Overview of supply from Russia's Far East Fisheries Basin in November 2006 (Full story)

December 11, 2006 16:29

In November 2006 the weather conditions in the Russian Far East Basin made a serious impact on the fleet operations. Cyclones coming from the continent would most often stay above the sea and moving further offshore caused dramatic dwindling of the fishery situation at the West Kamchatka, in the Kuriles and in the Bering Sea. Only on the saury grounds in the South Kurile subarea 54% of the fishing time was lost due to stormy weather. Due to the same reason, the fishermen did not target Alaska pollock in the Bering Sea in the last ten days of the month under analysis. As a result, the Basin's total harvest through November dropped by 45,000 metric tons as compared to the same period last year. The daily harvest in the course of the month fluctuated from 1600 to 4200 metric tons. Alaska pollock of the Bering Sea and herring of the Sea of Okhotsk made the bulk of the Basin's harvest in November.

The below table shows catches of main commercial species as compared to the corresponding period last year 2005 (provisional figures).

Species

November

January-November

2006, ‘000 metric tons

2005, ‘000 metric tons

2006 versus 2005, +/- ‘000 metric tons

2006, ‘000 metric tons

2005, ‘000 metric tons

2006 versus 2005, +/- ‘000 metric tons

Total catch

96.0

141.6

- 45.6

1860.8

1893.9

- 33.1

of which

Finfish

Sculpins

0.3

0.7

- 0.4

10.8

20.4

- 9.6

Flounder

2.7

6.0

- 3.3

59.2

81.2

- 22.0

Longfin codling Laemonema

0.4

0.4

0

27.4

27.0

+ 0.4

Salmons

275.6

278.0

- 2.4

Grenadier

1.4

3.5

- 2.1

16.3

21.1

- 4.8

Alaska pollock

39.5

43.0

- 3.5

964.1

938.7

+ 25.4

Wachna cod

0.2

0.2

0

19.6

15.3

+ 4.3

Ocean perch

0.2

0.2

0

0.9

0.9

0

Halibut

0.3

0.8

- 0.5

15.0

15.6

- 0.6

Saury

9.0

24.9

- 15.9

70.2

86.4

- 16.2

Herring

23.6

34.1

- 10.5

176.3

184.6

- 8.3

Skates

0.05

0.13

- 0.08

1.4

2.1

- 0.7

Atka mackerel

5.8

3.4

+ 2.4

41.1

41.0

+ 0.1

Cod

2.6

2.7

- 0.1

42.1

52.3

- 10.2

Other than finfish

Crabs

2.8

4.2

- 1.4

25.2

26.6

- 1.4

Shrimps

0.8

0.8

0

6.6

7.4

- 0.8

Squid

4.7

15.9

- 11.2

82.9

72.4

+ 10.5

Sea scallops

0.1

0.3

- 0.2

1.7

1.9

- 0.2

Whelks

0.8

0.5

+ 0.3

5.2

5.3

- 0.1

Sea urchin

0.19

0.15

+ 0.04

2.2

1.7

+ 0.5

Sea cucumber

0.19

0.09

+ 0.1

0.9

0.8

+ 0.1

Catch falls were observed for all main species. Longliners and trawlers harvested less bottomfish with Danish seine gear as compared to last year 2005. Vessels based in Kamchatka and Primorye left the squid grounds after they had covered their allocations in the waters of the North Kuriles. Due to dwindling situation on the saury grounds, remoteness from the shores and shift of fishing concentrations up to beyond the Russian EEZ, the fleet was halved already by the middle of the month. In the Sea of Okhotsk the vessels were harvesting as much herring as they needed, the fishery situation was favourable for the fleet operations. Subject to sufficient number of efforts, the fishermen could have reduced the catch lag as compared to 2005. While through 10 months 2006 the Basin reported a catch rise on the previous year, during 11 months of 2006 the catch gap amounted to 33,000 tonnes.

Alaska pollock was harvested in two areas: on the grounds off the Koryak coast (174-178 degrees East) and off the Navarin Cape. The fishery was conducted by 24 large trawlers. Catches per 6-8-hour tow fluctuated from 15-20 to 20-35 tonnes, while catch rates per ship varied from 40-60 tonnes and 60-90 tonnes depending on the fishing area. The fishermen harvested mostly Alaska pollock of the average size of 42-44 cm and weight of 450-535 grams. The expedition's highest catch of 2422 tonnes was reported by Vassiljevsky Ostrov owned by OAO Tralflot (plc). However, Khabarovsk-based BATM Novouralsk large trawler the average daily catch was higher with the ship harvesting 119 tonnes per day on the average. Sakhalin-based vessel Bukhta Nayezdnik kept harvesting Alaska pollock in the North Kuriles and reported a total harvest of more than 800 tonnes through the month with the daily rates amounting to ca.50 tonnes on the average.

In the Sea of Okhotsk the fleet conducting dedicated Okhotsk herring fishery grew by 20 ships. Just like in October 2006, the fishery situation in November 2006 was satisfactory as the fishermen were harvesting large size herring and in the amount limited only by processing capacity. Daily catch rates were reported at 66 metric tons per large ship and 27 tonnes per middle trawler. The highest average daily catch of 126.5 tonnes was recorded for Magadan-based Mayronis, though in terms of totall catches through the month she was surpassed by Primorye-based BATM Borodino - 1864 tonnes versus 1770 tonnes correspondingly. At the same time, total herring harvest through the month was 10,000 tonnes down on the respective figure 2005, because the fishery was conducted by a fleet 12 ships smaller, namely the fishing efforts decreased from 45 to 33 ships.

