Fishery progress in the seas of the Russian Far East in July 2007 (Full story)

August 9, 2007 15:57

More than 200,000 metric tons of fish and non-finfish species were harvested by the fishermen of the Russian Far East Basin in July 2007 with the figure exceeding the last year result by 56,000 tonnes.

The fishing efforts normally amounted to ca.600 vessels per day on the average with the daily harvest reported at 4800 tonnes. As compared to the previous year, the daily catch in July 2007 was 360 tonnes larger, thus positively telling on the total results of the fleets' operations through the month.

Catches in the Russian Far East in July 2007 and in the first seven months of 2007 (provisional figures)

Species

July, ‘000 metric tons

January-July, ‘000 metric tons

2007

2006

+/-

2007

2006

+/-

Total

214.8

159.0

+55.8

1167.7

1109.1

+58.6

of which finfish

Alaska pollock

88.1

80.4

+7.7

778.5

714.2

+64.3

Atka mackerel

1.2

2.2

-1.0

25.7

25.4

+0.3

Cod

2.3

3.9

-1.6

30.8

28.6

+2.2

Flounder

4.2

6.6

-2.4

41.2

39.5

+2.7

Grenadier

3.7

1.2

+2.5

14.7

7.6

+7.1

Halibut

1.6

1.6

0

9.6

11.4

-1.8

Herring

0.02

3.0

-2.98

79.4

133.9

-54.5

Longfin codling Laemonema

1.5

3.3

-1.8

12.5

17.3

-4.8

Ocean perch

0

0

0.26

0.29

-0.03

Salmons

100.5

34.9

+65.6

108.2

42.0

+66.2

Sculpins

0.3

1.1

-0.8

3.4

6.8

-3.4

Wachna cod

1.1

0.8

+0.3

15.6

10.9

+4.7

Non-finfish species

Crabs

2.4

2.9

-0.5

15.1

15.4

-0.3

Sea cucumber

0.06

0.05

+0.01

0.7

0.2

+0.5

Sea scallops

0.27

0.07

+0.2

0.6

0.9

-0.3

Sea urchins

0.2

0.4

-0.2

1.5

1.6

-0.1

Shrimps

0.2

0.3

-0.1

5.0

4.4

+0.6

Squid

6.3

7.9

-1.6

15.8

32.8

-17.0

Whelks

0.7

0.5

+0.2

1.7

1.6

+0.1

Bering Sea

In July 2007 contribution of the Bering Sea in the total harvest in the seas of the Russian Far East amounted to 72.4% with Alaska pollock catches dominating in the area. Apart from Alaska pollock, the fleets also targeted cod, halibuts, flounders, grenadier, shrimps, snow crab opilio, squid and salmons.

The Alaska pollock fishery was conducted by large and middle trawlers with the ratio of 3 to 1.

In the beginning of the month the vessels were operating at the Koryak coast at the depths' break, but the main fishing grounds were located to the east of the Navarin Canyon up to the border of the Russian EEZ.

The average size of harvested Alaska pollock was 38-46 cm.

The total APO harvest of large trawlers amounted to ca.70,000 tonnes and 12,500 tonnes were harvested by STR middle vessels. The expedition's highest catch of 3287 tonnes was recorded for Sakhalin-based vessel Dersu Uzala owned by JSC ZAO Sakhalin Leasing Fleet with the average daily rates reported at 113.3 tonnes per ship.

The middle fleet also improved its results on the APO grounds of the Bering Sea as compared to the previous month. More specifically, the daily catch rates of middle trawlers grew from 23.1 tonnes in June 2007 to 32.5 tonnes in July current.

In the Bering Sea local expeditions were longlining on mixed grounds of cod, halibut and grenadier. Vladivostok-based longliners owned by JSC ZAO Dalrybprom were conducting dedicated halibut fishery with the daily catches reported at 3-4 tonnes per vessel. The bycatch of cod and grenadier fluctuated from 10% to 20% and the bycatch of Alaska pollock was large reaching 20-40%.

Another group of Vladivostok-based vessels owned by JSC ZAO R/K Vostok-1 was conducting dedicated grenadier fishery. The best harvester was the company's vessel Ostrov Iony reporting a total catch of 535 tonnes through the month with the average rates of 28.6 tonnes per day. The daily catches included 18.6 tonnes of grenadier, 9.4 tonnes of cod and 0.6 tonnes of halibut. The longliners' bycatch also contained black cod and skates.

The total harvest of the Russian longliner fleet in the West Bering Sea zone amounted to ca.3000 tonnes of fish, including 20% of halibuts.

