Fishery overview in the seas of the Russian Far East in March 2007

April 17, 2007 12:52

In March 2007 the overall harvest in the seas of the Russian Far East was lower than in the same month 2006, mainly due to decreases of Alaska pollock and herring catches. As the fleets started to leave the grounds in the last ten days of the month due to quota exhaustion, the daily harvest dropped from 7000 to 4000 tonnes. The herring fishery in the North Okhotsk subarea grew less active. The shipowners were reluctant to send their vessels to the grounds of prespawning herring due to regulative uncertainties. The fishing efforts were lower than last year which resulted into a catch lag on 2005. However, the vessels which did start the fishery operations on the grounds harvested as much herring as they could process.

At the same time, thanks to fairly favourable fishery conditions and timely start of the APO main season the harvest of Alaska pollock through the first three months of 2007 exceeded the corresponding figure by 67,000 tonnes.

Species

March

January-March

2007, ‘000 metric tons

2006, ‘000 metric tons

+/- ‘000 metric tons

2007, ‘000 metric tons

2006, ‘000 metric tons

+/- ‘000 metric tons

Total

226.98

241.05

- 14.07

585.09

528.1

56.99

of which finfish:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alaska pollock

205.59

214.11

-8.52

503.57

435.77

67.80

Atka mackerel

3.26

3.63

-0.37

8.00

7.55

0.45

Cod

3.62

3.04

0.58

11.54

9.62

1.92

Flounder

4.70

4.23

0.47

8.77

8.78

-0.01

Grenadier

0.88

0.22

0.66

2.08

0.33

1.75

Halibut

1.31

2.12

-0.81

2.50

3.22

-0.72

Herring

2.83

7.27

-4.44

29.57

45.97

-16.40

Longfin codling Laemonema

0.00

0.14

-0.14

1.63

1.49

0.14

Ocean perch

0.01

0.05

-0.04

0.08

0.07

0.01

Sculpins

0.30

0.64

-0.34

0.70

1.53

-0.83

Wachna cod

1.36

2.03

-0.67

9.80

6.00

3.80

Other than finfish species

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crabs

1.29

1.41

-0.12

2.69

2.37

0.32

Sea cucumber

0.04

0.01

0.03

0.05

0.01

0.04

Sea scallops

0.00

0.25

-0.25

0.15

0.56

-0.41

Sea urchins

0.22

0.19

0.03

0.48

0.23

0.25

Shrimps

1.12

1.16

-0.04

2.53

2.53

0.00

Squid

0.01

0.46

-0.45

0.09

1.46

-1.37

In March 2007 Russian longliner fleet was operating on cod and halibut mixed grounds at the shores of East Kamchatka and in the Sea of Okhotsk along the western coast of Kamchatka. Halibut catches were more generous in the Sea of Okhotsk with the average share of the species in the total harvest accounting for more than 70% compared to 14% in the waters of East Kamchatka. The fishery efficiency was also higher in the Sea of Okhotsk with the harvest per 1 km of line was 2-3 times larger. The longliners' total harvest through the month amounted to 1830 tonnes including 41% of halibuts in the waters of West Kamchatka and 1770 tonnes in the waters of East Kamchatka where the share of halibuts was only 8%.

Halibuts were harvested not only by longliners. In the Sea of Okhotsk the species was targeted by 7 trawlers and 2 bottom netters. The halibut harvest through the month amounted to 350 tonnes for trawlers and ca.50 tonnes for bottom netters.

Trawlers and Danish seiners harvested bottomfish also along the both coasts of Kamchatka. The bulk of the harvest in the Sea of Okhotsk was made up by such species as Alaska pollock, flounder and wachna cod. In the beginning of the month under analysis APO fishery was the most active with the share of the species in daily catches reaching 70-90%. The share of flounders fluctuated from 13% to 65% through the month. The fishery was conducted by 16 vessels on the average.

At the shores of East Kamchatka every day six vessels on the average were targeting such species as Alaska pollock, cod, Atka mackerel and flounder. The shares of species in the daily catches were not stable with this or that species dominating. Sometimes, the fishermen hauled catches containing 100% of halibut.

The fishery efficiency in the both areas was at 8 tonnes per tow on the average and 16 tonnes per one ship per day.

In the waters of the North Kuriles eleven companies sent their vessels to harvest squid and Atka mackerel on the grounds. However, the vessels hauled trawls with Atka mackerel only and therefore harvested no squid at all.

Except for finfish species, the fleets of the Russian Far East conducted active operations on the grounds of crabs, shrimps and sea urchins.

On the shelf of the West Kamchatka subarea in the Sea of Okhotsk the blue king crab fishery was conducted by 23 ships all together harvesting 114 tonnes through the month. In the waters of Kamchatka Kurile subarea ca.30 ships harvested 770 tonnes of snow crab bairdi. The average daily catch per trap was reported at 0.3 kilo of blue king crab and 2.3 kilos of snow crab bairdi.

In the Sea of Japan Vladivostok and Sakhalin-based vessels were harvesting red snow crab. All in all, the crab fishery was conducted by 12 vessels catching 352 tonnes of red snow crab with the daily harvest per ship amounting to 3 tonnes on the average.

In March eleven vessels kept on harvesting deepwater shrimp in the waters of Kamchatka-Kurile. However, already in the middle of the month due to worsening fishery conditions in the area (a little more than 500 kilos per ship daily on the average), some of the crabbers moved to the North Okhotsk subarea. The harvest per haul in the subarea fluctuated from 330 to 740 kilos, in the Kamchatka-Kurile subarea from 210 to 410 kilos. The shrimp fishery was also conducted in the Sea of Japan where the vessels from Vladivostok, Khabarovsk and Sakhalin were operating. The daily harvest per dedicated trawler varied from 2 to 4.3 tonnes, while converted SRTM middle trawlers reported catch rates of at least one tonne per ship.

More than 40 vessels based in the Kurile Islands and in the Sakhalin were targeting sea urchins on the grounds of the Small Kurile Ridge and Shikotan Island. Depending on the fishing area the average daily catch per day fluctuated from 380 kilos to 2.9 tonnes. The sea urchins harvest through the month exceeded 200 tonnes.

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