tonnes.

The TAC of sockeye attracting attention of driftnet fishermen has been cut by ca.2% to approximately 29,000 tonnes. At the same time, the TAC of chum salmon has been raised nearly by 30%, including a rise by nearly 60% or 5000 tonnes in the waters of East Kamchatka. Taking into account a rise of the sockeye TAC in the latter area by 80% or 4000 tonnes the development is indicative of high probability of a boost of chum and sockeye runs to the areas at the Bering Sea side of Kamchatka.

The salmon season will traditionally be based on pinks, the TAC of which has been set at 292,900 tonnes. As usual for an odd year, in 2007 the largest catches of pinks are expected in the waters of East Kamchatka (80,600 tonnes) and East Sakhalin (109,900 tonnes). In the waters of West Kamchatka the scientists expect recovery of the odd year pink salmon stocks.

The share of other salmon species is not large. There is a positive trend for coho salmon with the TAC of the species approved at 4800 tonnes. The stocks of chinook salmon have been depleted by poaching and the TAC has been set at 923 tonnes, while the stocks of masu salmon have never been large (the TAC of 41 tonnes).

Inshore quotas of salmons broken down into fishing areas and species, metriс tons (as approved by Russia's Ministry of Agriculture)

Fishing areaTOTALPrimorsky Krai (capital Vladivostok)Jewish Autonomous DistrictKhabarovsky KraiMagadanskay OblastSakhalinskaya OblastKamchatskaya OblastKoryak Autonomous DistrictChukotka Autonomous District
West Bering Sea zone524.3      130.0394.3
of which coast of Chukotka Autonomous District394.3       394.3
coast of Koryak Autonomous District 130.0      130.0 
Coast of East Kamchatka100012.9     13812.53586200.34 
of which Karaginsk subarea86922.8     722.586200.34 
Petropavlovsk-Komandor subarea13090.0     13090.035  
Coast of West Kamchatka57043.6   126.91099.450398.845418.44 
of which Kamchatka subarea25183.3   126.9 32166.85418.44 
Kamchatka Kurile subarea31860.2    1099.430760.84  
North Okhotsk subarea30141.5  18626.511515.0    
of which  coast of Magadan Oblast11515.0   11515.0    
Coast of Khabarovsky Krai18626.5  18626.5     
Amur River4183.9 150.04033.9     
Primorye subarea955.111.1 944.0     
of which coast of Khabarovsky Krai944.0  944.0     
Coast of Primorsky Krai11.111.1       
West Sakhalin subarea8347.1  352.41 7994.72   
of which Southwest Sakhalin6796.0    6443.55   
Northwest Sakhalin1551.2  352.41 1551.17   
East Sakhalin subarea111733.8    111733.842   
North Kurile zone871.0    871.0   
South Kurile zone49434.5    49434.471   
Of which in species         
Pink salmon274821.723  8491.310550.0153515.22326511.475681.971.9
Chum salmon56155.90511.1150.014792.41835.017409.610579.1512113.15265.5
Sockeye25689.76  65.0 14.522945.952612.4151.9
Coho salmon3413.55  442.020.0173.712021.98755.86 
Chinook salmon675.86    3.0624.448.46 
Arctic char2490.9  166.1236.917.41528.5537.05.0
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