The Danish seine operations on the mixed bottomfish grounds were conducted by inshore boats. Their catches contained cod, Alaska pollock, flounders, wachna cod, Atka mackerel, halibuts, sculpins with cod and Alaska pollock accounting for 37% and 32% correspondingly. By the end of July 2007 the shares of species in catches somewhat changed with Alaska pollock emerging as the dominating species with the share reaching 57% out of the total harvest.

A group of nine crabbers was hunting for snow crab opilio. Their total harvest through the month under analysis amounted to ca.80 metric tons.

One Vladivostok-based vessel Stella Karina owned by JSC ZAO Istok-AB continued harvesting shrimps in the West Bering Sea zone. The vessel harvested 8.6 tonnes of Pandalus goniurus shrimp, but the shipowner had to stop the fishery as there were no opportunities to sell the products from the area and the fishery therefore grew unprofitable.

East Kamchatka

Along the coast of East Kamchatka the fishing operations were conducted mostly by the fleets based in Kamchatsky Krai Territory uniting Kamchatka region and Koryak Autonomous District as of 1 July current. The fleet's harvest in two subareas of East Kamchatka amounted to 5700 tonnes through the month. There were also longliners harvesting cod and halibuts. Primorye-based longliner Kapitan Stepanov conducted dedicated grenadier fishery in the Karaginsk subarea reporting daily catches of 17 tonnes on the average. Trawl and Danish seine fishery was based on such species as Alaska pollock, cod, flounders, wachna cod, halibuts and sculpins.

In the Karaginsk subarea a small group of vessels was targeting snow crab opilio. The group's total catch through the month amounted to 46 metric tons, of which 50% was contributed by Vityaz owned by OOO Kompas (ltd) reporting daily rates of 1.4 tonnes. To the south of the 50th degree North Kamchatka-based vessel Dezhnevo owned by OOO Fish Rain (ltd) harvested snow crab bairdi with the bycatch of snow crab opilio (7.5%) and red king crab (8%).

Salmons of East Kamchatka and Bering Sea

The bulk of the fleet concentrated on receiving salmons on the grounds. Sockeye started running to the spawning grounds first, followed by pinks. As a result, a group of BATM large trawlers owned by OAO Okeanrybflot (pic) completely stopped harvesting Alaska pollock and switched to receiving salmon on the grounds.

Eleven vessels controlled salmon runs by setting drift nets on probable ways of the stock's migration according to the scientific program. Salmons were received by more than 70 vessels daily handling 90+ seines. First catches were landed for onshore processing, but already by the middle of the month the fishermen started to complain about short processing capacities. The fleet daily processed more than 4000 tonnes. The seines stood full of fish. The sockeye quotas in the inshore waters of East Kamchatka were covered at 70% already in the second ten days of the month, while the pink salmon quota was exhausted at ca.50%.

The total salmon harvest in the Bering Sea and at the coast of East Kamchatka has amounted to 78,000 tonnes or 71% of the TAC since the fishery start. The figure includes 5700 tonnes of sockeye, 64,700 tonnes of pink salmon and 6600 tonnes of chum salmon. Due to the lack of processing capacities the Basin's fishermen have lost the opportunity to harvest large volumes of salmons. The decision made by Kamchatka as to forward catches to local processors and prohibit other provinces' vessels from receiving catches on the grounds has been described as short-sighted and destructive for economies of other provinces of the Russian Far East.

Kurile Ridge

More than 13,000 metric tons of fish and non-finfish species were harvested by the Russian fishermen operating along the Kurile Ridge. The main fishing scene was located off the northern islands where catches exceeded the results off the southern islands 10-fold.

The dedicated Alaska pollock harvest amounted to 2500 tonnes through the month. Sakhalin-based vessel Luda owned by JSC ZAO Sakhalin Leasing Fleet was one of the best harvesters reporting a total catch of 840 metric tons through the month with the daily rates of 35 tonnes on the average.

Two vessels owned by Kurile-based JSC ZAO Gidrostroy were targeting Atka mackerel with the total harvest amounting to 520 tonnes through the month based on the average daily rates of 24.8 tonnes per vessel.

Trawl fishery on the grenadier grounds was conducted by 4 vessels catching 1677 tonnes all together. Vladivostok-based Arktur 7777 owned by JSC ZAO Magellan was the leading harvester with the total catch in 25 days at sea amounting to 640 tonnes. The vessel's daily catch rates amounted to 25.6 tonnes on the average. At the same time, in the waters of the South Kuriles the daily rates from dedicated operations amounted to 19.5 tonnes per vessels (as reported by Vladimir Broduk owned by OOO Daltransflot (ltd)).

The inshore vessels based in the islands were targeting mixed bottomfish such as flounder, cod and wachna cod. In the South Kuriles Sakhalin-based Grinda owned by OOO Flint (ltd) was harvesting cod and halibuts with longline gear.

