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

November 9, 2007 12:57
In October 2007 the total harvest of the Russian Far East Basin exceeded 170,000 metric tons. The bulk of the harvest, more than 77% namely, was contributed by Alaska pollock of the Bering Sea, saury of the South Kuriles and squid of the North Kuriles.

Provisional catches in the Russian Far East Basin in October and through the first ten months of 2007

Fishing species

October

January-October

2007, ‘000 metric tons

2006, ‘000 metric tons

+/- ‘000 metric tons

2007, ‘000 metric tons

2006, ‘000 metric tons

+/- ‘000 metric tons

Total catch

170.5

136.2

+34.3

1863.9

1764.8

+99.1

Of which

Sculpins

0.5

1.0

-0.5

6.0

10.4

-4.4

Flounder

4.3

2.8

+1.5

63.1

56.5

+6.6

Longfin codling Laemonema

6.5

1.0

+5.5

19.6

27.0

-7.4

Salmons

0.08

0.08

0

330.4*

275.1

+55.3

Grenadier

1.7

1.4

+0.3

19.4

14.9

+4.5

Alaska pollock

74.1

62.5

+11.6

1046.9

924.6

+122.3

Wachna cod

1.5

1.8

-0.3

22.3

19.4

+2.9

Ocean perch

0.2

0.1

+0.1

0.7

0.7

0

Halibut

0.5

0.9

-0.4

12.7

14.7

-2.0

Saury

42.5

21.3

+21.2

85.7

62.6

+20.6

Herring

6.9

17.8

-10.9

87.9

152.7

-64.8

Skates

0.09

0.03

+0.06

1.6

1.3

+0.3

Atka mackerel

4.3

5.0

-0.7

35.4

35.3

+0.1

Cod

3.6

3.2

+0.4

43.1

42.7

+0.4

Crabs

4.4

2.6

+1.8

26.2

22.4

+3.8

Shrimps

0.8

0.5

+0.3

6.5

6.1

+0.4

Squid

15.2

11.7

+3.5

49.0

78.1

-29.1

Sea scallops

0.1

0.1

0

1.0

1.6

-0.6

Whelks

0.6

0.7

-0.1

3.7

4.4

-0.7

Sea urchins

0.4

0.2

0.2

1.8

1.6

+0.6

Sea cucumber

0.1

0.2

-0.1

0.9

0.8

+0.1

Laminaria

0.5

1.2

-0.7

2.6

8.6

-6.0

As compared to the same period last year, the results of October 2007 were exceeded by 34,000 tonnes. Favourable fishery conditions and sufficient fishing efforts sent to the grounds in due time have enabled the fishermen to improve the last year results of such fisheries as Alaska pollock (+11,600 metric tons), saury (+21,200 tonnes), longfin codling Laemonema (+5500 tonnes), squid (+3500 tonnes), crabs, shrimps (+2200 tonnes).

The Basin's harvest through the first ten months of the current year 2007 exceeded the corresponding result of last year nearly by 100,000 tonnes. Only three species displayed a considerable lag of catches on last year. More specifically, catches of herring, longfin codling and squid dropped by 65,000 tonnes, 7400 tonnes and 29,000 tonnes correspondingly.

In the first half of October the Alaska pollock fishery was continued by 30 large and 6 middle vessels in the area adjacent to the Navarin Canyon. The average daily catches amounted to 46 tonnes per large vessel and 25 tonnes per middle vessel. Already starting from mid-October the fishermen spent a lot of the fishing time in order to find the fishing concentrations on the grounds because the mature Alaska pollock began moving to the south and southeast. The fishery situation was weak and non-stable with the catch rates reported at 10-12 tonnes per tow. The fleets had to switch to night fishing. The average size of harvested pollock amounted to 41 cm with the average weight reported at 570 grams. The production indices decreased. Only thanks to larger number of the fishing efforts the area's APO harvest exceeded the corresponding result of last year by 6000 tonnes and amounted to more than 50,000 tonnes. The maximum harvest of 2080 metric tons in the West Bering Sea zone was recorded for Kamchatka-based Komandor owned by OOO Pelagial (ltd) with the average catch rates of 80 tonnes per day. However, the catch rates of another Kamchatka-based vessel operating in the vicinity of Komandor were even higher at 94 tonnes per day on the average.

