Fishery outlook for the Russian Far East Basin in January 2007

January 11, 2007 12:58

In January 2007 the fleets of the Russian Far East Basin will continue harvesting Alaska pollock in the West Bering Sea zone. Scientists forecast that the fishery situation will be satisfactory and daily catches are expected at 50-60 tonnes per large ship and 25-30 tonnes per tow.

As per 5 January there were 25 large ships and 3 middle vessels operating in the area and catches in the first days of January amounted to 4400 tonnes. The conditions were reported as satisfactory with 45-50-cm Alaska pollock accounting for 35% of the harvest. The average size and weight were 45 cm and 485 grams.

The dedicated cod fishery in the Petropavlovsk-Komandor subarea was conducted by 4 longliners harvesting 18 tonnes of cod per day. According to the scientific forecasts, thanks to wintering migration to larger depths the Avachinsky Bay and the area to the south of the Lopatka Cape will be the most efficient grounds for cod fishery. Catches of all the vessels are expected to grow. The harvest through January 2007 is forecasted at 1000-3000 metric tons. In the same subarea the fleets will probably be able to harvest mixed bottomfish species for human consumption on wintering concentrations of flounder. A group of nine ships targeting the schools since the start of the year 2007 harvested 382 tonnes of mixed species as per 5 January.

In early January the fleets also kept harvesting herring in the Sea of Okhotsk. The rates per tow were reported at up to 30 tonnes per large vessel and 17-19 tonnes per middle trawler. Through the first days of the month the fishermen harvested ca.3000 tonnes of herring.

Subject to favourable ice conditions in January the scientists forecast that the fishing fleet will be able to harvest concentrations of spent black halibut. At the depths of the southern part of the Lebed Trough longliners and netters are expected to catch up to 2-4 tonnes of fish per day with the share of halibuts reaching 60%-90% and the bycatch containing skates and lycodes as well as more valuable ocean perch and thornyhead. Trawl fishery of black halibut is recommended in the Lebed Trough and in the southern part of the TINRO Deep as well as on feeding concentrations of halibuts on the slopes of the Atlasov Island and in the Alaid Narrow below 700 meters. Daily catches in the area are expected to amount from 2-2.5 to 3-4 tonnes per ship.

The Alaska pollock fishery is allowed in the North Okhotsk subarea as of 1 January 2007. In the course of the month the strength of concentrations on the fishing grounds recommended by the scientists will gradually grow. Catch rates are forecasted to increase from 30 to 50-70 tonnes per large ship and from 10-15 to 35 tonnes per middle trawler. But the most favourable fishery situation is expected on the Alaska pollock grounds off Kamchatka. According to the Fishery Regulations, the APO fishery in the area is allowed from mid-January and daily catches are expected at 60-75 tonnes per ship. Until the freezing-over the efficient APO fishery by large ships is possible to the southwest from the mouth of the Shelikhov Bay. However, the scientists are warning about a considerable bycatch of young Alaska pollock of small non-marketable size due to vicinity of the northern and northeast slopes of the TINRO Deep where the APO juveniles will concentrate in winter. According to the scientists, in general the fishery situation in the northern part of the Sea of Okhotsk especially at the shores of West Kamchatka is expected to be fairly good thanks to a gradual growth of stocks of mature Alaska pollock and better recruitment.

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