Overview of supply from Russia's Far East Fisheries Basin in November 2006. Part 1

December 8, 2006 16:31

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.

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