Overview of Russian fisheries in North Atlantic in 1st half of January 2011

January 20, 2011 16:31

As per 18 January 2011 the Russian fleets harvested 42,900 tonnes of aquatic species in the North Atlantic and Central Eastern Atlantic, 10,700 tonnes up on last year, reports http://www.megafishnet.com/.

Contribution of Kaliningrad-based fleets amounted to 13.1%. Bottomfish trawl operations in the Barents Sea were conducted by 56 vessels, of which 54 ships came from Murmansk and 2 from Kaliningrad. The fishery was conducted in three subareas of Spitsbergen, Russian EEZ and Norwegian EEZ. The biggest catch of 10,600 tonnes was reported in the Norwegian EEZ, 3100 tonnes up on the same period of 2010. Catches were dominated by cod (9300 tonnes), while the haddock harvest amounted to only 700 tonnes. In the waters of Spitsbergen the fleets harvested 6900 tonnes (+6100 tonnes up on 2010), dominated by haddock (4800 tonnes) and cod (1900 tonnes). In the Russian EEZ the nation's catches as per 20 January 2010 amounted to 3800 tonnes (+800 tonnes), unlike other areas where the cod and haddock catches were approximately equal (namely, 2000 tonnes of cod and 1700 tonnes of haddock).

Longline bottomfish operations (mostly cod and haddock) were conducted by 8 vessels (7 of which came from Murmansk and 1 from Kaliningrad). The vessels were operating in the waters of Norway and mutual jurisdiction. The average harvest per ship amounted to 15 tonnes for vessels of all the types.

The blue whiting fishery in the Faroese fishing zone was conducted by 4 ships (3 from Murmansk and 1 from Kaliningrad). Due to very small quotas for blue whiting the vessels ceased fishery operations and left the area to switch to herring fishery. By 18 January 2011 there was only one Kaliningrad-based trawler operating on the grounds. The situation on the grounds was non-stable with the catch rates of that trawler fluctuating from 10 to 100 tonnes per day. The total blue whiting harvest as per 18 January 2011 in the Faroese fishing zone amounted to 700 tonnes.

In the NAFO zone one Murmansk-based trawler began targeting herring and reported a total harvest of 15 tonnes as per 18 January 2011.

Pelagic fisheries in the Mauritanian EEZ were conducted by 4 Russian large trawlers. The fishery conditions were weak evidently due to warmer waters and strong pressure of foreign vessels (up to 60 in number). The average catch rates for the Russian vessels were reported at 30-50 tonnes per day. From the beginning of the year as per 18 January 2011 the Russian fishermen harvested 2400 tonnes, 7400 tonnes down on the same period of 2010. Catches contained sardine (800 tonnes), horse mackerel (600 tonnes) and mackerel (200 tonnes) with 36% of the harvest contributed by low value tropical fish. In the closing days of the period under analysis due to more active upwelling and cooling of surface waters the share of sardine dramatically increase to 75-80%. Catches of Murmansk-based vessels in the waters of Mauritania amounted to 75% of Russia's total harvest in the area.

A group of 5 Russian vessels was operating in the waters of Senegal where the fishery situation was reported as satisfactory. Daily catches per vessel amounted to 80-90 tonnes. Catches in the period under analysis totaled 5300 tonnes dominated by horse mackerel (62%) with 10% of mackerel and sardinella each. The fishermen's operations were impeded by high bycatch of tropical fish (ca.20%) including pristipoma, bluntnose, barracuda, tunas, leaf fish, leerfish, hardtail, etc. Kaliningrad-based vessels contributed 49% to the harvest.

Russian catches in North Atlantic and Central Eastern Atlantic (provisional figures as per 18 January 2011) (the table will be published in the January issue of the Russian Fish Insider Report coming soon)

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