Overview of fisheries in Russia's Far East in opening week of 2010

January 18, 2010 14:23

For the first time in the recent years the Federal Fisheries Agency issued orders on distribution of capture quotas 2010 between the users already in the end of the first ten days of December 2009, thus enabling the shipowners to apply for fishing permits in due time, reports www.fishnet-russia.com (www.fishnet.ru) with reference to the fishery sources in Vladivostok.

Preparation for the coming fishing seasons of the year therefore continued without any haste and already in the end of the year 2009 many vessels operating on the fishing grounds had the fishing permits 2010 onboard. As a result, in the end of the first week of January 2010 the fishing efforts on the pollock grounds in the Sea of Okhotsk were twice stronger in number as compared to the same period of 2009.

The first week of January normally has organizational nature. After a period of idleness and port repair the vessels usually 00head for the grounds. The fishing permits are delivered onboard the vessels operating on the grounds. The ships approaching the grounds go through the procedure of entry into the fishery, occasionally losing time while waiting for inspectors from control bodies. In January main fishing expeditions usually take off.

The fishing year 2010 started with pollock and herring operations in the Sea of Okhotsk. The Okhotsk pollock expedition is the main pollock season for the shipowners generating maximum sales proceeds at minimum expenses.

In the current year the commercial fishermen have been allowed to harvest 977,500 tonnes of Okhotsk pollock, 162,000 tonnes up on the last year volume. The above volume has been broken between the regions as follows:

  • Primorsky Krai Territory (capital Vladivostok) - 395,200 tonnes (+63,000 tonnes)
  • Khabarovsky Krai Territory - 76,800 tonnes (+12,900 tonnes)
  • Magadan Region - 32,400 tonnes (+5800 tonnes)
  • Sakhalin Region - 174,000 tonnes (+29,300 tonnes)
  • Kamchatsky Krai Territory - 285,100 tonnes (+48,500 tonnes)
  • Chukotka Autonomous District - 14,000 tonnes (+2500 tonnes).

Besides, for inshore operations small boats and seiners based in Magadan and Kamchatka have been allowed to harvest 62,800 tonnes of pollock on the Okhotsk shelf, namely 7200 and 55,600 tonnes correspondingly.

Just like last year, in the first ten days of January 2010 the fishing vessels were mostly concentrating in the Kamchatka Kurile subarea, where there were 60 large and 26 middle vessels versus 26 and 15 ships in the same period last year. The subarea's daily harvest exceeded 5000 tonnes. Large vessels reported the catch rates of 32,500 tonnes per tow, while daily catches per vessel exceeded 80 tonnes on the average. The average roe yield amounted to 2.56%. The middle trawlers reported the daily catch rates of more than 28 tonnes per ship on the average, and the rates per tow amounted to 14,300 tonnes on the average.

Dedicated pollock catches broken down between the regions

Regions

North Okhotsk subarea

West Kamchatka subarea

Kamchatka Kurile subarea

Total in the Sea of Okhotsk

Catch, metric tons

Number of vessels

Catch, metric tons

Number of vessels

Catch, metric tons

Number of vessels

Catch, metric tons

Number of vessels

large

middle

large

middle

large

middle

large

middle

Primorye (capital Vladivostok)

1292

3

-

1963

4

-

13724

23

16

16979

30

16

Khabarovsk

-

-

-

-

-

-

2477

4

-

2477

4

-

Magadan

-

-

-

-

-

-

69

2

-

69

2

-

Sakhalin

20

1

-

54

-

-

7097

12

1

7171

13

1

Kamchatka

718

1

-

13

-

-

6644

18

1

7375

19

1

Area's total

2030

5

-

2030

4

-

30011

59

18

34071

68

18

Vladivostok-based fleet was the largest in number. The province's companies sent 46 fishing vessels to the grounds, including 30 large ships. In the first days of the year 2010 Vladivostok-based vessels harvested 17,000 tonnes of pollock, while the fishermen of Kamchatka and Sakhalin harvested 7000 tonnes each with the fleets numbering 19 and 13 large trawlers correspondingly.

