Outlook for fisheries in the seas of the Russian Far East in April 2008
By 10 April 2008 the number of vessels targeting prespawning herring in the Sea of Okhotsk increased by 6 large ships. The herring harvest amounted to 45,800 tonnes from the start of the year thus displaying a 13,000-tonne increase on the corresponding result of 2007. The herring fishery will be conducted in the Russian EES until the stock's spawning period, fishery sources in Vladivostok told www.fishnet-russia.com (https://www.fishnet.ru/).
According to scientific forecasts, in April 2008 the conditions on the Alaska pollock grounds will be favourable and the efficient fishery will be conducted to the south of the Koni Peninsula. The average daily catches of large vessels are forecasted at 80-90 tonnes, while middle vessels will harvest 45-60 tonnes each on the average.
In the north of the Kamchatka shelf in April 2008 the flounder schools will start moving from wintering depths to the medium part of the shelf with the average daily catch rates through the month expected to amount from 8 to 20 tonnes per ship. The bycatch of other bottomfish species is forecasted at ca.40-50%. In the southern part of the shelf the share of bycatch will be somewhat lower at 20-30%, therefore the daily catch rates will fluctuate from 0.2 to 16 metric tons. The harvest through the month is expected to amount to 2000-3000 tonnes for the both subareas.
Grenadier and skates
Grenadier and skates will be harvested as bycatch in bottom trawl, longline and net fisheries. The share of grenadier will amount from 5-10 to 25-95% of the total harvest, while the share of skates will amount to no more than 20-30% of the total harvest.
The best conditions for Greenland halibut operations will be in the Kamchatka Kurile subareas of the Sea of Okhotsk for all the fishery types. With the fleet of 9-10 longliners, trawlers and netters the halibut harvest may amount to 700 tonnes. The longline fishery in the West Kamchatka subarea is expected to be fairly satisfactory with the average catch per day to amount to ca.2.5-3.5 tonnes at 85-95% dominated by halibuts.
In the North Okhotsk subarea the average daily harvest is expected at ca.3-4 tonnes per longliner and 2.5-3.5 tonnes per netter but the share of halibuts will be lower at 60-90%. The total harvest in three subareas through the month is forecasted at ca.2100 tonnes with a group of 20 longliners, up to 4 netters and 5-8 trawlers to participate in the fishery.
Longline catches of cod will remain at the level of March 2008 with a large 50-80% bycatch of Alaska pollock, flounder and wachna cod. In the West Kamchatka subarea the daily catch rates will be 4 tonnes up on the rates in the south of the west coast of Kamchatka.
In April 2008 the Russian fishermen will continue harvesting blue king crab in the West Kamchatka subarea and snow crab bairdi in the Kamchatka Kurile subarea. Close to the middle of the month the crabbers came to grounds and set traps to harvest snow crab opilio in the North Okhotsk subarea.
The Russian fleets will also keep targeting deepwater P.borealis shrimp in the Kamchatka Kurile and in the North Okhotsk subareas. In the waters of East Sakhalin one Vladivostok-based vessel joined the fleet on the grounds and reported fairly good catches in the first days of April. The fishery situation is expected to be favourable.
In the Bering Sea in April the fishery of the Anadyr-Navarin cod will be continued by longliners on a fairly large area.
At the depths of 200-550 meters the scientists forecast commercial concentrations of white halibut fit for bottom longlining. Bottom trawl catches of grenadier are expected at up to 20-40 per large vessel daily. The harvest of grenadier by 2-3 large trawlers and 3-5 longliners in the West Bering Sea zone may reach 1500 tonnes through the month.
North and South Kuriles
The abundant approach of the spring-summer squid into the area of the Ketoy-Simushir Islands is expected on 10-15 April 2008, while in some 10-14 days the fishable concentrations of the species will start forming in the waters of the Paramushir-Onekotan, but that will depend on the weather conditions.
Due to the end of the spawning season and the stock's dispersal at the smaller depths the trawl and Danish seine catches of cod will decrease, but the bycatch of flounders will considerably increase by the end of the month. The fishable concentrations will form at the eastern coast of Paramushir. At the same time, longline catches are expected grow. The average daily catches of longliners are expected at 7-9 tonnes per longliner and ca.1-2 tonnes per trawler.
The fishery of sea scallops can be conducted all-the-year-round and the daily harvest depends on the weather conditions. In April 2008 RS seiners and SRTM middle trawlers are expected to harvest 10-13 tonnes of the species.
The fishery of sea urchins in the waters of the South Kuriles is also possible all-the-year-round, except for the stock's spawning season.
Sea of Japan
Russia's fishing operations in the Sea of Japan will be conducted mostly by small vessels with the catches containing flounders (mostly slime flounder and Nadezhny's flounder), Atka mackerel, cod and Alaska pollock. The trawl fishery of deepwater shrimp is prohibited in April and the species will be harvested only by vessels fitted with traps. The crabbers will continue targeting red snow crab which is the only species for dedicated operations in the south part of Primorye.
Japanese EEZ. Pacific subarea.
The daily catch rates of lonfin codling Laemonema will be comparably low at ca.10-20 tonnes in the beginning of the month. In the second half of the month the catches will grow to 50-60 metric tons. The concentrations recommended for fishery will be off the Hoshu Island at the depths of 500-850 meters as well as at the southeast of Hokkaido at the depths of 350-750 meters.