Outlook for fisheries in Russia's Far East Basin in December 2010
The Sea of Okhotsk, where the bulk of the fishing fleet will be concentrating, will fall under the influence of northeast winds. The number of stormy days with the wind speed of more than 15 meters per second is expected to range from 8 to 15. Already by the beginning of December 2010 the bays of the north coast of the Sea of Okhotsk will be closed with ice. In the northwest part of the sea, to the north of the 56th degree North, ice formation will be rising with a ten-days delay on the average multiannual time periods. The fishery conditions in area are expected to be non-stable.
Even more unfavourable situation will be observed in the waters of the Kuriles and in the southeast of Kamchatka, where in closing month of the year 2010 storms will grow even stronger. The number of stormy days is forecasted at 15-17. Oceanic cyclones will exert less influence on the Karaginsk subarea and the West Bering Sea zone. Only within 10-13 days the northeast winds will be more than 15 meters per second. As the waters grow colder and ice formation quicker the ice coverage will slightly exceed the multiannual average.
In December 2010 the main commercial species in the area will be as follows:
- Pollock of the Bering Sea. The pollock fishery will be based mostly on mobile large pollock schools (50-58 cm) of medium strength in the area adjacent to the delineation line and in the north of the Koryak coast. However, in that case the fishermen will have to lose fishing time on spotting operations. In the Navarin area the fishery will be conducted on weaker concentrations of 38-45cm pollock of 2005-2006 class. Normally the pollock fishery in December is conducted by large vessels catching 35 tonnes per day on the average.
- Pollock of the Sea of Okhotsk. Distribution of pollock concentrations in December 2010 by areas is expected to be similar to that of the same month last year. The fleet will be operating on a large water area of the Sea of Okhotsk to cover their quota remainder there. The fishery situation will be gradually improving. The fishing efforts by the end of the month will grow in number thanks to new comers ready to start the fishery operations already from the first days out of the new year quotas. The expedition is forecasted to raise their daily catch rates. More favourable fishery situation is expected in the mouth of the Shelikhova Bay. The catch forecasts may be high at up to 100 tonnes per large vessel and up to 40 tonnes per middle ship. Weaker fishery situation is expected in the North Okhotsk subarea where the daily catch rates are forecasted at 75-80 tonnes per large vessel on the average. Efficient fleet operations will be observed at the Ozernovsk depths. Catches are expected at 60-70 tonnes per large ship and 30-35 tonnes per middle ship. Presumably the Okhotsk pollock TACs will be completely exhausted.
- Herring of the Sea of Okhotsk. The Basin's scientists recommend that the remaining herring quotas should be covered in the Priutaisk fishing area on its wintering concentrations. Catches per effort are expected at 30 tonnes per large vessel and 20 tonnes per middle trawler. Maximum possible exhaustion of Okhotsk herring quota remainder is possible subject to maximum fishing efforts on the grounds. More specifically, the scientists say that the harvest through December 2010 may amount to 96,700 tonnes in case the total fishing efforts on the grounds amount to 73 large and 23 middle trawlers.
- Flounders. The flounder fishery can be a success on its wintering concentration at the western coast of Kamchatka. The harvest may amount to about 1600 tonnes subject to participation of 5-7 middle trawlers in the fishery operations in the West Kamchatka subarea and ca. one thousand tonnes of flounder are forecasted to be caught on the mixed bottomfish grounds in the Kamchatka-Kurile subarea subject to participation of 3-6 trawlers. With up to 12-15 trawlers operating in the Petropavlovsk-Komandor subarea the flounder catch may amount to 1.0-1.6 metric tons.
- Black halibut. Potential black halibut catch in December 2010 will amount to ca.600 tonnes in the Sea of Okhotsk, namely in its three subareas. The black halibut fishery can be conducted with net, trawl and longline gear. Bottomnet harvest in the North Okhotsk subarea may amount to 2-3 tonnes with the share of halibuts reaching 60-80% per day on the average. The average daily catch rates per trawler will not exceed 1.5 tonnes, out of which halibut may amount to 50-70% of the daily harvest per ship. The fishery situation in the West Kamchatka subarea will be weaker. A group of 4-5 netters, trawlers and 4-5 longliners is expected to catch ca.200 tonnes of halibut. Halibut concentrations to the south of the Kamchatka Kurile subarea in December 2010 will be growing stronger in abundance as halibut which has spawned in the other two subareas will return to the grounds. For trawlers daily catches per ship are expected to reach 4 tonnes with the share of halibut of 50-80%. The remainder of halibut quotas in the area may be covered by 3-5 longliners and trawlers.
- Cod. Promising grounds in terms of catch rates will be located along the coast of Kamchatka in between 54th and 57th degrees North. Besides, the highest catches are expected at the northwest coast of Paramushir and Shumshu. The cod fishery can be conducted both with trawl and Danish seine gear and longline gear. At the same time, longline catches are expected to reach 7-10 tonnes per ship daily, while the vessels working with trawl and Danish seine gear are forecasted to harvest 2-6 and 3-7 tonnes per ship depending on the fishing area. Besides, the cod fishery is also possible in the waters of East Kamchatka where longliners are expected to harvest 8-10 tonnes. The bycatch of cod in trawl and Danish seine fishery may reach 6-8 tonnes per ship in the Karaginsk subarea and 2-6 tonnes per longliner in the Petropavlovsk-Komandor subarea. However, there plenty of stormy days and active ice formation will impede the fishermen's operations on the grounds. Efficient grounds for cod fishery will be also found at the south coast of Paramushir. The daily catch rates will amount to 8-10 tonnes per longlier, trawlers are expected to bycatch up to 2-6 tonnes of cod per day.
- Crabs. In December 2010 the Russian fishermen will continue harvesting crabs until complete exhaustion of crab quotas in the Bering Sea, Sea of Okhotsk and in the Sea of Japan
- Shrimps. In the closing month of the year the fishermen will try to exhaust as much of their shrimp quotas in the Sea of Okhotsk and in the Sea of Japan as possible.
Basin's catch by late November 2010
As per 21 November 2010 the total harvest of aquatic biological resources in the Russian Far East Basin exceeded 2.3 million metric tons with access of the last year results by 120,000 tonnes.
As for the species, the pollock catch increased nearly by 300,000 tonnes. In the current year 2010 cod catches rose by 20,000 tonnes on the respective result of last year. The catches of herring and Atka mackerel also showed positive trends (+6000 and +9000 tonnes correspondingly). The sculpins harvest grew by 11,000 tonnes, while the halibut catch rose by 2500 tonnes. Crab catches rose by 3500 tonnes. The catch volumes of shrimps and squid grew by 1200 and 1000 tonnes correspondingly. Upward developments have also been observed in catches of sea scallops, whelks and sea cucumber.