Outlook for Russian Far East fisheries in October 2009

October 1, 2009 16:14

According to the forecast prepared in Vladivostok-based TINRO-Centre research institute, in October 2009 the main species will be pollock, saury, herring, grenadier, bottofish species as well as crabs, shrimps and whelks, reports www.fishnet-russia.com (www.fishnet.ru) with reference to fishery sources in Vladivostok.


The dedicated pollock fishery will be continued in the Navarin area and in the north of the Koryak coast. Catches will consist of fish harvested in the East Bering Sea shelf, the harvest to be represented mostly by the 2005-2006 year class of small size pollock (33-39 cm). The share of older fish is not expected to exceed 15% of the harvest. The average daily catches per vessel may amount to 60 tonnes for large vessels and as for middle boats the result is forecasted to be twice smaller.

Starting from the second half of the month the fishermen will resume the dedicated fishery of feeding pollock in the Sea of Okhotsk. The quota remainder will be covered by companies nearly from all the regions. The volume of quotas remaining uncovered does not exceed 40,000 tonnes. In the Okhotsk waters of the South Kuriles the scientists think it possible to conduct efficient pollock fishery with the total harvest to amount to 10,500 tonnes subject to participation of 4 large or 5 middle trawlers.


In October 2009 the dedicated herring fishery will be the most efficient in the waters of the Navarin Cape of the West Bering Sea zone. The bulk of the harvest will be contributed by the species of the average size 28-32 cm and weight of 230-550 grams. Besides, in October 2009 herring will be also harvested as bycatch in the pollock fishery.

Trawlers are recommended to start active fishery of Okhotsk herring no earlier than in the first ten days of the month when the herring concentrations on the traditional fishing grounds will be the strongest. The harvest of non-market-size herring will not exceed 8% of the total harvest. The pollock bycatch is expected at 2-5%, while other species are forecasted to account for less than 0.1%. Catches will contain up to 90% of pollock of the average length 25-31cm and weight 150-310g.


The saury concentrations in October 2009 will be more dispersed than in the previous years and the efficiency of the saury fishery in the waters of the Small Kurile Ridge will be smaller accordingly. The bulk of the harvest will be represented by the species of the average size of 24-29cm with the share of large size fish (more than 29cm) and small size fish (less than 24cm) to total up to 40%. The second fishing area may be formed at a small distance from the central Kuriles. However, the concentrations' strength and the daily catch rates will be below 15-30 tonnes per ship on the average.


The first half of October 2009 is more favourable for the grenadier fishery in the West Bering Sea zone and in the Karaginsk subarea. The average daily catches of large bottom trawlers will amount to 1-4 tonnes per one-hour tow and 20-50 tonnes per ship at the depths of 500-900 meters. Catches of vessels of various types with bottom trawl, longline and net gear in the upper part of the grenadier concentrations will be below 3-15 tonnes per day. The bulk of the harvest will be represented by giant grenadier. Along with dedicated operations, grenadier will be harvested on the halibut, cod, ocean perch and even pollock grounds.

As compared to the summer period, the fishery situation in the Kuriles will be getting worse. Daily catch rates will amount to 25-35 tonnes per one-hour tow and 1-5 tonnes per large vessel. With the dedicated fishery of 2-3 large vessels grenadier concentrations in October 2009 are expected to sustain catches of at least 3500 tonnes. The bycatch will contain halibuts, ocean perch, thornyhead, skates and lycodes.

Though the grenadier stocks are very large in the Sea of Okhotsk, comparably strong concentrations will be forming at the western coast of Kamchatka. On the mixed grounds of halibut, cod and other bottomfish species the bycatch of giant grenadier with bottom trawl, longline and net gear may reach 40-90%. The total harvest of the species through the month is forecasted at 500-1000 tonnes.


The trawl and Danish seine fishery of cod in the Bering Sea has been practically suspended with the fish concentrations to be gradually moving towards the border of the shelf. The fleets will be able to harvest cod locally in the waters of the Ugolnaya Bight and in the Olyutorsk-Navarin shelf. The fishermen will be switching to longline operations. However, due to the lack of longliners the cod TAC in the Bering Sea may remain not fully exhausted.

