Outlook by species and areas for salmon fishery in the Russian Far East in 2008

June 17, 2008 12:44

Based on the consent of the Expert Commission of the State Ecological Expertise, the State Fisheries Committee approved the TACs of Pacific salmons in the inland waters of the Russian Federation at 321,300 tonnes, 76,000 tonnes or 19.1% down on the TACs 2007, fishery sources in Vladivostok told www.fishnet-russia.com (www.fishnet.ru).

Pink salmon

The salmon season in the Russian Far East is mostly based on pink salmon the share of which accounts for 65.9% of the TACs of all the salmon species.

The pink salmon fishery on the both sides of the Kamchatka peninsula will be conducted according to the traditional scheme for even years when pink salmon normally runs for spawning into the rivers of West Kamchatka. Interchange of strong and weak classes are typical for pink salmon of East Kamchatka and the pink salmon quotas in the Karaginsk subarea have been considerably reduced as compared to 2007 (65,500 tonnes down) and set close at the level of the actual harvest in the subarea in the previous even year of 2006 (ca.15,000 tonnes). However, the above mentioned pink salmon catches in the Karaginsk subarea in 2006 should not be taken as an example to follow, as in that season the quotas were covered only at 50% mostly due to problems of mismanagement. Nevertheless, the scientists say that the pink salmon runs to the rivers of the peninsula's north and Koryak Autonomous District have been getting weaker.

The reduction of pink salmon catches in the above area will be partly compensated by catches in the west coast of Kamchatka where the bulk of the pink salmon stock will run for spawning. There the catch is recommended at 61,000 tonnes, two times larger than the allowable pink salmon harvest in 2007. The main fishing pressure will be in the West Kamchatka coast where the catch is recommended at ca.36,000 tonnes. It is expected that catches of pink salmon in the subareas of West Kamchatka may account for one third of the TAC of the species for all the fishing areas. Active runs of pink salmon are expected in the closing ten days of July and the runs will peak in the first ten days of August.

Within nearly 30 years of the pink salmon fishery in the Northeast Sakhalin the average annual harvest amounts to 1200 tonnes with the highest catch recorded at 4400 tonnes.

Since 2005 the fishermen have been reporting abundant runs of pink salmon to the rivers of East Sakhalin. However, only in 2006 the TACs in the subarea were increased two times and two years running the actual catches were recorded at 100,000 tonnes. Probably, catches could have been even higher, but the TAC was finally approved only after the closure of the season. For the current season of 2008 the recommended harvest of pink salmon in the waters of East Sakhalin is set at 83,000 tonnes.

Somewhat smaller than one half of the pink salmon TAC in the waters of East Sakhalin may be harvested in the waters of the South Kuriles. The pink salmon fishery is conducted in the islands of Iturup and Kunashir. Despite the islands' vicinity, the conditions for pink salmon reproduction in their waters are different. More specifically, the pink salmon stock of Kunashir has been getting weaker, while in the other island the even year stock of pink salmon is fairly strong. In the waters of the South Kuriles the total harvest may amount to more than 40,000 tonnes.

Pink salmon TACs 2004-2008 as broken by fishing areas

Fishing areas

Pink salmon TACs, 1000 tonnes (less later increases)

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

West Bering Sea zone

0.31

0.3

0.114

0.074

0.01

East Kamchatka zone

13.0

80.6

30.75

77.9

6.15

Of which Karaginsk subarea

12.5

78.0

30.25

75.4

5.9

West Kamchatka coast

61.0

29.9

105.0

14.0

116.8

Of which Kamchatka Kurile subarea

35.8

11.6

73.5

6.0

85.8

East Sakhalin subarea

83.0

109.9

18.5

65.3

12.8

South Kurile zone

40.7

42.5

32.0

16.5

42.6

Primorye subarea

8.9

1.0

2.6

1.1

8.96

TOTAL

211.8

292.9

194.9

198.8

194.3

Chum salmon

Chum salmon is the second most abundant Pacific salmon and its stocks have been at a satisfactory level, but the fishery of the species is normally regarded as extra to the pink salmon, sockeye and chinook fisheries. Starting from 2006 the recommended catches of chum salmon have been increased year-on-year. However, the chum salmon TAC 2008 has been raised by 4.6% versus 27% in 2007. Decreases of the TAC are approved for the West Kamchatka, West Sakhalin and the South Kuriles. In the sockeye fishery in the south of the east coast of Kamchatka the share of chum salmon is forecasted to reach ca.40%.

