Outlook for fisheries in Russia's North Basin in July 2009

July 8, 2009 12:44

In the Barents Sea the whole fleet coming from Murmansk-led North Fisheries Basin will continue harvesting cod and haddock with the bycatch of other demersal fish species on the feeding grounds located in the southeast and northwest areas of the sea beyond the Norwegian EEZ, fishery sources in Murmansk told www.fishnet-russia.com (https://www.fishnet.ru/).

Taking into account the condition of the fish stocks and the season, the fisheries conditions are expected to be fairly good especially in the first half of the month, though the fish will be spread on a large area. According to the captains, despite the fact that the catch rates and the size of cod and haddock in the southeast part of the sea may generally be worse than in the Bear Spitsbergen area, most of the fishing efforts will be focused in the Russian zone, where the conditions will be more favourable.

In the waters of Spitsbergen, especially at the depths break to the west of the Bear Island and Western Spitsbergen, mostly foreign built vessels and Russian built ships equipped with modern trawl complexes will be operating. The catch volumes of cod and haddock are forecasted to remain at the June level.

The blue whiting fishery in the course of July will be carried out mostly in the open waters of the Norwegian Sea as the blue whiting quota remainder in the Faroese fishing zone is to be saved for the autumn fishery after exhaustion of the mackerel quota. The blue whiting concentrations are expected to spread on a vast area of the enclave up to 69-70 degrees North. The fishery conditions in general are estimated as satisfactory, but the total harvest is unlikely to increase on June 2009 as the bulk of the fleet will be conducting direct mackerel fishery in the upper 50-meter layer of the international waters and partly in the northern part of the Faroese fishing zone.

July is the most favourable month for the mackerel fishery. The Russian mackerel quota 2009 has been set at 29,700 tonnes in the NEAFC waters and 12,800 tonnes in the Faroese fishing zone. The shipowners hope that the total shipments of mackerel from the Norwegian Sea will amount to 24,000-25,000 metric tons.

In July 2009 some of the vessels may periodically conduct fishery of Atlantic herring in the enclave despite the period of active feeding. The main reason behind has to do with the increased catch quota. The Russian herring quota in the Norwegian Sea for the year 2009 has been set at 210,600 tonnes. The most efficient area for herring catches in July is the waters of Jan-Mayen, but the bulk of the concentrations will also occur in the adjacent waters of the international part of the sea.

The fishery of ocean perch Sebastes mentella in the Irminger Sea will be carried out in the north part of the NEAFC waters along the border of the Icelandic zone. The Russian quota for ocean perch Sebastes mentella in the open waters of the Irminger Sea in 2009 has been approved at 29,400 tonnes (as per early July 2009 the fishermen harvested ca.12,000 tonnes), and 2100 tonnes of ocean perch are allowed for capture in the waters of East Greenland. If needed some of the above volume may be covered in the waters of West Greenland and in the NEAFC waters. Improvement of fishery conditions as compared to June 2009 is unlikely, therefore taking into account the persisting instability on the grounds the shipowners are planning landings of 5000-5500 tonnes of ocean perch from the area.

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