Fishery outlook for February 2008 in the North Fisheries
In the Barents Sea the main fishing area for Russia's bottomfish operations will remain in the Norwegian EEZ where mixed concentrations of large cod and saithe will form in the vicinity of the Lofoten Islands. The bulk of the haddock stock will spread on more northern grounds. Taking into account the rising activity of the Russian fisheries in the Norwegian EEZ, the harvest of bottomfish species in February 2008 is forecasted to exceed the catch results of February 2007.
Red king crab
Catches of red king crab will hardly increase in February 2008. According to the Fishery Regulations for the Russian North Basin, the fishery of red king crab is prohibited from 15 February to 31 August (that is the period of crab's reproduction and moulting).
Experimental fishery of the Barents Sea capelin is expected to start in the second half of February 2008. According to the decision of the 36th session of Mixed Russian-Norwegian Fisheries Commission, the sides considered the scientific data on the condition of the capelin stock providing that the spawning stock of capelin is at low level due to natural fluctuations of the stock's abundance. Therefore, the sides have agreed not to conduct commercial fishery of capelin in 2008. Limited capture of the species will be allowed only for research purposes aimed at improving methods of the stock's assessment. The Russian harvest of pre-spawning capelin in February 2008 for fishery management and research purposes can amount to ca.3000 tonnes.
In the Norwegian Sea the group targeting Atlanto-Scandian herring in the Norwegian Shallow may increase to 15 vessels. Taking into account a considerable increase of the Russian herring quota 2008 to 194,600 tonnes (30,500 tonnes up) and expectedly active fishery until the end of February (end of spawning period), the total harvest through February 2008 may grow to 17,000-18,000 tonnes (5000-6000 tonnes up on the results of the herring fishery in February 2007).
Already by end of the first ten days of February 2008 the blue whiting fishing scene is expected to move to the international waters to the west of the British Isles where the concentrations of prespawning fish larger in size than in the Faroese waters will start forming. Subject to favourable weather conditions and satisfactory fishery conditions, the total harvest of blue whiting in February 2008 can be increased to 28,000-30,000 tonnes (for comparison, in February 2007 the Russian fleet harvested ca.34,000 tonnes of blue whiting).