Overview of fisheries in Russian Far East in November 2011

December 14, 2011 09:43

Pollock fishery in the Sea of Okhotsk and in the Bering Sea, herring fishery in the Olyutorsk and Karaginsk Bays and salmon fishery are main contributors to the Russian wild fish harvest in the Far East Basin and the bulk of it (about 90%) comes from Kamchatka waters, reports http://www.megafishnet.com/ with reference to KamchatNIRO research institute.

More specifically, in November 2011 in the waters of Kamchatka (West Bering Sea zone, Karaginsk subarea, Petropavlovsk-Comandor subarea, Kamchatka-Kurile subarea, West Kamchatka subarea) and in adjacent waters of the North Kurile zone and North Okhotsk subarea the Russian vessels harvested ca.128,900 MT of fish, spent 6,435 days at sea all together, performed ca. 280,500 fishing operations, including commercial catches of 105,400 MT or 81.8% of the total harvest and inshore catches of 14,100 MT or 10.9% in the Russian EEZ. The remaining small share of the harvest was contributed by other fisheries.

Leading fishing area in terms of catches in November 2011 was North Okhotsk subarea (50,700 MT), followed by West Bering Sea zone (36,400 MT) and North Kurile zone (14,500 MT).

In November 2011 in the above areas the Russian fishermen targeted 32 species and 85.7% of the harvest was contributed by two species - pollock and herring. The third place with a big gap was taken by Atka mackerel (4.1%). As for the areas, in the Sea of Okhotsk main commercial species were herring and pollock, in the Pacific waters of Kamchatka - pollock, in the North Kurile zone - pollock, Atka mackerel, squid, in the Karaginsk subarea - pollock and herring, in the West Bering Sea zone - pollock.

North Okhotsk

In the North Okhotsk subarea herring was the main fishing species, which contributed 36,400 MT to the harvest through the month, and the herring harvest for the first eleven months of the year therefore totaled 191,600 MT. The second most important species in the subarea was pollock, dedicated fishery of which was resumed from 16 October 2011 (season B). Besides, pollock was harvested as bycatch in dedicated herring fishery. The total harvest in the area amounted to 12,800 MT and 318,100 MT from the beginning of the year.

West Kamchatka

In the West Kamchatka subarea 94% of the harvest was contributed by herring and pollock (2,100 MT and 1,100 MT correspondingly). Longliners targeted cod, halibuts and skates and vessels equipped with onboard traps harvested crabs and whelks.

In the Kamchatka Kurile subarea pollock harvest with pelagic gear amounted to 3,400 MT. Just like West Kamchatka subarea, the dedicated pollock fishery in the Kamchatka Kurile waters was resumed from 2 November 2011 till the end of the year. The subarea is a traditional area for active Danish seine fishery, however, just like other areas, this type of fishery in November is weak due to closure of navigation for small boats. Danish seine catches of various species totaled 454 MT, the harvest was dominated by flounder - 47%. Longline catches amounted to 116 MT of cod mostly. Catches of grenadier, halibuts, skates and thornyhead were not big.

North Kurile zone

In the North Kurile zone pelagic trawlers were targeting pollock, while bottom trawlers focused on Atka mackerel and squid. Those species accounted for 94% of the harvest. Good results were reported by vessels hunting for pollock in the waters of the Fourth Kurile Straight (29.4 MT per tow on the average) and Atka mackerel to the south of Paramushir Island. The total catch in the North Kurile zone amounted to 10,600 MT of finfish and 3,800 MT of squid. Apart from main commercial species, catches of pelagic trawlers also contained grenadier, cod and ocean perch. Bycatch in bottomfish fishery of Atka mackerel and squid contained ocean perch, cod, flounders and skates. Longliners were taking up quotas of cod and grenadier.

Petropavlovsk-Comandor subarea

In Petropavlovsk-Comandor subarea in November 2011 the Russian fishermen harvested 9,400 MT of marine fish and 1,100 MT of squid. There inshore Danish seine fishery of bottomfish species is highly developed all the year round. In particular, in November 2011 catches in the area amounted to 6,800 MT. Priority species was pollock contributing 85.8% to the harvest, the shares of cod and flounders were equal at 4.7%. Small catch volumes were recorded for Atka mackerel, halibuts, skates and sculpins. According to scientists, pollock length varied from 26 to 68 cm, the average making 46.6 cm. The bulk of the harvest was represented by pollock 41-53cm (78%). The total pelagic trawl harvest in the Petropavlovsk-Comandor subarea amounted to 1,500 MT, including 1,300 MT of pollock. As for other species, only Atka mackerel was noticeable with the share of 4%, while catches of cod, flounders and halibuts were not big. Longliners harvested 600 MT of fish, including 96.9% of cod. The bycatch contained small amounts of halibuts and skates.

Karaginsk subarea

In the Karaginsk subarea in November 2011 the Russian fishermen conducted dedicated fishery of pollock and herring with the results of 5,400 and 2,100 MT correspondingly, which accounted for 86.9% of the harvest in the subarea. Daily catch rates were reported at 85.5 MT per large trawler and 34 MT per tow on the average. According to Fishery Regulations, dedicated herring fishery with pelagic trawls was allowed from 16 November 2011 and BMRT large trawlers harvested 19.5 MT per tow and 39.6 MT per vessel daily. Middle trawlers also reported fairly good catches - 13.5 and 39.3 MT respectively. The bycatch mostly contained squid, cod and Atka mackerel.

Length of pollock harvested by large trawlers varied from 25 to 79 cm, the average size was 42cm and weight - 507g. Pollock of 40-47% dominated in the harvest with the share reaching 62%. Bycatch of undersized pollock accounted for 14% on the average. Size of Pacific herring was also good ranging from 25 to 40 cm. The bulk of the herring harvest was represented by 33-36cm fish accounting for 53.9% of the catch. The bycatch of undersized herring was not recorded, except for several tows which contained up to 0.8% of such fish. The average herring size was 33cm, weight - 423g. Bottomtrawl harvest was equal to 490 MT and contained mostly cod, Atka mackerel and sculpins. Danish seine fishery in this time of the year gets weaker and through the month the fishermen targeted only 432 MT of various fish species, including 247 MT of pollock, 85 MT of cod and 62 MT of wachna cod. Besides, fishermen harvested 252 MT of cod with longline gear and 163 MT of snow crabs with onboard traps.

West Bering Sea zone

In the West Bering Sea zone in November 2011 the Russian fleets continued large scale dedicated trawl fishery of pollock. The harvest through the month was reported at 32,600 MT, and the total harvest from the beginning of the year amounted to 303,800 MT. The second object for dedicated fishery was herring with the total catch of 1,700 MT. large trawlers harvested 64.1 MT of pollock per day on the average. Herring was targeted by 7 large and middle trawlers based in Kamchatka. The average daily catch was recorded at 14.5 MT per large trawler and 43.6 MT per middle trawler, 6.5 MT and 19.4 MT per tow correspondingly. Pollock length ranged at 26-53cm (33.8cm and 452g on the average). The dominated size was 32-37cm (83%). The bycatch in the above mentioned two dedicated fisheries amounted to 176 MT of cod, 58 MT of grenadier and 99 MT of other species. Bottom trawlers mostly harvested grenadier. Longliners were taking up cod and grenadier quotas.

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