Outlook for Russian fisheries in Atlantic in August 2009

August 14, 2009 16:25

In August 2009 in the Barents Sea the fleet based in Murmansk-led North Fisheries Basin will continue harvesting cod and haddock with the bycatch of other demersal fish in the feeding areas located in the southeast and northwest parts of the sea beyond the Norwegian EEZ, fishery sources in Murmansk told www.fishnet-russia.com (https://www.fishnet.ru/).

Taking into account the current season, the fishery conditions are expected to be fairly good, but the concentrations will be gradually growing weaker as the best period for the fishery is coming to an end and the fish will be spread on a large area.

According to the shipowners, the Russian waters remain more fruitful for the fishermen, and there will occur a bulk of the fishing efforts despite the fact that in the southeast part of the sea the size of cod and haddock is practically always worse than in the Bear-Spitsbergen area. In the waters of Spitsbergen, especially at the depths break to the west of the Bear Island and West Spitsbergen foreign-built vessels equipped with modern trawl systems are planning to harvest larger fish. The catches are expected to start dwindling approximately by 5-10% on July 2009. The haddock harvest, mostly in the Russian EEZ may remain at the level of the previous month.

The Russian fishery of red king crab will start in the Barents Sea soon. According to the current fishery regulation measures, the red king crab fishery in the Barents Sea is prohibited from 1 January 2009 to 31 August 2009. But in the end of June 2009 Association of Crabbers of the North suggested that in 2009 the fishery start should be shifted from 31 August to 15 August because of the decreasing efficiency from August-September to November-December which was observed in the previous years. At present, the Association's proposal is under consideration at the Russian federal bodies. If it is approved, the Russian fishery of red king crab in the Barents Sea may start on 15-20 August 2009.

In the Norwegian Sea in the first half of August the Russian fishermen will continue harvesting mackerel. The vessel operators hope for favourable fishery conditions in the north part of the Faroese fishing zone and in the south part of the enclave. As the quotas get exhausted the trawlers will switch to the herring fishery. Taking into account the fishery conditions in the course of the season, the mackerel quotas will probably be exhausted already by the beginning of the closing ten days of August. The main pelagic species in the Norwegian Sea in August will be Atlantic herring. The most promising grounds will be located at the 72-73 degrees North at the border break of the enclave, Spitsbergen and the Norwegian EEZ where the herring stock in the end of its feeding period will be forming concentrations. Depending on the conditions, some of the concentrations will move within the Bear-Spitsbergen area to the southwest of the Bear Island or to the northwest part of the Norwegian EEZ. The fishery conditions are expected to be satisfactory on all the grounds of herring distribution in the area. Direct blue whiting fishery in the Norwegian Sea in August is unlikely due to small quota remainder in the NEAFC waters, in the Norwegian EEZ and in the Yan-Mayen waters. Mostly, the remaining quotas will be taken up as inevitable bycatch in the herring fishery.

According to the fishery regulation measures approved at the 27th session of the NEAFC, on 15 August 2009 in the international waters of the Norwegian Sea the Russian trawlers will start ocean perch fishery with pelagic trawl gear at the depths of 350-450 meters. The fishing efforts will be replenished mostly by the vessels fishing with large pelagic trawls in the Irminger Sea. The most promising grounds will be located at the 72nd degree North along the border of the Norwegian EEZ. The total quota for the period up to 15 November 2009 has been set at 10,500 tonnes to be covered under the Olympic system. In the north part of the Irminger Sea comparably satisfactory conditions on the ocean perch grounds may be observed up to the start of the second decade of August. Beginning from the second half of the month ocean perch will start moving more actively to the southwest. The conditions for temporary fishery will appear along the border of Greenland, in the end of August 2009 the fleet will probably change its location to continue fishing on the grounds to the south of Greenland already in the NAFO zone.

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