While the fishing efforts on the pollock grounds were twice larger than last year, the herring fishery in the North Okhotsk subarea was conducted by smaller number of vessels, namely 11 large vessels down on last year. In early 2010 the vessels, which in the end of last year switched from pollock to herring, went to the pollock grounds. The number of middle vessels remained at the level of January 2009. The herring harvest in the first ten days of January 2010 amounted to 5600 tonnes versus 15,000 tonnes in the same period 2009 with participation of 6 large and 13 middle vessels (last year 17 and 15 ships correspondingly).

Cod and halibut fishery was conducted by 5 ships in the North Okhotsk and West Kamchatka subareas. The longline cod harvest was reported by the skippers at 16 tonnes, with the catches of halibut and grenadier respectively amounting to 93 tonnes and 133 tonnes.

The operations on mixed bottomfish grounds at the western coast of Kamchatka were conducted by 12 trawlers by the end of the week. Catches of the vessels consisted of pollock, cod, flounder, wachna cod and sculpins, while from the beginning of the year the total harvest of the species amounted to ca.2700 tonnes.

The crabber fleet also started fishing on the grounds in the first ten days of the year 2010. More specifically, two crabbers were targeting blue king crab and golden king crab in the West Kamchatka subarea with the harvest of 4 tonnes and 1.8 tonnes correspondingly.

Provisional catch figures in the first week of January 2010

SpeciesWest Bering Sea zonePetropavlovsk-Komandor subareaSea of OkhotskKurilesBasin’s total
Catch, metric tons%Catch, metric tons%Catch, metric tons%Catch, metric tons%Catch, metric tons%
Pollock325094.9125282.13747590.085884.542835.589.1
Cod  362.4540.1686.7165.10.3
Flounder  966.3170.0430.3158.30.3
Wachna cod    250.1  79.60.2
Sculpins1715.0221.5150.0330.3255.90.5
Halibuts20.130.2930.24.80.5103.00.2
Atka mackerel  1157.5  757.4193.40.4
Ocean perch    0.30.0010.50.050.80.0
Herring    37729.1  3829.48.0
Skates  10.03370.130.339.40.1
Grenadier    1330.3  133.40.3
Blue king crab    40.01  4.00.0
Golden king crab    20.004  1.80.0
Pink shrimp        49.60.1
Sea urchins      10.1136.70.3
Sea cucumber        2.50.0
Squid        2.10.0
TOTAL3423100152510041629100101610048055.5100

In the Bering Sea, at the eastern shores of Kamchatka and in the Kurile the fleet's operations were halted by cyclones and stormy winds of up to 15-22 meters per second. From the first days of the month Kamchatka-based vessels owned by OAO Okeanrybflot (plc) and Nakhodka BAMR were ready to join the fishing fleet on the grounds. Through the first week of January 2010 the pollock harvest in the West Bering Sea zone and in the Petropavlovsk-Kommandor subarea amounted to 4500 tonnes. Four Kamchatka-based companies sent their middle vessels to the bottomfish grounds in the Petropavlovsk-Komandor subarea. Catches of those vessels were dominated by flounder (96 tonnes), while catches of cod and sculpins correspondingly amounted to 36 tonnes and 22 tonnes.

In the waters of the North Kuriles the vessels owned by Kamchatka-based Kamchatimpex and two Vladivostok-based companies Vladivostok Transport Company and Vladivostok Marine Fish College were targeting pollock and Atka mackerel. Vessels owned by one Kurile-based company were hunting in the inshore waters of the North Kuriles for pollock, Atka mackerel cod, flounder and sculpins. The fishermen were also targeting cod, halibut and skates. The total harvest in the North Kuriles through the week amounted to a little more than 1000 tonnes.

The South Kurile Fish Combine was targeting pollock (545 tonnes) and sea urchins (610 tonnes) in the inshore waters.

In the Sea of Japan red snow crab and pink shrimp were the main species the harvest of which amounted to 50.8 and 49.6 tonnes correspondingly.

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