Outlook for fisheries in Russia's Far East in first quarter of 2010

December 18, 2009 14:43
In mid-December 2009 biologists from Vladivostok-based TINRO-Centre fishery research institute worked out a forecast on fish catches in the seas of the Russian Far East in the first quarter of 2010, reports www.fishnet-russia.com (www.fishnet.ru) with reference to fishery sources in Vladivostok.

According to the scientists, the total harvest in the Russian Far East in 2010 is forecasted at ca.4 million tonnes of aquatic bioresources, salmons inclusive. Out of the above volume the commercial catch in the first three months of the year is expected to amount to 924,000 tonnes or 25.5% of the TAC. As for the fishing species, potential catches of pollock amount to 774,000 tonnes, herring - 57,000 tonnes, cod - 18,000 tonnes, wachna cod and Atka mackerel - 14,000 tonnes each, flounder - 11,000 tonnes, grenadier - 6000 tonnes, halibuts - 3000 tonnes, crabs - 5000 tonnes, and shrimps - 3700 tonnes.

The first quarter of the year is the period when the recommended catch volumes are at 80% dominated by pollock. The main fishing scene will be concentrated in the Sea of Okhotsk. The total commercial quota in the Sea of Okhotsk has been set at 977,500 tonnes broken down between the areas as follows: 379,000 tonnes in the North Okhotsk subarea, 339,000 tonnes in West Kamchatka, 215,000 tonnes in the Kamchatka-Kurile subarea and 44,500 tonnes in East Sakhalin.

The largest catch quotas of 395,200 tonnes have been allocated to Vladivostok fishermen. The fishermen from Kamchatka and Sakhalin have been allowed to harvest 285,100 tonnes and 174,000 tonnes of pollock correspondingly. The commercial pollock allocations for Khabarovsk and Magadan have amounted to 76,800 tonnes and 32,400 tonnes respectively. About 14,000 tonnes have been allocated to the fishermen of Chukotka.

The recommended commercial harvest of pollock in the Sea of Okhotsk exceeds the capture quota 2009 by 160,000 tonnes which may lead to growing roe yield. However, the roe output may depend on differences in the age structure of pollock in the fishing subareas. More specifically, in the Kamchatka Kurile subarea the scientists forecast dominance of fairly large pollock spawned in 2004-2005. In autumn 2009 the average size of pollock was 400-450 grams and by spring 2010 when the fish reaches the age of 5-6 years the roe yield may rise.

According to the scientists, the roe yield in the other two subareas of North Okhotsk and West Kamchatka will be low as the bulk of the harvest in these two areas will be contributed by comparably young pollock spawned in 2006 and younger generations of fish weighing 250-300 grams each.

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