In the end of June a group of 15-16 vessels were hunting for squid Berryteuthis magister in the waters of the North Kuriles. However already on the first five days of the month all Kamchatka-based BATM large trawlers were removed from the squid grounds and switched to salmons. Only vessels owned by Nakhodka BAMR continued harvesting squid on the grounds. As compared to the previous month, catches per vessel grew from 4.7 tonnes to 6.2 tonnes per tow and from 15.1 tonnes to 24.8 tonnes per day. Large vessels all together harvested ca.5600 tonnes through the month, of which RTM trawlers owned by OAO NBAMR (pic) contributed 5100 tonnes of squid. The leading vessel was RTM Kalinivo daily catching ca.29 tonnes of magister squid on the average. Omega middle trawler daily harvested 4 tonnes of squid. In July 2007 the fishermen reported no bycatch on the grounds of B. magister squid.

The vessels owned by companies based in the islands were operating mostly on the inshore grounds of invertebrates and seaweed in the inshore waters of the South Kuriles.

Mys Zolotoy based in the islands and owned by OOO Firma Moreproduct Co Ltd had a success on the sea scallops grounds off Onekotan. The total harvest of sea scallops in the inshore waters amounted to 234.6 tonnes through the month with the average daily rates reported at 19.6 tonnes. The species was targeted by Kurile-based seiners owned by OOO Sandi (ltd) and OOO Afalina (ltd) as well as by divers at the south islands. Catches per day amounted from 43 kilos to 142 kilos on the average.

On the same grounds of the South Kurile zone off the islands of the Small Kurile Ridge Sankiti Maru No.5 owned by OOO Soyuzokean (ltd) was harvesting spiny king crab Paralithodes brevipes (hanasakigani in Japanese). The vessel's total catch amounted to 471 kilos through the month. Another vessel Hose Maru-18 owned by OOO Delisa Plus (ltd) was targeting hairy crab octopus with the total catches reported at 613 kilos and 714 kilos correspondingly.

Two Kurile-based companies were engaged in laminaria harvesting with the total result of ca.35 tonnes through July.

Along with the above, the Russian fishermen continued catching sea urchins in the South Kurile zone. The total harvest of sea urchins in the area totaled 37.5 tonnes.

Sea of Okhotsk

Contribution of the Sea of Okhotsk to the Basin's total harvest of finfish and other species amounted to 13,700 tonnes.

A group of vessels operating on the mixed grounds of bottomfish for human consumption concentrated along the western coast of Kamchatka and mostly consisted of small seiners based in Kamchatka. By the end of July the fishing efforts targeting bottomfish nearly halved in number as the vessels went to harvest salmons.

As a result, the daily catch rates did not exceed 200 tonnes. The total harvest in the both subareas of West Kamchatka amounted to 5400 tonnes. The average catch per vessel was within 8 metric tons.

The basic species was flounder and, for instance, in the West Kamchatka subarea the catches contained 56.4% of flounder. To the south of the 54th degree North flounder was also the dominating species, though its share dropped to 43%.

The second important species was Alaska pollock with the share of 34.2%. Wachna cod was more often caught in the West Kamchatka subarea and accounted for 26.6% of the total harvest versus 10.4% in the Kamchatka-Kurile subarea.

A group of 10-13 longliners was targeting halibuts in all the three subareas of the Sea of Okhotsk. The expedition daily handled from 200 to 300 km of longline and the daily rates per 1 km of line amounted to 90 kilos on the average. Just like in the previous months, the best catch rates were recorded for the vessels of JSC ZAO Dalrybprom. The average daily harvest per vessels amounted at 3-4.7 tonnes depending on the area.

Kamchatka-based vessels were harvesting halibut with bottom net gear. Their total harvest of halibut amounted to 135 tonnes through the month.

Invertebrates were harvested only in the North Okhotsk subarea. The largest expedition targeted snow crab opilio. The fishery was conducted by more than 50 vessels owned by the Basin's companies. The average daily catch rates per vessel fluctuated from 500 kilos as reported by Kombrig Kuznetsov owned by OOO MP Mys Kuznetsova to 4725 kilos as reported by Magadan-based Western Enterprise owned by OOO Tikhrybkom (ltd).

Vladivostok-based companies targeting snow crab opilio also harvested golden king crab Lithodes Aequispina.

Magadan-based Odyan owned by OOO Tikhrybkom (ltd) and Khabarovsk-based vessels of OOO Unichek (ltd) started harvesting Ayano-Shantarsk red king crab with the group's total harvest amounting to 100 tonnes through the month. The daily catch rates per vessel varied from 500 kilos for the Magadan vessel to 1718 kilos for the Khabarovsk crabber Vostok.

