Fishery outlook in the Russian Far East Basin in April 2007

April 18, 2007 16:15

Sea of Okhotsk


By the end of the first ten days of April 2007 the number of vessels operating on the grounds of prespawning herring grew by 20 ships, therefore the daily harvest of the species nearly doubled and the total harvest of herring amounted to 42,000 tonnes or 25.6% of the catch quotas. However, scientists did not recommend dedicated herring fishery in the second quarter in the Russian EEZ, because in case of catches exceeding the recommendations the abundance of spawning producers would dramatically decline. The results of the fishery monitoring disclosed a trend for gradual decrease of Okhotsk herring stocks.

Alaska pollock

In April 2007 Alaska pollock will be harvested as bycatch in longline and Danish seine fishery in the waters of West Kamchatka.


In the northern part of the Kamchatka shelf flounder schools will start moving from the wintering depths to the middle part of the shelf. The average daily catch in April is expected from 10 to 19 tonnes per ship. The bycatch of other bottomfish species is forecasted to amount to ca.40-50%. In the southern part of the shelf the share of bycatch will be somewhat lower, but daily catches will greatly vary from 0.1 to 25 tonnes per ship. The harvest through the month can amount to 3000 metric tons subject to fishing efforts of 10-16 ships.

Atka mackerel and skates will be harvested as bycatch.

Black halibut

The most favourable conditions for black halibut fishery will be observed in the Kamchatka Kurile subarea of the Sea of Okhotsk. The halibut catch for a group of 9-11 ships (longliners, trawlers and netters) can amount to 600 tonnes. Conditions for longline fishery are expected to be fairly satisfactory in the West Kamchatka subarea. Daily catches of bottom netters operating in the Lebed Trough and in the southern part of the TINRO Deep can amount to 3-3.5 tonnes per ship with the share of halibuts reaching 80-90%. Similar results are expected for trawlers operating in the North Okhotsk subarea. In the meantime, conditions for longline fishery in the area will be non-stable. The total harvest through the month in all the three subareas is possible at ca.1300 tonnes.


The strongest concentrations of cod will stick to the depths of 190-380 meters along the western coast of Kamchatka. Trawl and Danish seine catches will contain 50-80% of Alaska pollock, flounder and wachna cod. Longliners' catch rates are expected to be better.

With the end of the spawning period in the second half of the month the efficiency of trawl and Danish seine fishery will considerably decrease, while longline catches will slightly grow.


In April 2007 the fleets of the Russian Far East Basin will continue harvesting blue king crabs in the West Kamchatka subarea and snow crab bairdi in the Kamchatka Kurile subarea. In the beginning of the second ten days of the month crabbers came to the grounds to harvest snow crab opilio in the North Okhotsk subarea. The largest crab in the subarea will concentrate on the grounds of the Priutaisk district to the north of the 57th degree North.


In April 2007 Russian fleets will continue targeting pink shrimp Pandalus borealis in Kamchatka Kurile and North Okhotsk subareas. The fishery conditions are expected to be favourable.

Bering Sea

In April 2007 the fishery operations on the grounds of Anadyr-Navarin herring will be continued by longliner fleet on a fairly large area.

Fishable concentrations of white halibut fit for longline fishery will be observed at the depths of 200-550 meters. Atka mackerel and skates will be harvested as bycatch in longline and trawl/Danish seine fisheries. The total catch of the above species through April can amount to 1500 tonnes subject to enough fishing efforts.

North and South Kuriles


Spring-summer schools of Commander squid Berryteuthis magister are expected to approach the waters of Ketoy-Simushir Islands and Paramushir-Onekotan in the third ten days of the month. However, the stock is not forecasted to form strong concentrations.

Atka mackerel

Atka mackerel will be harvested from the Pacific side of the North Kuriles. According to the scientists recommendations, the fishery should be conducted by ca.6-8 large and middle vessels.


In April 2007 grenadier catches of large dedicated vessels are forecasted at 1-5 tonnes per one hour tow and 25-40 per day.

The fishery is recommended to be conducted by no more than 2-3 large vessels or 3-4 million ships fitted for production of canned liver of giant grenadier Albatrossia pectoralis. The harvest of the species is expected to amount ca.1000 tonnes in the waters of the North Kuriles and 500 tonnes in the South Kuriles zone.


In April 2007 due to the end of the spawning season and the stock's dispersion at smaller depths cod catches by trawl and Danish seine gear are expected to decrease, but by the end of the month catches will contain increased bycatch of flounder. At the same time, catches by longline gear are forecasted to grow. Average daily catches are forecasted at 7-9 tonnes per longliner and ca.1-2 tonnes per trawler.

Sea scallops

Sea scallop fishery can be conducted all-the-year-round and the daily catch rates normally depend on weather conditions. In April 2007 RS seiners and SRTM middle trawlers are expected to harvest 10-13 tonnes of sea scallops.

Sea urchins

Just like sea scallops, sea urchin fishery in the waters of the South Kuriles can be also conducted on the all-the-year-round basis, except for the stock's spawning period.

Sea of Japan

In April 2007 the fishery operations in the Sea of Japan will be conducted mostly by small vessels targeting flounders (Korean flounder Glyptocephalus stelleri and scale-eye plaice Acanthopsetta nadeshnyi), Atka mackerel, cod and Alaska pollock. Trawl fishery of pink shrimp Pandalus borealis is prohibited in April and the species will therefore be harvested only by traps. Crabbers will keep on harvesting red snow crab which is actually the only species allowed for dedicated fishery operations in the southern part of Primorsky Krai (capital Vladivostok).

Japanese EEZ. Pacific subarea

Catches of longfin codling Laemonema will remain at the average level and the fishing grounds for the Russian fleets will be located in the waters off the eastern coast Honshu from the 36th to the 41st degree North.

In April Russian fleet reported the following results: 27.1 tonnes per ship daily in 2004; 43.8 tonnes in 2005 and 18.1 tonnes in 2006.

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