Overview of Russian fisheries in the North Atlantic and Central Atlantic in April 2020

May 7, 2020 16:28

In April 2020 the Russian fleets harvested 112,100 metric tons of bottom and pelagic fish in the Atlantic Ocean. This was 800 tonnes less as compared to March.

Pelagic trawl fishery of small herrings in the Southeast Baltic Sea was conducted of up to 34 vessels based in Kaliningrad-led Western Basin. The fishery conditions were reportedly favourable. The catch in April amounted to 11,500 tonnes of small herrings (-600 tonnes), of which 88% were sprats, 11% - Baltic herring and 1% - other fish species.

Bottom fishery in the above area was resumed on April 10. The conditions on the grounds were reported as fairly favourable. Through the month the Russian vessels harvested 336 tonnes of bottomfish, including cod - 98% and European flounder - 2%. About 7 tonnes of cod mainly were harvested with net gear.

In April, just like in March, up to 6 trawlers of the Western Basin were engaged in the Baltic herring fishery in the Gulf of Finland. The fishery situation was unstable and worsened typically for the season. The catch through the month amounted to 1,100 tonnes of fish (-1,100 tonnes), 96% of Baltic herring and 4% of sprat as by-catch.

In the Barents Sea, bottom trawl fishery of cod and haddock was carried out by up to 66 middle class vessels and up to 30 small boats coming from Murmansk-led Northern Basin. Through the month they caught 11,300 tonnes of groundfish off Spitsbergen, including 9,000 tonnes of cod, 900 tonnes of haddock, 700 tonnes of catfish and 700 tonnes of perch. In the Norwegian EEZ the Russian catch amounted to 12,000 tonnes (-31,200 tonnes), including 16,400 tonnes of cod, 700 tonnes of saithe, 500 tonnes of haddock and 100 tonnes of perch. Russian catches in the home zone (32% of the total catch) totalled 10,800 tonnes (+5,600 tonnes), including cod – 4,600 tonnes, haddock – 5,500 tonnes, catfish – 200 tonnes, flounder – 400 tonnes and perch – 100 tonnes.

Up to 30 vessels of the Northern Basin and one St. Petersburg-based trawler conducted dedicated flounder fishery in the Russian zone of the Barents Sea. The total catch amounted to 1,632 tonnes (+1,273 tonnes) of fish, of which flounder accounted for 80%.

In the Barents Sea, 10 vessels of the Northern Basin and one vessel from St. Petersburg were engaged in longline bottom fishery. The main fishing area was located in the Norwegian zone (77% of the longline catch), and some sort of fishery unrolled off Spitsbergen (20%). One vessel operating in the Russian zone contributed 3% to the total catch. All in all, the Russian fishermen harvested 3,000 tonnes (-300 tonnes), of which catfish made up 55%, cod - 37%, halibut - 4%, haddock - 3% and other fish - 1%.

By the end of April, the share of the Russian quota yet to be covered amounted to 59.7% for cod and 72.0% for haddock.

The shrimp fishery in the Barents Sea was carried out by 13 trawlers of the Northern Basin, one trawler from St. Petersburg and one from the nation’s Far East. Just like in March, in April the fleet mostly worked in the Russian zone, though some shrimpers went out to the international waters. The conditions grew better during the period under analysis and were generally favourable. The shrimp catch through April amounted to 3,423 tonnes (+767 tons). From the fishery start by the end of April the Russian vessels harvested 7,714 tonnes of pink shrimp, while the respective result of last year was 5,308 tonnes.

The snow crab trap fishery in the Russian zone of the Barents Sea was conducted by nine vessels of the Northern Basin and one vessel from Vladivostok-led Far East Basin. The fishermen reported about good conditions on the grounds. As a result, in April the Russian fleet harvested 1,130 tonnes (+902 tons) of snow crab. From the fishery start until the end of April the snow crab catch in the Barents Sea amounted to 1,458 tons out of the TAC of 9,840 tonnes. In the same period of 2019 the result was much higher at 2,485 tonnes namely.

Nine trawlers from Kaliningrad and 10 trawlers coming from the Northern Basin were targeting blue whiting in the Faroese fishing zone. In early April the fishery was weak, but as off April 17 the situation got much better with the spent fish running from the south. As a result, the Russian vessels harvested 45,400 tonnes of blue whiting through the month. The total catch from January amounted to 54,100 tonnes of blue whiting, which accounted for 66% of the national quota of blue whiting in the Faroese fishing zone (82,000 tonnes). Last year the respective result was 60,800 tonnes.

On April 29, 2020 two vessels of the Northern Basin began fishing for ocean perch in the Irminger Sea (the NEAFC Regulatory Area). For the couple of days remaining in April, 42 tons of ocean perch were harvested. Last year, the fishery took off a week earlier, and the total catch about 0.4 thousand tons of perch were received.

In the NAFO Regulatory Area (the Northwest Atlantic) up to 5 trawlers of the Northern Basin were targeting mostly ocean perch and halibut. The total catch through April remained on a par with the catch in March and amounted to 1,800 tonnes of fish, including perch (63%), black halibut (32%), flounder (3%) and cod (2%).

In the EEZ of Mauritania eight Russian trawlers participated in the pelagic trawl fishery (two ships from Kaliningrad, two from the Far East and four from the Northern Basin). The fishery situation remained weak through the whole month. The total catch in April amounted to 8,500 tonnes of fish (+3,100 tonnes), of which horse mackerel accounted for 57%, mackerel - 26%, sardines - 9% and other fish species - 8%. The total catch from January to April amounted to 19,900 tonnes, up from 18,000 tonnes caught during the same period last year.

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