Fishery outlook for December 2007 in the Russian Far East

December 17, 2007 12:04

As per 12 December 2007 a group of 48 fishing vessels was harvesting Alaska pollock in the West Bering Sea zone. The fishery conditions on the grounds were non-satisfactory with the catch rates per tow not exceeding 15 metric tons. The average daily harvest per large trawler amounted to 40 metric tons. According to the scientific forecast, the abundance and density of Alaska pollock concentrations in the Navarin area will continue decreasing and the bycatch of juveniles is expected to increase.

Longliners operating in the eastern coast of Kamchatka are forecasted to report somewhat better catch rates as compared to autumn. Daily catches of cod will be at the level of 8-12 tonnes per vessel on the average. The bycatch of cod in mixed bottomfish operations is forecasted at 2-6 tonnes per trawler/Danish seiner daily. The fleet's operations on the grounds will be impeded only by the abundance of the stormy days and active formation of ice.

At the same time, a slight growth of longline catches is possible in the western coast of Kamchatka with the share of halibuts reaching 60-80% and the average daily catch to amount to 2-2.5 tonnes per vessel.

As per 12 December 2007, the harvest of saury has already exceeded 100,000 tonnes with the average size of fish reported at 27-28 cm. There were 11 fishing vessels and 4 receiving boats operating on the grounds. According to the scientific forecast, at the end of the month saury will completely leave the Russian EEZ.

According to the scientists, the remaining quotas of the Okhotsk herring are recommended to be covered in the Priutaisk fishing area on the forming wintering concentrations at the depths of 170-210 meters. In the middle of December the herring fishery with trawl gear was continued by 20 large vessels and 13 middle vessels. The fishing situation on the herring grounds was fairly good with the average daily catches amounting to 120-150 tonnes per large vessel. The catch volumes were limited only by the boats' processing capacity.

In December 2007 the fishery situation on the grounds of B.magister squid in the North Kurile zone is expected to be weak as the fishing concentrations are not forecasted to form. Just like in November 2007, the bycatch of cod, Atka mackerel and Alaska pollock in the waters of the North Kuriles can be fairly high reaching 60% of the total harvest.

Catches of longfin codling Laemonema will depend on the fishing area and the number of the fishing efforts. According to the scientific forecasts, off the Honsu Island catches are expected to be fairly large at 50-65 tonnes per ship daily, while the catch rates off Hokkaido are expected to amount to 45-55 tonnes.

In December the Russian fleets will continue harvesting crabs and shrimps in the Sea of Okhotsk and in the Sea of Japan.

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