The saury fishery was conducted by 50 fishing vessels. The raw fish was received by the factories based on the islands and 18 processing vessels. Eleven ships were doing own onboard processing of the harvest. The fishery situation on the saury grounds was reported as fairly good with the size of harvested fish being large and the catch volumes limited only by the boats' processing capacity. The fishery results could have been larger subject to larger catch receiving efforts the lack of which restrained the fishery from developing. Just like in the previous month, in October 2007 the vessels had to stay idle waiting for their turn to fish on the grounds. Besides, as of the middle of the month the storms impeded the fleet's operations and the fishery situation changed as the response of the fish to light grew weak. While in the beginning of the month the vessels lost fishing time waiting for fishing permits, in the middle of the month they also lost time while spotting for the fish schools. As a result, the fishing time in the course of the month amounted to only 40% of the total time spent at sea. The average size of harvested saury decreased from 30 cm to 28 cm. The expedition's average daily catch amounted to 45.7 tonnes per vessel with the large harvest of 2450 tonnes reported by Vladivostok-based Dmitry Shevchenko owned by OAO Yuzhmorrybprom (plc).

Kamchatka-based Vulkan Ksudach owned by ZAO Upravlenie Tralovogo Flota (closed JSC, UTF for short) joined the fleet harvesting the Okhotsk herring on the grounds in October 2007. Her example was later followed by the vessels coming from Magadan, Vladivostok-led Primorsky Krai Territory and Sakhalin. The fishery situation in the course of the month was satisfactory with the daily rates per vessel growing from 59.4 tonnes in October 2006 to 86.8 tonnes in October current. According to the shipowners, the fishermen harvested large-size herring and as much as they could process. However, due to smaller fishing efforts the harvest of the Okhotsk herring was two times down on the corresponding result of last year. Just like in the previous year, the largest average daily catch of 112 tonnes was reported by Magadan-based Mayronis who harvested more than 1900 tonnes through the month.

In October current 23.8 large vessels on the average were operating daily on the squid grounds in the North Kuriles. They daily made 2.6 tows each on the average. The fishery conditions somewhat improved as compared to the previous month. The average daily catch rates in the Kurile waters amounted to 16.4 tonnes per vessel down from 22.4 tonnes last year. The best harvester was Kamchatka-based Vladimir Babich owned by OAO Okeanrybflot (plc) who reported a total catch of 692.6 tonnes through the month under analysis.

Along with the above, the fishermen targeted squid in the Bering Sea zone and at the eastern shores of Kamchatka, mostly during the Alaska pollock fishery.

A group of 15 longliners was operating at the shores of East Kamchatka and in the West Bering Sea zone with the expedition's total harvest amounting to ca.1800 tonnes. The harvest contained mostly cod, while the share of halibut did not exceed 7.7% of the catch. At the same time, catches on the grounds at the shores of West Kamchatka contained 60.7% of halibuts.

In the Bering Sea and at the shores of East Kamchatka the fleets will continue harvesting mixed bottomfish for human consumption with trawl and Danish seine gear. Their catches contained mostly Alaska pollock (36%) and cod (32%). From the second half of the month the large expedition has considerably decreased in number as the small boats left the grounds. The monthly harvest amounted to ca.8000 tonnes. In the Sea of Okhotsk the total harvest through the month amounted to 2200 tonnes of mixed bottomfish species.

In the Bering Sea five vessels owned by Kamchatka-based companies were targeting crabs (snow crab bairdi, blue king crab and snow crab opilio). The monthly harvest of crabs amounted to 213 metric tons.

Multi-species crab fishery was conducted in the Sea of Okhotsk.

In the north part of the sea a group of 30 vessels was harvesting snow crab opilio. A slightly fewer vessels were engaged in red king crab fishery in the Ayano-Shantarsk area. As bycatch and in dedicated fisheyr the fleets also targeted blue king crab, golden king crab, spiny king crab and triangle tanner crab. The total harvest of crabs in the subarea amounted to ca. 1660 tonnes through the month.

At the shores of West Kamchatka more than 80 crabbers were harvesting red king crab, blue king crab, golden king crab, triangle tanner crab, snow crabs opilio and bairdi with the total catch through the month reported at 2100 tonnes.

At the eastern coast of Sakhalin the vessels of the companies based in the islands were targeting snow crab opilio and triangle tanner crab with the total catch through the month amounting to 165 metric tons.

In the Primorye subarea red snow crab was harvested only by the vessels owned by Vostok-1 fishing co-op. Their result through the month amounted to ca.203 metric tons.

Just like in the previous year, in October 2007 shrimps were harvested in the North Okhotsk, Kamchatka-Kurile and East Sakhalin subareas as well as in the Sea of Japan. The total harvest of deepwater pink shrimp Pandalus borealis exceeded the last year result by 300 tonnes.

In October 2007 seven vessels were hunting for whelks in the Sea of Okhotsk. The main fishing grounds were concentrated in the sea's north. The daily catch rates fluctuated from 0.7 tonnes (as reported by Vladivostok-based Golitsino) to 6.7 tonnes (as reported by Magadan-based Alexander Shalin).

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