Overview of Russian fisheries in Northwest Atlantic in April 2011

May 5, 2011 09:31

According to provisional figures, the total harvest of Russian fishermen in the Northwest Atlantic and in the Central Eastern Atlantic in April 2011 amounted to 91,200 metric tons, 15,900 tonnes down on March 2011. The contribution of Kaliningrad-based vessels also declined to 17%, according to Russian Fish Insider Report and www.megafishnet.com.

Trawl fishery on the bottomfish grounds in the Barents Sea in April was conducted by up to 85 vessels (excluding small inshore boats), of which 84 came from Murmansk-led North Fisheries Basin and one trawler from Kaliningrad. The Norwegian EEZ retained its leadership in terms of catch volumes with the share of 61% in Russia's bottomfish harvest in the Barents Sea as in April the catch in the area amounted to 31,800 tonnes, 2100 tonnes up on March 2011. As compared to the previous month, in April 2011 the share of cod noticeably increased from 15,900 tonnes to 21,200 tonnes, the share of haddock decreasing by 4100 tonnes to 12,200 tonnes. In the Russian EEZ the nation's fishermen harvested 13,300 tonnes (25%), equal to results of the previous month. The harvest contained 9400 tonnes of cod (+1100 tonnes) and 3100 tonnes of haddock (-1100 tonnes). In the month under analysis Russian catches in the waters of Spitsbergen were slowly but stably rising and the harvest through the month amounted to 6700 tonnes (+3500 tonnes), with cod and haddock correspondingly contributing 4500 tonnes (+3000 tonnes) and 2000 tonnes (+600 tonnes). Several trawlers reported catches dominated by saithe the total catch of which amounted to 2200 tonnes (including bycatch) through April 2011.

Bottomfish longline operations in the Barents Sea on the cod and sea cat grounds were conducted by 8 vessels of the North Basin and one ship coming from Kaliningrad. Main fishing grounds were located in the Grey zone and in the Norwegian EEZ, while in other areas of the sea (loophole, Russian waters and Spitsbergen) the fishery was conducted occasionally. The average daily catches per vessel in all the fishing areas continued decreasing and amounted to 10 tonnes in April 2011.

On 23 April 2011 one Murmansk-based trawler began dedicated operations on the halibut grounds in the Barents Sea. Her average daily catch amounted to 11 tonnes.

From the beginning of the year the remainder of the Russian cod quota amounted to ca.61% and haddock - 60%.

On 17 April 2011 N.Afanasiev RTMS middle trawler based in Murmansk started herring fishery in the open waters of the Norwegian Sea. Last year the fishery in the area took off one month later - on 15 May 2010 namely. The fishery situation was reported as stably satisfactory. The total harvest from the beginning of the year amounted to 20,600 tonnes of herring (14.1% with the Russian quota of 146,300 tonnes). In the same period of 2010 the fishermen harvest 17,500 tonnes of herring.

On 3 April 2011 one Murmansk-based trawler began spotting on the blue whiting grounds in the Faroe Islands and starting from 6 April 2011 other vessels moved from the Rockall Bank to join her. In the course of the month under analysis the fishery was conducted by up to 15 trawlers (7 from Murmansk and 8 from Kaliningrad). The fishery situation was fairly good. In the recent years the Faroese fishing zone was the main fishing area until mid-June (in April and May the Russian fleets used to harvest 30-40 tonnes of blue whiting) and in 2011 due to a dramatic cut of the quota to 8000 tonnes (plus 4805 tonnes at the expense of the NEAFC quota) the fishery was reported as fairly limited with nearly all the companies exhausting their capture quotas by the end of the second decade of April 2011. Only single vessels stayed on the grounds in the end of the month. All together the Russian fleets harvested 11,100 tonnes of blue whiting in April 2011. The total harvest from the beginning of the year amounted to 12,200 tonnes of blue whiting equal to 52.5% of the Russian quota. In the same period of 2010 the result was 32,400 tonnes.

The fishery operations in the Rockall Bank were conducted by 15 ships (6 Murmansk-based trawlers and 9 trawlers from Kaliningrad). The situation on the grounds was very weak and on 8 April 2011 the fishery was suspended in the time period typical for the recent years. The fleet moved to the waters of the Faroe Islands. In the period under analysis the blue whiting harvest amounted to 3900 tonnes. The total catch from the beginning of the year amounted to 19,200 tonnes (42.7% of the Russian quota). In the same period of 2010 the fishermen harvested 28,200 tonnes of the species.

On 22 April 2011 the Russian trawlers began spotting on the grounds of ocean perch Sebastes mentella in the open part of the Irminger Sea at the border with the Icelandic EEZ. Last year first vessels started showing in the area on 15 April and active fishery took off from 22 April. This year the fishery situation was very weak as the fishermen could not find commercial schools of ocean perch partly due to difficult weather conditions. In the period under analysis the catch amounted to 17 metric tons. The Russian quota of ocean perch S.mentella in the NEAFC waters in 2011 amounts to 29,500 tonnes. In the same period last year the Russian harvest amounted to 1500 tonnes.

On 21 April 2011 one Murmansk-based trawler began harvesting halibut in the waters of East Greenland. The fishery situation was satisfactory and the average daily catches were reported at 8 tonnes. The harvest in the period under analysis amounted to 77 tonnes of halibut.

In the Northwest Atlantic in the NAFO waters four trawlers coming from Murmansk-led North Fisheries Basin were operating. One of them conducted dedicated halibut fishery, the other were hunting for ocean perch, cod, plaice and halibut by turns. The fishery efficiency on halibut grounds amounted to 10 tonnes, ocean perch - 24 tonnes, cod - 24 tonnes and plaice - 19 tonnes per day.

