Overview of fisheries in the seas of the Russian Far East as per 10 February 2009

February 11, 2009 17:26

For the Russian Far East Fisheries Basin the new year 2009 started with losses of the fishermen's time for issue of fishing permits. Out of the vessels operating on the grounds in December 2008 only Kamchatka-based fleets could continued fisheries from the first days of January 2009, fishery sources in Vladivostok told http://www.fishnet-russia.com/ (https://www.fishnet.ru/) with reference to the results as per 10 February 2008.

Vessels owned by Nakhodka-based NBAMR were staying idle and already by the middle of the month the fishery situation began dwindling, the share of pollock of the non-fishable size reached 30% of the harvest. In the beginning of the third decade of the month the fleet left the grounds and the total harvest of pollock through the month amounted to 8000 tonnes contributed by Vladivostok-based vessels and 14,600 tonnes by Kamchatka-based fishermen.

Only by the end of the first ten days of January one Kamchatka-based longliner launched cod fishery in the Petropavlovsk-Komandor subarea with the delay caused by the same reason. The ship's monthly harvest amounted to 110 tonnes.

In the same subarea, both in and beyond the territorial waters, five Kamchatka-based ships were targeting bottomfish in the pelagic waters. Their total harvest of pollock, flounder and cod did not exceed 2500 tonnes.

The bulk of the harvest in the bottomfish pelagic operations at the west coast of Kamchatka was contributed by pollock, with only Kamchatka fishermen targeting the species on the grounds. They reported a total catch of 4200 tonnes. One bottom trawler owned by Kamchatka-based ZAO Akros (closed jsc) harvested ca.30 tonnes of halibut.

In the waters of the North Kuriles 650 tonnes of pollock were harvested by Kamchatka-based vessels owned by Okeanrybflot and Kamchatimpeks. Khabarovsk-based fishermen sent one vessel to harvest Atka mackerel the harvest of which amounted to 580 tonnes with the bycatch of squid of 12 tonnes only. During the same period Vladivostok-based vessel harvested 350 tonnes of grenadier. One Vladivostok-based longliner was hunting for cod in the same area with the ship's monthly harvest reported at 130 tonnes.

Fairly large daily rates were recorded on the pink shrimp grounds in the North Okhotsk subarea. As a result, Kamchatka-based vessels harvested 120 tonnes of P. borealis shrimp and ca.140 tonnes were contributed by the fleets coming from Magadan.

In the Sea of Okhotsk by the second ten days of January 2009 a group of 21 large vessels and 11 middle ships coming from all the regions of the Russian Far East were conducting the herring fishery actively and with fairly good catch rates. The fish was harvested in the amount depending on the vessels' processing capacities. Along with the fishing vessels, there were also two motherships on the grounds. As per 1 February 2009 the harvest of Okhotsk herring amounted to more than 36,000 tonnes.

Main pollock expedition of the year

The main Alaska pollock expedition of the year in the Sea of Okhotsk was gradually gathering momentum in January 2009 - early February 2009. For the second year running the expedition will work under the new Fishery Regulations which provide for breaking the Okhotsk pollock fishery into two parts - winter/spring roe pollock season and autumn/winter feeding pollock season. The scientists recommend the fishermen to harvest 70% of the TAC in the beginning period of the year with the remaining quotas to be covered in the end of the year (the recommendation was approved by the Pacific Scientific Fishery Council as well as by the Russian Pollock Association.

As per the end of January the vessels were working in all the three subareas of the Sea of Okhotsk.

