Overview of fisheries in Russia's Far East as per 16 May 2010
In the first half of May 2010 weekly finfish and non-finfish catch results have been stable in the Russian Far East with small variations of volumes from 600 tonnes to 1,500 tonnes plus or minus. During the third week of May 2010 the catch volume of aquatic objects amounted to 27,000 tonnes while Bering Sea, Sea of Okhotsk and Pacific coast of Kurile Islands have stayed the main fishing areas, reports www.megafishnet.com (www.fishnet.ru) with reference to fishery sources in Vladivostok.
Catch volume in the Bering Sea including East Kamchatka waters amounted to 5,500 tonnes or 20.4% of the reported summarized harvest. Two large vessels started APO fishery in West Bering zone off the limits of territorial waters while the first tows have not resulted in high figures bringing only 20 tonnes per 24 hours of operations. Number of vessels participating in the dedicated fishery of Alaska pollock in Petropavlovsk Komandorsk area has reduced to three large vessels whose weekly catch volume amounted to about 1,500 tonnes of Alaska pollock. Alaska pollock appeared also as bycatch in groundfish operations but its share did not exceed 7%.
Two local groups were formed to fish flounders, cod, Atka mackerels in the nation's EEZ and partly in coastal part of the West Bering zone with catches amounting to about 1,400 tonnes. One more group of vessels was operating in the southeast of Kamchatka in the Petropavlovsk-Komandorsk subarea. There, coastal catches contributed more than 70% of the total harvest in the subarea. Flounders dominated in catches taking more than 50% of daily harvests. Share of cod and Atka mackerel in catches amounted to 24% and 19% correspondingly. By the end of the third week of May 2010 12 seiners owned by Bekkereva Fishing Cooperative also started fishing operations in Karaginsk subarea targeting groundfish species. Number of vessels targeting groundfish species by the third week of May 2010 increased twice.
In the course of the week under analysis the number of longliners targeting cod, halibuts, skates in West Bering Sea and Karaginsk subareas did not change. In North Bering Sea mainly Primorye-based longliners owned by fishing cooperative Vostok-1 participated in the fishery. Halibut catches dominated in the harvest with the share of 36% the harvest dominated in catches while Kamchatka vessels operating in Karaginsk subarea harvested mainly cod with the share of halibuts amounting to less than 1%.
Apart from fish objects, ten Kamchatka-based crabbers were targeting blue king crab, snow crab opilio, triangle tanner crab and snow crab bairdi in the West Bering zone with the total catch in the third week of May 2010 amounting to 127 tonnes.
A group of Kamchatka and Sakhalin-based drift netters targeting salmon species to the south of East Kamchatka increased to seven ships in the third week of May 2010. 100 km of driftnets were handled by these vessels per 24 hours, with sockeye and chum salmons dominating, the catch amounted to 200-300 kg per 1 km of drift net. Sakhalin-based vessels also started drift net operations in the Kuriles area. In the third week of May 2010 the catch volume of salmon in this area amounted to a bit more than 100 tonnes.
Dedicated APO fishery was carried out in the North and South Kuriles in the previous week. As the squid fishing situation improved, the number of vessels targeting the species went down to three in the North Kurile area and to two vessels in the South Kurile area. Catch volume of these groups of vessels amounted to 1,600 and 1,500 tonnes correspondingly. By the end of the third week of May 2010 catch rates per tow fell from 25.1 tonnes to 10.8 tonnes in the south of Kurile Islands. While in the North Kurile zone the catch volume grew from 12.9 tonnes to 24.7 tonnes per tow by the beginning of the third week of May 2010.
In North Kurile area a number of vessels targeting Atka mackerel and squids doubled. Only two vessels owned by Nakhodka-based BAMR were targeting squid and Atka mackerel in May 2010 if compared with 6 vessels targeting squid in the year 2009. Magadan-based vessel of Tikhrybkom Company and a vessel owned by Dalmoreprodukt Company switched to dedicated squid fishery as well as four Kamchatka-based vessels of Okeanrybflot Company. For the period under analysis those vessels harvested about 750 tonnes of squid while summarized daily catch increased from 65 tonnes to 235 tonnes. Atka mackerel catch in the fishing area decreased to 600 tonnes the same period.
