Outlook for Russian fisheries in the North Atlantic in December 2007
Due to the need to exhaust cod and haddock quota Russia's bottomfish operations in the Barents Sea will continue up through the end of the year. According to the shipowners, the landings of cod and haddock are not expected to change much in December 2007 as compared to November 2007. Operators say that, just like earlier, the bulk of cod harvest can be harvested in the sea's northwest, while the bulk of the haddock catch will be contributed by the Russian EEZ.
The red king crab fishery in the Russian EEZ will also continue up through the end of the year. However, as some of the vessels have completely exhausted their quotas the group of crabbers will decrease and the total harvest of the species through the closing month of the year 2007 is expected to be somewhat down on November 2007.
Landings of polar cod Boreogadus saida in December 2007 are expected at a much lower volume as, according to the operators, this year the abundant fishery of polar cod will end up already by the middle of December after dispersed concentrations of mature fish spread on the spawning grounds to the south of the New Land. As a result, a considerable part of the polar cod available for harvest (50,000 tonnes namely) will remain in the sea.
In the Norwegian Sea blue whiting will remain the only species targeted by the Russian fleets with the main fishing grounds concentrated in the Faroese fishing zone. Subject to favourable weather conditions catches of blue whiting are expected to exceed catches through November 2007, as the operators are willing to increase the fishing efforts towards the largest possible take-up of quotas. According to the agreement between Russia and the Faroese Islands for the year 2007, up to 28 Russian vessels can operate in the Faroese fishing zone at any one time.
In the Northwest Atlantic the fishery of Greenland halibut will be conducted by single vessels.
In the Central Eastern Atlantic pelagic species will be targeted by a group of up to 5-6 large vessels. The bulk of Russia's catches in December 2007 is expected to be contributed by sardine and mackerel. The total harvest through the month is possible at the level of 9000 tonnes.