A small group of 8 vessels was hunting for whelks in the north part of the Sea of Okhotsk. Every vessel daily handled 7500 traps on the average with the rates per trap reported at ca.3 kilos of whelks on the average. The daily harvest amounted to ca.4.2 tonnes per vessel on the average. The total catch of the species through the month was recorded at 697 tonnes.

Sakhalin salmons

The salmon fishery in the inshore waters of Sakhalin was conducted mainly in the Poronaisk and Makarov districts of the Terpenia Bay. The daily landings of salmons to the onshore processors amounted to 300 tonnes with about 60-70 seines set up on the grounds. By the end of the month early runs of pink salmon grew somewhat weaker. In July 2007 the onshore processors received ca.9000 tonnes.

In keeping with the scientific forecasts, abundant runs of pink salmon started from the last five days of the month. Under the research program the fishermen were observing the pink runs to the Kurile waters and to the east of Sakhalin. Strong concentrations of oceanic pinks were found in the sounds of the central Kuriles and the stock's runs were forecasted to be in keeping with last year. The fishermen said that the scientific forecasts of a successful pink salmon season turned true.

In the start of the second ten days of the month the fixed seine set up near Kurilsk (Iturup Island) began working with the fish processed onboard the harvesters. The daily catches were reported at 40-50 tonnes. By the end of the month already 10 seines were working in the area with the total pink salmon harvest since the fishery start growing to 4500 tonnes. Just like in Kamchatka, there was a shortage of receiving capacities.

In July 2007 salmons also started running in the east of Sakhalin. A fleet of 13 vessels was sent to receive salmons on the grounds and they reported daily catches of up to 360 tonnes.

By the end of the month the salmon harvest in Sakhalin amounted to 23,300 tonnes with the daily rates amounting to 2500 tonnes.

Salmons of West Kamchatka

Pink salmon fishery in the south of Kamchatka's west coast was weak. In the Ozernaya River the fishermen prepared 5 seine and set up 2 seines. Nine vessels came to the area, but they had little work processing no more than 20 tonnes of pinks per day with the remaining harvest landed for onshore processing. The sockeye harvest in the Kamchatka Kurile subarea amounted to 10,300 tonnes or 60% of the quota. The total harvest of salmons in the west coast of Kamchatka through the month amounted to ca.13,000 tonnes out of the TAC of ca.63,000 tonnes.

In the North Okhotsk subarea on the grounds near Evensk, Magadan and Okhotsk the fishermen set up 19 seines and 9 floating processors received salmons from them. In early July four processors stood idle waiting for the raw fish near Evensk as the scientific forecast did not come true. By 25 July 2007 the seines had been removed from the grounds and the vessels left the fishing area. The total harvest of pink salmon amounted to ca.700 metric tons.

Seines set up near Magadan were removed a little later and the pink salmon harvest in the area amounted to 3000 tonnes. Near Okhotsk four seines kept working with the fish from them received by four processors. The total harvest of salmons in Magadan amounted to 8500 tonnes.

Fishing area

Quota take-up in July 2007, %

Of which

Pink salmon

Chum salmon

Sockeye

Coho salmon

Chinook

West Bering Sea zone

13.5

5.6

1.1

34.9

Karaginsk subarea

64.7

70.5

36.0

32.1

70.0

Petropavlovsk Komandor subarea

44.1

18.1

26.3

71.3

1.4

76.6

West Kamchatka

2.6

1.3

4.0

41.4

9.4

Kamchatka-Kurile subarea

19.4

1.0

2.6

35.6

60.2

North Okhotsk subarea

Of which Magadan

52.2

57.8

12.8

4.0

Khabarovsk

6.0

13.3

1.5

31.5

Amur

16.9

35.8

13.2

West Sakhalin

7.9

12.01

0.4

Southwest Sakhalin

5.6

14.7

East Sakhalin

12.0

14.1

0.3

South Kuriles

5.0

6.0

North Kuriles

11.4

3.7

22.1

18.0

3.7

3.7

Primorye (Khabarovsky Krai)

25.4

26.9

Primorye (Primorsky Krai)

7.7

20.4

All the areas

26.2

28.8

9.5

42.6

0.7

69.0

Sea of Japan

Only 897 metriс tons of fish were harvested by the Russian fishermen in the Sea of Japan in July 2007. The fishery operations were conducted mostly by STR vessels and small seiners based in Vladivostok, Khabarovsk and West Sakhalin. The catch rates in the area were not large.

In the month under the analysis the Russian fleets were targeting invertebrates and seaweed. More specifically, the fishermen harvested pink shrimp Pandalus borealis, coonstripe shrimp Pandalus hypsinotis, sea urchins, sea cucumber and Pacific squid.

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