Provisional catch results as per the third week of May 2010, according to the daily catch reports (metric tons)
Objects of fishery
West Bering subarea
Sea of Okhotsk
Total in Russia's Far East Basin
Red snow crab
Blue king crab
Golden king crab
Snow crab opilio
Snow crab bairdi
One vessel of Primorye-based fishing cooperative Noviy Mir continued fishing operations in North Kurile subarea targeting grenadiers. As a result, weekly catch amounted to about 100 tonnes (10-15 tonnes per tow). Totally, since the beginning of May 2010 the company harvested 143 tonnes of grenadiers.
As usually, island-based plants from Sakhalin and Kuriles sent their vessels to target golden king crab in North Kurile area and sea urchins, sea cucumber, scallops and squids in South Kurile area.
In the second week of May 2010 APO fishery continued in East Sakhalin subarea of the Sea of Okhotsk. The fishery was operated by three vessels of Sakhalin-based companies accompanied with a fleet of Preobrazhenskaya Base of Trawl Fleet consisting of 2 large vessels and 5 STR middle trawlers with a mothership which left the fishing grounds to stop operations at the beginning of the third week of May 2010. Only large vessels continued Alaska pollock fishing. Dedicated catch volume of Alaska pollock amounted to 7,300 tonnes while total weekly catch in the Sea of Okhotsk amounted to about 8,500 tonnes including bycatch of pollock in other species operations.
Number of longline vessels targeting cod in West coast of Kamchatka was stable, cod dominating in longline catches. Bycatches also included halibuts, skates, lycodes. About 25 longliners participated in the fishery harvesting 410 tonnes of fish (75.7% was cod's share) during the period.
Number of Danish seiners targeting groundfish species increased to 15. The main species targeted were flounder, Alaska pollock, wachna cod, cod, sculpins and smelt. Flounders prevailed in catches accounting for 37%, followed by of Alaska pollock -33% and wachna cod -21%. Notably, wachna cod dominated in West Kamchatka catches (up to 40.2%) and flounder catches dominated in Kamchatka-Kurile subarea with total share of 45.9% closely followed by Alaska pollock - 850 tonnes per week or 41.8% of total Danish seine results.
Halibuts in the Sea of Okhotsk were targeted in North Sea of Okhotsk and West Kamchatka subareas one vessel operating in each subarea. Catch volume amounted to 54 tonnes in North Sea of Okhotsk and 18 tonnes in West Kamchatka subarea. Daily net handling amounted to 15-25 km of nets, total halibut catch volume amounted to 670-880 kg per 1 km of nets. Daily net catches amounted to 10 - 22 tonnes.
Snow crab opilio, triangle tanner crab and golden king crab were targeted by crabbers in the north of the Sea of Okhotsk. Thirty seven crabbers targeted snow crab opilio as satisfactory fishing conditions contributed to successful fishery. Catch volume per trap amounted to 6.00-7.70 kg while daily catch of an average vessel amounted to 3.00-4.2 tonnes. Weekly catch of triangle tanner crab amounted to 1,500 tonnes. By the end of the week catches of golden king crab in North Sea of Okhotsk area also decreased with 8 vessels operating on the grounds. Daily catches of the group of vessels dropped four times. By the end of the week 4 fishing vessels were targeting snow crab bairdi in Kamchatka-Kurile subarea. Reduction of fishing efforts in the fishing grounds led to increase of daily catches per average vessel to 2.7 tonnes while catch per trap increased by 1kg and amounted to 3.6 kg. Catch volume of this crab species during the period amounted to 49 tonnes. In West Kamchatka subarea one Kamchatka-based vessels started to take up blue king crab quotas resulting in 14 tonnes of blue king crab harvested using 900 traps per day.
Good ice situation on the whelks grounds in the second week of May 2010 allowed to start whelks fishery at last, weekly catch volume of which amounted to 6 tonnes.
Last vessel targeting pink shrimp left the fishing grounds in Kamchatka-Kurile subarea where 640 tonnes of pink shrimp were harvested since the beginning of the year. Ten shrimpers were targeting pink shrimp in the north of the Sea of Okhotsk subarea by the end of the third week of May 2010. Daily catches in this group of vessels amounted to 24-27 tonnes, 400-500 kg per tow, 2.2-2.4 tonnes per average vessel.
Sea of Okhotsk fishery was leading in catch volumes as per the second week of May 2010 whose share in basin catches amounted to about 47% followed by Kuriles - 22.3%. The West Bering Sea zone and the Primorye subarea were less productive during the week under analysis.