Russian pollock catch in A season may break a new record
On May 15, 2023, dedicated Alaska pollock fishery took off in the West Bering Sea zone. The total allowable catch in the area has been approved at 612 thousand metric tons — +53 thousand MT year-on-year and record strong for the past 15 years. According to estimates of the Pollock Catchers Association (PCA), the TAC can be covered by 85-90%.
"The West Bering Sea zone is the second most important APO fishing area for the Russian fishermen in terms of catch volumes. The TAC in this area has reached the highest rate in the recent history of Russia. Over the past 15 years, the average annual level of the TAC has been about 420 thousand tonnes. This year it has been set at the level of 612 thousand MT," said Alexey Buglak, PCA’s President.
According to Alexey Buglak, about 90 fishing vessels, including some 50 large vessels, will conduct trawl fishery in the West Bering Sea zone in May-August. Pollock fishery in the western part of the Bering Sea will be carried out by foreign vessels under the intergovernmental agreements.
Scientists forecast that the weather conditions in the Bering Sea in the summer-autumn period will correspond to their average long-term values, just as like as the volume and intensity of pollock migration from the eastern part of the sea to the Russian zone.
During the A season of the APO fishery, 8-10 scientists will work onboard the PCA’s trawlers and make surveys.
"This year, the Russian pollock fishery is ahead of last year's figures. Within the four months of 2023, over 1 million metric tons of pollock were caught in all fishing areas of the Far Eastern Fisheries Basin, which is 83 thousand tons or 9% more than in 2022," Alexey Buglak recalled.
He also noted that at the beginning of the year the pollock catch in the Bering Sea reached 24 thousand tons – three times up YOY. Given the increase in the TAC in this area and the current situation on the markets, the PCA predicts a change in the APO product range, with the trend of lower fillet production likely to persist.
In 2022, 455.8 thousand tons of pollock were harvested in the West Bering Sea zone (89.5% of the TAC), more than 305 thousand tons of various fish products were produced.