Fishery outlook for October 2007 in the Russian Far East

October 11, 2007 15:16

As per early October 2007 there were ca.750 vessels, including 580 fishing vessels, operating on the grounds of the Russian Far East Basin.

In October 2007 the Alaska pollock fishery will continue in the Bering Sea, though the scientists forecast a decrease of catch rates due to less abundant APO runs from the eastern part of the sea. In the Navarin area and probably in the northern part of the Koryak coast the fishery will be based on concentrations of the middle-aged Alaska pollock. In the area from the convention line towards north and northwest above the depths of up to 200 meters catches will contain mostly young pollock, however tows in the demersal waters will help avoid bycatch of small-sized Alaska pollock.

The average daily catches of large trawlers in October are expected at 50-60 tonnes, while the results of middle trawlers are forecasted at up to 25-30 tonnes of Alaska pollock.

In the West Bering Sea zone the fishery conditions in October are forecasted to be favourable for dedicated grenadier operations. Bottom trawl catches of large trawlers at the depths of 500-900 meters may range from 1 to 4 tonnes per one-hour tow and more than 20-50 tonnes per vessel daily. The bulk of the harvest will be contributed by giant grenadier with the share of 70-90% and the bycatch will contain popeye grenadier, halibut, ocean perch, thornyhead, skates, lycodes, sculpins and black cod. Catches in the upper part of the grenadier concentrations by bottom trawls, longlines and nets during the fishery of halibut, cod and ocean perch will be lower at 3-15 tonnes per vessel daily. The total harvest through the month may amount to 1000-2000 tonnes of grenadier harvested by 3-5 vessels.

The largest catches of cod are forecasted in the Ozernoy Bay and in the adjacent waters both for longliners, trawlers and Danish seiners. The average daily catches per longliner are expected at 3-6 tonnes or a little more and from 3 to 9 tonnes for trawl and Danish seine operations.

Stormy days in October 2007 in the Bering Sea and at the shores of East Kamchatka will complicate the longline fishery of halibuts and result in its decreasing efficiency. Catches of white halibut in October are expected at 100-120 tonnes and the bycatch during trawl and longline grenadier fishery is expected to amount to 50-100 tonnes.

In October 2007 the trawl and Danish seine expedition will keep operating on mixed bottomfish grounds with its harvest in the first days of the month containing 46% of Alaska pollock, 26% of cod, 15% of wachna cod and 8% of flounder.

In the Sea of Okhotsk at the shores of West Kamchatka trawl and Danish seine catches of flounder are expected at more than 8000 tonnes, and on the grounds to the south of the 54th degree North the flounder catch can reach 5500 tonnes subject to 11-15 harvesters on the grounds. In the first days of the month the bycatch of other bottomfish species did not exceed 40%.

The peak of spawning of black halibut in October in the Sea of Okhotsk is forecasted to reduce the catch volumes. Moreover, the net fishery of species is prohibited as the gear impedes the spawning process. Longliners' harvest is forecasted to contain 60-70% of halibut with the daily catch of 2-2.5 tonnes. Trawlers' average daily catch is not expected to exceed 2.5 tonnes per vessel in the North Okhotsk subarea. However, in the northern areas of the Kamchatka Kurile subarea of the Sea of Okhotsk the conditions for trawl operations are forecasted to remain fairly good. The daily catches per vessel are forecasted to reach 3-6 tonnes per vessel with the share of halibut varying from 50% to 70%.

The shipowners are in no hurry to send their vessels to harvest Okhotsk herring, because the scientists forecasts that stable fishable concentrations of the species will be formed from the middle of October and increased bycatch of juveniles is not expected. The total harvest of herring will not exceed 13,000 tonnes through the month and catches of purse seiners will reach 30-40 tonnes per haul, while middle trawlers will harvest up to 9 tonnes per tow and large trawlers will harvest up to 25-30 tonnes per tow. The average fish size will be 25-30 cm and 140-300 grams.

The scientific forecast of saury fishery progress in September has come true and the fishermen have had a success in the waters close to Shikotan. The scientists forecast that in October the bulk of the saury stock will move from the area southwards to the spawning grounds. The fleets will move to the southwest and in the second half of October the fishery is possible in the "oceanic" area where the concentrations will grow stronger with time.

Daily catches of longfin codling at the islands of the Small Kurile Ridge and Iturup are expected to amount to 25-35 tonnes per ship on the average with the harvested fish to vary in size from 42 to 63 cm (48-52 cm on the average).

In the Japanese zone the species can be harvested at the oceanic coast of Hokkaido and at northeast coast of Honshu at the depths of 500-700 meters and 650-850 meters. For super-trawlers the average catch is expected at 40-50 tonnes per ship daily or 12-15 tonnes per tow. Harvested fish will be somewhat larger at 45-65 cm (51-55 cm on the average).

According to the scientific forecasts, due to periodical instability of squid concentrations in October the fishery of the species will be fairly poor and somewhat worse than in the previous years.

Operating results of large squidders operating on the grounds of B.magister squid off the Kurile Islands in October 2001-2006


Total catch

Of which


per vessel daily

per tow































A group of 20 vessels will continue targeting snow crab opilio in the Sea of Okhotsk with the daily catch expected at 20-30 tonnes. In the meantime, catches of red king crab in Ayano-Shantarsk area are expected at one tonne per vessel on the average.

Red king crab

At the shores of West Kamchatka the number of vessels operating on the red king crab grounds in October 2007 has already grown to 45. According to the scientific advice, the fishermen can harvest a little more than 3000 tonnes of red king crab with the bulk of the above volume to be harvested in the remaining period of the year.

In October 2007 the vessels will continue harvesting whelks and shrimps in the Sea of Okhotsk as well as shrimps in the Primorye subarea and at the shores of West Sakhalin.

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