Overview of Russian fisheries in North and Central Atlantic in May 2011

June 16, 2011 10:02
According to provisional figures, in May 2011 the Russian harvest in the Atlantic Ocean and Southeast Pacific continued declining and amounted to only 74,900 tonnes, 16,300 tonnes down on the previous month. The contribution of Kaliningrad-based vessels amounted to 14%, according to Russian Fish Insider Report published by http://www.megafishnet.com/.

Trawl bottomfish operations in the Barents Sea in the course of May 2011 were conducted by up to 71 trawlers coming from Murmansk-led North Fisheries Basin and up to 34 small inshore boats. In May 2011 the fleet followed cod and haddock concentrations from the spawning grounds to feeding areas, therefore the structure of catches as to the fishing areas changed with the importance of the Norwegian EEZ dramatically falling versus increased role of Spitsbergen. More specifically, in the latter waters the Russian fishermen harvested 22,900 tonnes (+16,200 tonnes), including 16,000 tonnes of cod (11,500 tonnes) and 6700 tonnes of haddock (+4700 tonnes). In the Russian waters the nation's fishermen harvested 12,300 tonnes of fish (-1000 tonnes), including 9000 tonnes of cod (-400 tonnes) and 2900 tonnes of haddock (-200 tonnes). The harvest in the Norwegian EEZ amounted to 10,000 tonnes (-21,800 tonnes), including 7000 tonnes of cod (-14,200 tonnes), 1200 tonnes of haddock (-6900 tonnes) and 1600 tonnes of saithe (-600 tonnes). The dedicated fishery of saithe was declining in the course of the month, the number of vessels engaged in the fishing operations decreased from four in the beginning of the month to one ship in the end of the month. From the second decade of May 2011 one trawler was conducting fishery in the open waters of the sea where her harvest amounted to 200 tonnes.

Longline fishery of groundfish species (cod and sea cats) in the Barents Sea was conducted by 11 vessels, of which 9 ships came from Murmansk-led North Fisheries Basin and two ships from Kaliningrad. The fishery was conducted in all the subareas of the sea, but the bulk of catches was contributed by the grey zone and the Norwegian EEZ. The fishery situation was stable for the longline fleet. Catches per vessel in all the fishing areas amounted to 12 tonnes.

The halibut fishery in the Barents Sea was conducted only in the first decade of the month, the fishery was conducted by two Murmansk-based trawlers. The average catch per day amounted to 20 tonnes.

The remainder of the Russian cod quota from the beginning of the year as per the end of May 2011 amounted to slightly below 50%, for haddock it was 52%.

In the course of May 2011 the herring fishery in the international waters of the Norwegian Sea was conducted by two trawlers of the North Basin, namely RTMS N.Afanasjyev and foreign-built vessel Lazurnyi. The fishery situation was satisfactory. From the closing ten days of May 2011 N.Afanasjyev started to bycatch mackerel and in the end of the period under analysis mackerel dominated in the ship's catches. Such early emergence of the species in the open part of the sea was unusual as in 2010 fishermen started to bycatch mackerel only in mid-June 2011. Catches in May 2011 amounted to 3100 tonnes, including 2800 tonnes of herring and 300 tonnes of mackerel. The total harvest since the beginning of the year amounted to 23,400 tonnes of herring (16.0% with the Russian quota of 146,300 tonnes). In 2010 the total catch for the same period of the year amounted to 18,300 tonnes.

Until 7 May 2011 two Murmansk trawlers were targeting blue whiting in the Faroese fishing zone. The conditions were fairly good. The fishery was finished due to quota exhaustion. In May 2011 the catch amounted to 1000 tonnes. The total catch from the beginning of the year 2011 amounted to 13,200 tonnes of blue whiting (-164.6% with Russia's quota of 8000 tonnes, but 103% taking into account extra volume of 4805 tonnes at the expense of the NEAFC quota). Through the same period of 2010 the Russian fishermen harvested 60,400 tonnes.

A group of 17 Russian trawlers (9 ships based in Murmansk and 8 ships from Kaliningrad) conducted ocean perch fishery in the open part of the Irminger Sea on the border with the economic zone of Iceland. The situation in the first ten days of May 2011 was characterized as very weak, the vessels failed to find ocean perch concentrations and their catches ranged from 1 to 9 tonnes per day. A considerable improvement of the situation was noticed in the second half of the month with the catches rising to 15-30 tonnes per day, the average harvest per ship amounting to 15.3 tonnes through the month. The harvest since the beginning of the year amounted to 6000 tonnes (20.4% with the Russian quota of 29,500 tonnes). The respective result for the same period of 2010 amounted to 12,600 tonnes.

In the waters of East Greenland one Murmansk-based conducted halibut fishery with a stable result of 8-9 tonnes per day. The total harvest through May amounted to 260 tonnes of halibut.

In the NAFO zone (Northwest Atlantic) two Murmansk-based trawlers were targeting halibut, the average catch per ship amounted to 9 tonnes. One trawler was hunting for ocean perch in the NAFO subareas 3M, 3O and 3LM with average daily catches of 19 tonnes per ship.

Two Murmansk-based trawlers and three trawlers coming from Saint Petersburg joined two Kaliningrad-based vessels on the pelagic grounds in the Mauritanian EEZ. The newcomers moved from the waters of Senegal. The fleet was operating all over the Mauritanian EEZ. The situation was weak with slight short improvements. Catches of Kaliningrad-based BATM big trawlers fluctuated from 20 to 60 tonnes (43 tonnes on the average). The harvest in the period under analysis amounted to 6800 tonnes (+4000 tonnes), including 3300 of horse mackerel, 1900 tonnes of mackerel, 700 tonnes of sardinella and 300 tonnes of sardine. From the beginning of the year the harvest in the Mauritanian EEZ amounted to 16,400 tonnes (in 2010 the catch from the start of the year amounted to 60,700 tonnes).

The fishing operations in the waters of Senegal were conducted by 5 large Russian trawlers (5 ships based in Murmansk-led North Basin, one ship coming from Kaliningrad). The vessels were working in the north of the area between the borders with Gambia and Mauritania. The fishery situation was satisfactory. The average daily catches of RTMKS middle trawlers were slightly lower than last month and amounted to 71 tonnes. The harvest through the month under analysis amounted to 8300 tonnes (-5300 tonnes), including 4000 tonnes of horse mackerel, 1300 tonnes of mackerel and 2000 tonnes of sardinella. Since the beginning of the year 2011 the harvest amounted to 59,600 tonnes (in 2010 the respective result was 10,800 tonnes). On 27 May 2011 nearly all the vessels left the area due to stricter fishery regulations with only one Kaliningrad-based trawler remaining on the fishing grounds.

In the Argentinean subarea beyond the Argentinean EEZ two longliners based in the Russian Far East conducted toothfish operations until mid-May 2011. The fishery conditions were satisfactory, the average catch per vessel amounting to 700 tonnes. The total catch through the month was reported at 7 tonnes and the total harvest from the beginning of the year 61 tonnes.

Two trawlers based in Kaliningrad continued horse mackerel fishery in the Southeast Pacific beyond the economic zones. The situation was weak and non-stable, daily catches per ship ranged from 5 to 50 tonnes (28 tonnes on the average). The harvest in May 2011 totaled 1000 tonnes and the catch from the beginning of the year amounted to 3900 tonnes.

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