Pollock catches in the Bering Sea and in the Sea of Okhotsk in October 2011
In October 2011 Russian fishermen were targeting Alaska pollock in the Bering Sea and in the Sea of Okhotsk, reports http://www.megafishnet.com/.
The dedicated pollock fishery in Bering Sea resulted with ca.43,200 MT based on average daily catch rates of ca.1,394 MT (down from 1,523 MT last year).
Just like in September 2011, the fleet was working mostly in the Navarin area to the east of the 174th degree East. The fishery efficiency was also on a par with the last month result, namely at ca.30,300 MT in October 2011 versus 29,900 MT in September 2011. At the same time, the fishing efforts decreased noticeably due to rise of catch rates per vessel. Some 11,200 MT of pollock were harvested on other fish grounds, including in dedicated trawl fishery under intergovernmental agreements. As a result, the total harvest in the Navarin area from the start of the year by the end of October 2011 amounted to 235,700 MT (71% of the TAC), thus displaying an increase from 230,200 MT in the same period last year.
Unlike the above area, in the West Bering Sea zone to the west of the 174th degree East pollock fishery efficiency in October 2011 slightly declined as compared to the previous month. The dedicated pollock catch totaled ca.9,700 MT, down from 11,800 MT. The total pollock harvest in the West Bering Sea zone in January-October 2011 amounted to ca.272,600 MT (77.1% of the TAC), 12,300 MT up on the same period last year. Daily pollock rates in dedicated trawl fishery reached 272 MT per large trawler (61.3 MT on the average) and 132 MT per middle trawler (49.4 MT on the average). Size of harvested pollock ranged from 28cm to 58cm (dominating size was 41-46cm). The average length and weight were 42cm and 496g.
In the Karaginsk subarea of East Kamchatka Russian fishermen harvested ca.3,200 MT of pollock with pelagic trawls in the Russian EEZ, down from 4,000 MT in September 2011. Besides, 3,800 MT were harvested with other gear, mostly Danish seine in the inshore waters. The total pollock harvest in the subarea from the beginning of the year amounted to ca.28,600 MT or 77.1% of the TAC, 12,300 MT up on the respective result of last year. Daily catch rates in the subarea from dedicated operations reached 133 MT per large trawler (43.5 MT on the average) and 78 MT per middle trawler (33.5 MT on the average).
Sea of Okhotsk
According to the current fishery regulations, in the North Okhtosk subarea the dedicated pollock fishery is allowed in two periods: A season in winter-spring and B season in autumn-winter. The latter starts from 16 October and lasts by the end of the year. In West Kamchatka and Kamchatka Kurile subareas the B season is even shorter as it lasts from 2 November to 31 December. Just like the A season, the fishery is allowed beyond main areas of stock reproduction and concentrations of young pollock.
Taking into account high profitability of pollock fishery (roe production) the fishermen focus their efforts on the A season, while in the autumn-winter B season the fishery progresses not very actively. Nevertheless, those companies which due to some reasons failed to cover their pollock quotas in January-April can compensate the gap with operations in the end of the year. (Introduction of B season for dedicated pollock fishery in the Sea of Okhotsk as of 2009 was aimed at reduction of the fishing burden in the stock's the prespawning period which should be in favour of pollock reproduction in the area.) Catches in the B season were supposed to amount to 30% of the annual trawl harvest in the Sea of Okhotsk, however the three-year practice of the two-seasons scheme has showed that the catch balance differs from the forecast. More specifically, in October-December 2009 the dedicated pollock catches in the North Okhotsk subarea accounted for 5.7% of the total trawl pollock harvest in the Russian EEZ, in the West Kamchatka subarea - 32.4%, in the Kamchatka Kurile subarea - 5.0%. In 2010 the corresponding results were as follows: North Okhotsk - 19.8%, West Kamchatka and Kamchatka Kurile - total of 5.3%.
The total pollock harvest in January-April 2011 in the above mentioned three subareas of the Sea of Okhotsk (in the East Sakhalin subarea the fishery is not conducted in this time of the year) amounted to 816,900 MT of pollock or 88.8% of the TAC. Out of the above volume 764,900 MT were by dedicated trawlers in the Russian EEZ, with the remaining volume contributed mostly by Danish seiners in the West Kamchatka shelf. Taking into account the summer catch, by 15 October 2011 the Russian fishermen harvested ca.848,900 MT or 92.3 of the TAC. The quota remainder amounted to ca.71,100 MT, nearly twice down on last year. Therefore, Russian scientists forecast that the TAC 2011 will be covered practicallycompletely by the end of the year.
In October 2011 pelagic trawlers harvested ca.3,100 MT of pollock in the North Okhotsk subarea and 5,500 MT in the East Sakhalin subarea. From the beginning of the year the harvest totaled ca.301,900 MT (90.1% of the TAC) and 62,600 MT (69.5%) correspondingly.
Just like last year the fishery situation in autumn was worse than those in spring. In the North Okhotsk subarea catch rates reached 168 MT per large trawler (72.2 MT on the average) and 66 MT per middle trawler (41.3 MT on the average). In the East Sakhalin subarea the respective results were 128 MT (63.2 MT) and 114 MT (40.9 MT).