Pelagic fisheries in the Mauritanian EEZ in April 2011 was continued by one trawler owned by Kaliningrad-based ZAO Westrybflot, which was joined by another trawler owned by the same company in the middle of the month. In the course of the month under analysis the vessels were operating all over the area, in the beginning of the month - in the south and gradually moved northwards where the fleets were operating in the second half of April 2011. The situation in April 2011 was in keeping with that in March 2011 (namely weak and non-stable), the daily catch rates were reported at 47 tonnes. The harvest through the period under analysis amounted to 1800 tonnes (-100 tonnes), including 400 tonnes of horse mackerel, 800 tonnes of mackerel and 100 tonnes of sardinella. From the beginning of the year the harvest in the Mauritanian waters amounted to 9600 tonnes, in 2010 the catch from the beginning of the year amounted to 45,300 tonnes.

In the waters of Senegal eight large Russian trawlers (five from Murmansk, one from Kaliningrad and two from Saint Petersburg) were operating. They were mostly working in the south of the area along the south border of the Gambian EEZ. The fishery conditions in April 2011 were fairly satisfactory. Average daily catches of RTMKS middle trawlers ranged from 30 to 130 tonnes, the average amounting to 77 tonnes. The harvest in April 2011 amounted to 13,600 tonnes (+1700 tonnes), including 9100 tonnes of horse mackerel, 1600 tonnes of mackerel and 1400 tonnes of sardinella. From the beginning of the year the harvest amounted to 51,500 tonnes (in 2010 the harvest through the first four months amounted to 10,600 tonnes).

In the Namibian waters one Murmansk-based trawler Kapitan Veselkov based in Murmansk was operating up to the middle of the month. Due to some technical problems the ship was not working from 15 April 2011. The ship's catch through the month totaled 700 tonnes, of which mackerel accounted for 97%, the remaining share belonging to mackerel. The harvest from the year start amounted to 1300 tonnes.

On 11 April 2011 two trawlers coming from Kaliningrad began targeting horse mackerel in the southeast of the Pacific Ocean beyond the national economic zones. The fishery conditions were described as fairly good, but by the end of the month they grew worse. The daily catch rates fluctuated from 40 to 160 tonnes and amounted to 92 tonnes on the average. The catch from the beginning of the year amounted to 2900 tonnes.

Three longliners based in the Russian Far East were targeting toothfish in the Argentinean subarea beyond the Argentinean EEZ. The conditions for the area were satisfactory and the average daily catch per ship amounted to 800 tonnes. The harvest in April 2011 totaled 51 tonnes and the total catch through January-April 2011 was provisionally registered at 54 tonnes.

Russian harvest of main commercial species in North Atlantic and Central Eastern Atlantic in January-April 2011

Species

Actual harvest in January-April 2010, metric tons

Actual harvest in January-April 2011, metric tons

+/- metric tons

Quota, metric tons

Quota take-up, %%

Cod, Barents Sea

87,336

120,976

+33,640

307,253

39.4

Haddock

38,250

56,253

+18,003

139,750

40.3

Saithe

11,652

4,694

-6,958

-

-

Halibut, Barents Sea

900

1,566

+666

6750

23.2

Crab, Barents Sea

-

-

4,000

0.0

Sea scallops

-

-

 -

-

-

Capelin

76,326

86,600

+10,274

105,000

82.5

Polar cod Boreogadus saida

-

-

 -

-

-

Herring

17,500

20,626

+3,126

146,272

14.1

Mackerel, NEAFC

-

-

 -

49,243

0.0

Mackerel, Faroese fishing zone

-

-

 -

25,500

0.0

Blue whiting, NEAFC

28,164

19,226

-8,938

45,000

42.7

Blue whiting, Faroese fishing zone

32,405

12,204

-20,201

8,000

152.6

Blue whiting, Norwegian EEZ

-

-

 -

698

0.0

Ocean perch, open part of the Norwegian Sea

-

-

 -

-

-

Ocean perch, Irminger Sea

1,498

17

-1,481

29,480

0.1

Ocean perch, East and West Greenland

-

-

3,350

0.0

Halibut, East Greenland

-

77

+77

1,375

5.6

Halibut, West Greenland

-

-

- 

1,875

0.0

Ocean perch, NAFO (3LN)

92

4

-88

1726

0.2

Ocean perch, NAFO (3M)

414

500

+86

9137

5.5

Ocean perch, NAFO (3O)

31

215

+184

6500

3.3

Halibut, NAFO

240

379

+139

1,624

23.3

Cod, NAFO

373

678

+305

647

104.8

Plaice, NAFO

194

88

-106

-

-

Mackerel, Central Eastern Atlantic

5,621

8,785

+3,164

-

-

Horse mackerel, Central Eastern Atlantic

35,314

37,314

+2,000

-

-

Sardine, Central Eastern Atlantic

6,237

1,974

-4,263

-

-

Sardinella, Central Eastern Atlantic

3,130

4,486

+1,356

-

-

Mackerel, Southeast Atlantic

-

19

+19

-

-

Horse mackerel, Southeast Atlantic

-

1,289

+1,289

-

-

Mackerel, Southeast Pacific

-

8

+8

-

-

Horse mackerel, Southeast Pacific

-

2,933

+2,933

-

-

Toothfish, Southwest Atlantic

-

54

+54

-

-

Krill, Antarctic part of the Atlantic Ocean

8,065

-

-8,065

-

-

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