Outlook for fisheries in the North Basin in July 2008
In July 2008 the fishermen do not expect any worsening of conditions for bottomfish operations in the Barents Sea, fishery sources in Murmansk told www.fishnet-russia.com (https://www.fishnet.ru/).
Cod and haddock
According to the captains, the abundance of cod and haddock stocks has been stable and the shipowners and operators forecast the landings in July 2008 will be at least at the level of the previous month. At the same time, the bulk of the fleet will continue harvesting cod and haddock within the Russian EEZ, where a considerable part of the stocks will spread at the outskirts of the feeding area, namely in the east part of the sea up to the shores of the New Land Islands. Up to 30% of the owners plan to send their vessels into the waters off Spitsbergen, where the fishery conditions are expected to be fairly good.
In the Norwegian Sea the shipowners will focus mostly on mackerel fishery in the open part of the sea, where the Russia quota has been set at 23,500 metric tons. July is the most favourable month for the mackerel fishing as the stock in its feeding period may spread from the southern grounds of the enclave (the international waters) to the 69th degree North, mostly closer to the Norwegian EEZ. The bulk of the fleet in that period will concentrate on mackerel which will spread in the upper layer. In case of good warming up of the surface water layer mackerel schools will enter the surface and quickly move mostly to the north. Successful fishery of such schools will depend only on the maximum possible speed of a trawler, as well as on the crew's experience. The fishery conditions in general are expected to be satisfactory, that is why some of the shipowners will be able to cover their quotas already by the end of July.
The mackerel fishery on a limited scale will be also possible in the north of the Faroese fishing zone, mostly in the end of the month. The Russian mackerel quota in the Faroe waters has been approved at 8700 tonnes.
During the periods of potential slumps in the mackerel fishery the Russian fishermen will be able to switch to blue whiting with the bycatch of herring mostly in the south part of the enclave.
The most favourable period for ocean perch operations in the Irminger Sea has been finishing. Satisfactory conditions will alternate with decreased catch rates, therefore some of the vessels will continue fishery in the eastern sector of the Greenland zone or move more to the south along the Greenland zone. According to the measure for regulating fishery of ocean perch Sebastes mentella in the NEAFC waters, from the fishery start up to 15 July 2008 in the northeast of the Irminger Sea to the north of the 59th degree North and to the east of the 36th degree West the Russian fishermen can harvest no more than 65% of the national ocean perch quota in the Irminger Sea. The Russian vessels targeting ocean perch in the sea shall sent the NEAFC Secretariat reports about catches onboard until the vessel's crossing the border of the above area. The reports shall be sent 1 hour prior to border crossing with a notification about the vessel's location and onboard catches harvested in the area which she is leaving after her last report on catches.