At the eastern shores of Kamchatka the fishery situation will remain satisfactory in the course of the month and only the number of vessels sent to the grounds will tell on the fishery results. The average daily catches are expected at 2-5 tonnes per longliner and 1-3 tonnes per trawler.

In the Sea of Okhotsk the bulk of the cod harvest will be contributed by longliners, as in the beginning of October 2009 the small boat fleet suspended its operations on the grounds.


In early October 2009 the strength of feeding flounder concentrations in the West Bering Sea zone is on the rise and the fishery of the species will be conducted in parallel with the pollock and cod fisheries. In the waters of the southeast coast of Kamchatka flounder will be harvested only within the territorial waters. The harvest may be large in the waters of the southeast Kamchatka, despite worsening fishery and weather conditions. The daily catch rates are expected to range at 0.4-19 tonnes. The bycatch of other species will reach 50-90%.


The halibut fishery in the Bering Sea in October 2009 will be growing less active due to the stock's migration out of the Russian EEZ as well as due to dwindling weather conditions. In the longline cod fishery in the West Bering Sea zone the fleets are expected to bycatch 100-120 tonnes of white halibut. The harvest of black halibut with net and longline gear in the area is forecasted to reach 100-150 tonnes.

In the Sea of Okhotsk the halibut fishery may be conducted in all the subareas and with various fishing gear (trawl, longline and net). The total harvest through the month is expected to amount to 150 tonnes in the North Okhotsk subarea and 100 tonnes in the West Kamchatka subarea with the most efficient daily catches of 6 tonnes per ship expected for vessels equipped with net gear. About 100 tonnes of black halibut may be harvested in the waters of the Kamchatka Kurile subarea with the average daily rates to amount to 1.7 tonnes per netter and 2.5 tonnes per longliner.

Longfin codling Laemonema

In October 2009 the fishery situation on the longfin codling grounds is expected to be satisfactory in the South Kurile zone, the average fish size to be within 42-63cm. Larger fish (45-65cm) will be harvested in the waters of the Japanese Islands. The average catch per supertrawler is forecasted to amount to 40-50 tonnes daily.


In October 2009 the salmon fishery has been closed in all the areas. Only chum salmon runs will be observed in the waters of the South Kuriles and in Primorye. Weak coho salmon fishery is possible in Kamchatka.


The autumn and winter schools of squid will be traditionally forming on the two grounds of the North Kuriles. The fishable concentrations will be fairly strong. In October 2009 the fleets are expected to harvest 10-11 tonnes of B. magister squid. On the squid grounds the average bycatch is forecasted at 30-40% sometimes reaching 70%.

Until the middle of October 2009 the concentrations of magister squid will be strong at the Navarin Cape where the species will be harvested as bycatch in the bottomfish operations. In October 2008 in the western part of the Bering Sea the squid harvest amounted to ca.1200 tonnes and about 800 tonnes of squid were harvested in the Petropavlovsk-Komandor subarea. The above area is a transit-migration area for maturing and roe squid heading for the main spawning grounds in the Commander Islands and the south part of the Bering Sea.


The crab fisheries in October 2009 will be conducted in the Bering Sea, the Sea of Okhotsk and the Sea of Japan. The species targeted in the Bering Sea will be blue king crab and snow crab opilio and bairdi. In the Sea of Okhotsk in the inshore waters of Magadan the fleets will be hunting for red king crab with the average catch rates expected at 1.5-1.6 tonnes per ship. Catches per conic trap are forecasted to increase from 4.5 to 7 kilos on the snow crab opilio grounds in the North Okhotsk subarea. The main crab species in the Sea of Japan will be red tanner crab, catches of which will contain mostly marketable crabs.


Results of the basin's fishing operations in October 2009 will depend on the weather conditions which are forecasted to dramatically worsen in the Sea of Okhotsk and in the Bering Sea (where there will be stronger north and northeast winds). Cyclones in the Sea of Okhotsk will also influence on the weather conditions in the Sea of Japan and in the Kuriles. Up to 10 stormy days are expected in the north part of the Sea of Okhotsk, at the eastern shores of Sakhalin, in the Koryak coast and in the waters of the central Kuriles. In the southwest Kamchatka the scientists forecast 13 stormy days. In the northeast of Kamchatka there will be 14 days, forecasted the scientists.

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