Chum salmon TACs 2004-2008 as broken by fishing areas

Fishing areas

Chum salmon TACs, 1000 tonnes (less later increases)

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

West Bering Sea zone

1.2

1.1

0.96

0.74

0.83

East Kamchatka zone

16.1

14.4

9.2

10.1

5.7

Of which Karaginsk subarea

12.2

11.2

6.8

7.6

3.2

Petropavlovsk Komandor subarea

3.9

3.2

2.4

2.5

2.5

West Kamchatka coast

10.8

12.4

121.7

4.5

4.2

Continental coast of the Sea of Okhotsk

15.6

14.7

10.1

6.4

7.7

West Sakhalin subarea

5.2

5.3

2.9

2.4

4.6

East Sakhalin subarea

6.8

6.3

5.3

3.2

3.6

South Kurile zone

8.4

9.1

8.7

5.2

6.2

TOTAL

72.8

69.5

54.8

36.1

36.8

Sockeye

In the course of the recent years the TACs of sockeye have been recommended at about 30,000 tonnes. About 73% of the TAC in the west coast of Kamchatka are based on the sockeye runs into the rivers of Ozernaya and Bolshaya. Sockeye is also the main species for drift net fishery under the scientific program of monitoring the feeding period of salmons. In East Kamchatka 85% of the TAC will be represented by sockeye running to the Kamchatka River. In commercial volumes the stock is harvested from late May to early June, while from the opposite side of the peninsula the west coast sockeye classes run to the shores mostly in July when the fishermen start harvesting them. The sockeye TAC for the coming season of 2008 has been increased only by 1100 tonnes.

Sockeye TACs 2004-2008 as broken by fishing areas

Fishing areas

Sockeye TACs, 1000 tonnes (less later increases)

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

West Bering Sea zone

0.7

0.9

0.8

0.54

0.4

East Kamchatka zone

7.0

9.1

5.1

3.1

5.8

Of which Petropavlovsk Komandor subarea

5.8

6.2

4.0

2.3

5.2

West Kamchatka coast

21.9

18.5

23.2

15.8

13.6

Of which Kamchatka Kurile subarea

21.2

18.2

22.8

15.6

13.5

TOTAL

30.1

29.0

29.6

19.9

20.3

Coho and chinook

The basin of the Kamchatka River in the eastern coast of the peninsula is the main area for reproduction and fishery of coho and chinook. The second most productive area is in the north of West Kamchatka. The TACs of the species are normally exhausted, though a large part of the harvest remains unreported as poaching in the area continues prospering.

Coho and chinook salmon TACs 2004-2008 as broken by fishing areas

Fishing areas

Coho and chinook salmon TACs, 1000 tonnes (less later increases)

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

coho

chinook

coho

chinook

coho

chinook

coho

chinook

coho

chinook

East Kamchatka zone

2.614

0.996

2.063

0.77

0.932

0.865

0.218

0.661

0.761

0.325

Of which Karaginsk subarea

0.2

0.116

0.5

0.046

0.28

0.046

0.008

0.02

0.02

0.02

Petropavlovsk Komandor subarea

2.414

0.88

1.563

0.724

0.652

0.819

0.21

0.641

0.741

0.305

West Kamchatka

1.756

0.166

1.846

0.124

0.545

0.125

0.3

0.074

0.46

0.107

Of which West Kamchatka subarea

1.02

0.09

1.077

0.057

0.327

0.057

0.15

0.026

0.21

0.026

On 3 June 2008 the Commission on Regulation of Anadromous Fisheries distributed salmon quotas in the Petropavlovsk Komandor subarea and the users launched the salmon season 2008. Already in May 2008 the Russian fishermen started harvesting Pacific salmons with drift net gear for research purposes.

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