Frequent storms in the waters of the South Kuriles affected the saury season in November with the catching time accounting for 46% only. Already by the middle of the month the fishing efforts on the grounds decreased by a half. Concentrations of saury moved to the south and southeast up to 180 miles offshore and some of the fleet's fishing time was lost to get to the grounds. Strength of concentrations decreased and catches contained small fish. Daily catches per ship amounted to 26 tonnes on the average. Owned by Ogni Vostoka fishing company, Spitak and Sterlyad trawlers reported fairly good rates of 50-60 tonnes per ship on the average with their total catches through the month amounting to 700 tonnes each. The catch lag of 16,000 tonnes versus 2005 occurring both through the month and since the start of the year was caused not only by dwindling of weather conditions, reduction of fishing vessels, but also by the fleet's increasing transfer to the international waters. In November 2005 catches of saury in the area reached 13,300 metric tons, while in the same month 2006 the figure dropped to 300 tonnes only.

In the waters of the North Kuriles the strength of fishable concentrations of squid was decreasing in the course of the month with the bycatch of Alaska pollock reaching 70%. The daily catches per ship in the Kurile waters fluctuated within 10-57 tonnes depending on the vessel type. Squid fishery was conducted by 16 ships catching a little more than 4000 metric tons of which 1400 tonnes were harvested by Kamchatka-based ATLANTIC PRINCESS owned by Imeni Lenina fishing co-op.

Cod and halibut fishery was conducted by 5 longliners in the East Kamchatka subarea and 10 ships operating along the coast of West Kamchatka. The share of halibuts in catches came down to 13% and 11% correspondingly. Cod catches with longline gear amounted to ca.350 tonnes in the Karaginsk subarea and 500 tonnes in the Sea of Okhotsk.

Alaska pollock, herring and Atka mackerel dominated in catches of trawlers and Danish seiners operating on the grounds of mixed bottomfish for human consumption in the waters of the East Kamchatka. Total catches of halibut in the waters of East and West Kamchatka amounted to 30 and 73 tonnes correspondingly, while catches of cod amounted to 607 and 591 tonnes in the same areas, flounder - 540 and 1124 tonnes correspondingly.

In the Bering Sea only two Kamchatka-based vessels were harvesting crabs (snow crab bairdi, blue king crab and snow crab opilio). The area's total crab harvest amounted to 18 tonnes of crabs.

Main fishing operations were observed on the crab grounds of the Sea of Okhotsk as the number of vessels reached 100 ships in all the four subareas of the sea. The fishable species were blue king crab, red king crab, golden king crab Lithodes aequispina, spiny king crab (hanasakigani in Japanese) Paralithodes brevipes, snow crab opilio, triangle tanner crab Chionoecetes angulatus and snow crab bairdi. Monthly harvest of crabs amounted to 2480 tonnes, including 692 tonnes of snow crab opilio, 17 tonnes of snow crab bairdi, 128 tonnes of triangle tanner crab, 175 tonnes of golden king crab, 780 tonnes of blue king crab and 608 tonnes of red king crab. In the North Okhotsk subarea snow crab opilio was an abundant species targeted by 22 companies from all the regions of the Basin. Daily catches per ship amounted to 1.8 tonnes, with the fishermen harvesting from 3 to 6 kilos of snow crab opilio per trap. Just like in 2005, the highest catch of 80 tonnes was reported by Magadan-based dedicated crabber Westen Enterprise with the average daily rates reported at 3.5 tonnes. The main commercial species in the West Kamchatka subarea was blue king crab. Through the month the ships worked 966 tonnes at sea all in all, their total harvest through the month amounted to 704 metric tons, daily catches per ship were reported at 730 kilos, or 2.3-3.8 kilos per trap. More than 60 ships took part in the fishery. The highest catches were reported by Primorye-based Dzhanggunbong owned by OOO Severnaya Shirota (ltd) harvesting 44 metric tons in 26 days at sea with the average daily catch amounting to 1.7 tonnes.

The Basin's shrimp harvest totaled 800 tonnes through the month including 60% or 480 tonnes covered in the Primorye waters. More than 30 ships took part in the fishery operations with the daily rates per ship fluctuating from 180 kilos (Langeri owned by OOO Kondor-Transport (ltd)) to 4 tonnes (SRTM Lavinnyi owned by OOO Kompania Binom (ltd)) which could be attributed to use of trawl and trap gear.

In the North Okhotsk subarea shrimps were harvested by 8 vessels and out of 150 days spent at sea 104 days were spent for fishery operations. The average catch per ship exceeded one tonne with the total catch through the month amounting to 130 tonnes.

The number of catchers on the whelks grounds of the Sea of Okhotsk decreased by a half. Through the month the fleet of 12 ships harvested 700 tonnes of whelks. The most efficient results were reportes by Magadan-based vessels owned by OOO Mag-Sea (ltd) harvesting 345 tonnes in 50 days at sea. The largest harvest of 180 tonnes was recorded for Alexander Shalin owned by the same company.

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