Provisional pollock catch figures for the Sea of Okhotsk in January 2009

Fishing areas

Large vessels

Middle vessels

Number

Catch, metric tons

Number

Catch, metric tons

North Okhotsk subarea

12

17,034

7

3417

West Kamchatka subarea

40

24,392

9

2394

Kamchatka Kurile subarea

30

46,113

15

7800

By 10 February 2009 the Sea of Okhotsk remained the most important fishing area. The number of vessels operating on the pollock grounds grew to 140. The bulk of the fleet concentrated along the west coast of Kamchatka. A group of 77 vessels, of which 20 middle trawlers, formed three local areas at the 54th, 56th and 59th degrees North. The results of the fleets' operations in these three areas are given as below (provisional figures):

  • - at the 54th degree North the vessels were operating at the depths of 430 meters, the rates per one hour tow were reported at 4.5 tonnes, average fish size was 37.5 cm, weight was 453 grams, content of juvenile fish amounted to 13%, content of females was 48%, roe yield was reported at 2.7%;
  • - at the 56th degree North the fishing depths were 305 meters, rates per one hour tow were 11.1 tonnes, average size was 40.5 cm, weight was 595 grams, bycatch of juvenile pollock amounted to 5.3%, content of females amounted to 52%, roe yield was 3.5%;
  • - at the 59th degree North the fleet was working at the depths of 360 meters, the rates per one hour tow were reported at 5 tonnes, average fish size was 43.8 cm, weight was 604 grams, content of juvenile fish amounted to 9%, content of females was 51%, roe yield was reported at 3.5%.

In the Kamchatka-Kurile subarea the fishing operations were continued by 35 large vessels and 17 middle ships. In the North Okhotsk subarea only 11 vessels were targeting pollock.

The pollock fishery since the start of the year amounted to 157,600 tonnes.

Take-up of pollock quotas for commercial fishery as broken to regions

Regions

North Okhotsk subarea, %

West Kamchatka subarea, %

Kamchatka Kurile subarea, %

TOTAL for the Sea of Okhotsk

Primorye (Vladivostok)

6.1

13.7

48.8

19

Khabarovsk

14.5

18.1

27.7

19.4

Magadan

12.9

15.6

49.1

19.6

Sakhalin

10.1

15.3

37.5

18.6

Kamchatka

15.4

20.4

23.3

19.4

Chukotka

9.2

21

9.7

13.5

TOTAL for the area

10.4

16.4

36.4

19.0

A group of 6 middle vessels and one Khabarovsk BATM large trawler was operating on the grounds of Okhotsk herring. As per 10 February 2009 the fishermen harvested 38,000 tonnes of herring since the beginning of the year.

The fishing efforts on the grounds of longline cod and halibut in the Sea of Okhotsk grew to 16 in number. The share of halibuts amounted to 15-20% out of the harvest of 1200 tonnes since the start of the year.

Trawl and Danish seine fishery in the same area was conducted by 13 ships. The bulk of the harvest consisted of pollock at 96%, flounder at 1%, wachna cod at 2% and sculpins at 1%.

In the North Okhotsk subarea shrimpers had a success on the grounds, the catch rates amounted to 1.6 tonnes per tow and 4.4 tonnes per one vessel.

In the North Kurile area the fishermen continued Vladivostok-based ship engaged in longline cod fishery, while Khabarovsk-based ship kept harvesting Atka mackerel.

In the waters of the South Kuriles eight vessels based in the islands were targeting grey sea urchins the daily catch of which fluctuated from 1 to 10 tonnes.

In the Petropavlovsk-Komandor subarea Kamchatka-based ships conducted trawl and Danish seine fishery. Their catch in February amounted to ca.700 tonnes and 3100 tonnes since the beginning of the year. The catches contained 85% of pollock, 10% of cod and 5% of flounder.

Cod was targeted by three longliners, all together harvesting only 50 tonnes in 1-10 February 2009 due to rough weather on the grounds.

Crabber owned by Sadko Ltd launched fishery of snow crab opilio.

In the Primorye subarea red snow crab was harvested by the vessels owned by RK Vostok-1 fishing co-op.

A group of about 12 vessels owned by Sakhalin, Khabarovsk and Vladivostok companies was hunting for pink shrimp Pandalus borealis and coonstripe shrimp Pandalus hypsinotis in the Primorye subarea.

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