Primorye fishermen pressing for increase of sea urchin quotas
The Association of Fishing Companies of Primorye (capital Vladivostok) has finished research surveys on the sea urchin grounds in the Primorye subarea which have been conducted in collaboration with scientists from TINRO centre. The results of the sea urchin surveys at the depths of more than 20 meters have encouraged the fishermen and scientists to hope for an increase of the TAC in 2008, according to the association's first vice-president Alexander Platonov.
The decision to conduct surveys on the grounds of the Primorye subarea was made at the meeting of the fishery industry representatives in April 2007. Head of the province's Fishery Department Igor Uleysky, the association's first vice-president Alexander Platonov and representatives of the fishing companies engaged in sear urchin fishery took part in the meeting.
At the meeting the participants also decided to establish a working group in order to study possibilities for a potential increase of the sea urchin TAC for the year 2008. The working group was created from representatives of companies engaged in the sea urchin fishery and scientists. Funding of the project and coordination of the working group's activities were entrusted to the Association of Fishing Companies of Primorye.
The first vessel with scientists onboard left for the grounds on 27 April. The second ship started surveys on 2 May.
According to TINRO-centre, the results of the surveys will be ready soon.
The province's fishermen are sure that the main constraint in the development of the sea urchin fishery in Primorye can be attributed to insufficient quotas.
More specifically, in the current year 14 Primorye-based companies engaged in sea urchin fishery may harvest 600 tonnes, while Sakhalin companies are allowed harvest 10,000 tonnes this year. In this situation the association's initiative is so important for Primorye fishermen.