Fishery outlook for November 2007 in the Russian Far East

November 8, 2007 16:24

In November 2007 the weather forecasters expect slow rates of ice formation with only shallow grounds along the Anadyr and Karaginsk Bays to be possibly covered with thin ice. The number of stormy days in November in the Bering Sea is expected at up to 15.

On a larger area of the Sea of Okhotsk the temperature conditions are forecasted as normal. There the only exception is the inshore area of shallow waters of the West Kamchatka shelf and East Kamchatka. In the Kurile Islands the activity of the storms is expected to remain on the same level. The forecasted number of stormy days in November can reach 17.

Alaska pollock of the Bering Sea will be the dominating commercial species in November 2007. The fishery will be based on fish which has approached the Navarin area from the adjacent East Bering Sea shelf in late summer and early autumn. The abundance and strength of Alaska pollock concentrations have been getting weaker because in this period of the year the stock starts migrating to the prewintering grounds beyond the Russian EEZ to result into potential bycatch of juvenile fish of 27-32 cm.

The average daily catches of large vessels in November are forecasted to amount to 50-55 metric tons, while catches of middle vessels are expected at ca.20 tonnes.

The saury fishery is expected to be stable with the daily catch rates in November forecasted at 20-30 tonnes per vessel and 4 tonnes per trap. At the same time, fishing concentrations of saury will start moving to the south and southwest to leave the borders of the Russian EEZ by the end of the month, the scientists forecasted.

No substantial changes are expected both in distribution and seasonal behavior of the Okhotsk herring as compared to the autumn periods of the previous years. The stock's move from the waters of the Zavialov Island to the wintering grounds is forecasted to happen on 1-20 November 2007. Main concentrations of herring will be located in the same area at the depths of 150-205 meters.

The fishery conditions are expected to be on a par with last year. The average catch rates in November are forecasted at 12.5 tonnes per one purse seine shooting, 22 tonnes per tow for middle trawlers and 25 tonnes per tow for large trawlers. The total harvest can amount to ca.30,000 tonnes subject to the fishing efforts of 33 vessels at least.

In the West Kamchatka subarea the fishing concentrations will be formed at the depths of 120-180 meters. According to the expected weather and water conditions, the fishery can be conducted by vessels of all the types. The catch rates in November are expected at 45-75 metric tons for large trawlers, 30-45 tonnes for middle trawlers, while purse seiners are forecasted to harvest 35-40 tonnes per shooting. Middle vessels are recommended to conduct the fishery with purse seines and pelagic trawls, while large vessels should use trawl gear on the grounds.

In November the bulk of the feeding concentrations of the East Bering Sea black halibut will leave the Russian waters and the dedicated longline fishery of the species will be ceased. A small part of the harvest will be contributed by the black halibut bycatch in the grenadier fishery.

At the same time, the inshore concentrations of white halibut keep migrating to the continental slope. However, the longline fishery of the species is drastically decreasing due to the weather conditions despite growing strength of the concentrations. White halibut will be harvested as bycatch in cod fishery with the harvest of the species not to exceed 100 tonnes.

In the Sea of Okhotsk November will see a peak of black halibut spawning and the fishery of the species is possible on a large area with longline and trawl gear to be used. However, the longline catches will be not large at 2.0-2.5 tonnes with the share of halibuts accounting for 60-70%. For trawlers the bycatch of halibuts can reach 80%. Small volumes of giant grenadier and thornyhead can be also bycaught. The recommended harvest amounts to no more than 150 tonnes of black halibut in the North Okhotsk subarea.

For the West Kamchatka subarea the total harvest of black halibut is recommended at 50 tonnes. The fishery situation will be not stable with the daily catch in longline fishery expected from 0.3 to 3.5 metric tons with the share of halibut amounting to 60-80%. The bycatch will contain skates, lycodes and grenadier.

The harvest of black halibut in the Kamchatka Kurile subarea in November can amount to no more than 100 tonnes. The fishery situation in the area will be more favourable. The average catch rates can amount to 2.5-3.0 tonnes per longliner with halibut accounting for 60-70% of the harvest and 3.0-4.0 tonnes per trawler with halibut accounting for 50-80% of the harvest (with a large bycatch of giant grenadier).

The dedicated fishery of white halibut on all the grounds of the Sea of Okhotsk is recommended to be ceased with the species to be harvested as bycatch in other fisheries.

The success of the flounder fishery will depend on location of the stock's wintering concentrations because in November flounder will keep migrating to the wintering grounds. In the recent years the average daily catch rates per vessel at the southern shores of East Kamchatka have been fluctuating from 5 to 8 tonnes with the bycatch of other species accounting for 30-60% of the harvest. Subject to 10-11 vessels operating on the grounds in November the total harvest of flounder in the subarea can amount to 2200 tonnes. About 1300 tonnes of flounder can be caught in the Sea of Okhotsk at the western shores of Kamchatka with up to 4 middle trawlers.

In November 2007 the cod stocks of the East Kamchatka will keep moving to the wintering grounds to the depths of more than 100 meters. Stronger concentrations will be formed in the southeast of Kamchatka. The average daily catches will amount to 10-17 tonnes for dedicated longliners and 5-8 tonnes for trawlers. On the offshore grounds of the Olyutorsk Bay and off the Karaginsk Island the daily catches of dedicated vessels are expected from 8 to 16 tonnes.

In the second half of October the squid concentrations in the area of the Central and North Kuriles grew somewhat stronger. The trend is expected to persist in the first half of November with the concentrations to go up and down every now and then. The bycatch of bottomfish will be quite high at 35-45% and up to 50-60% in the North Kuriles.

Magister squid

In the last few years November catches of B.magister squid have been fairly good off the Paramushir-Onekotan and Ketoy-Simushir.

B.magister squid

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

November daily catch rates per large vessel, metric tons

7.7

9.3

7.3

19.7

22.1

40.2*

November catch rates per tow, metric tons

2.4

3.4

2.7

7.0

9.0

14.6*

* During the main part of the last year 2006 warm Pacific waters have been observed at the Pacific depth break of the North Kuriles which has influenced the strength of squid concentrations and the length of their existence.

In November 2007 catches of longfin codling Laemonema will depend mostly on the fishing efforts in the Japanese zone. Every year from October to February longfin cogling migrates along the slope of Hokkaido and Honshu. The catch per one-hour tow of supertrawlers is forecasted at 3.0-3.5 tonnes with the daily rates per vessels therefore expected at 40-60 tonnes.

Along with the above, in November 2007 the Russian fleets will continue harvesting crabs and shrimps in the Sea of Okhotsk, the Bering Sea and the Sea of Japan.

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