Progress and outlook for fisheries in the Russian Far East in November 2008

November 20, 2008 10:18

In November 2008 the fishermen of the Russian Far East Basin are expecting a decrease of pollock catches in the Bering Sea to 40-45 tonnes for large trawlers as forecasted by the scientists, fishery sources in Vladivostok told (

The pollock fishery will be conducted in the waters of the Navarin shelf, while on the continental depths break of the Navarin Canyon and the Koryak Coast the fishery success will depend on the number of the fishing efforts. The weather conditions in the area will exert great influence on the fishery results. More specifically, in November the weather forecasters expect stronger storms with the days displaying winds of 15 and more meters per second numbering 17.

In the first days of November 2008 the pollock fishery in the Bering Sea was conducted by 41 large trawlers and 11 middle vessels. The daily harvest was reported at 62 tonnes per one average listed vessel and per ca.26 tonnes per tow.

The vessels kept moving to the herring grounds in the Sea of Okhotsk. The conditions for the Okhotsk herring fishery were reported as satisfactory with the large trawlers catching up to 70 tonnes per day and 28 tonnes per tow. According to the scientists, the fishery will peak from the middle of November till the second ten days of December 2008. The average catch rates are forecasted at 12.8 tonnes per tow for middle trawlers and ca.28 tonnes per tow for large vessels. The total harvest of Okhotsk herring subject to participation of ca.50 trawlers is expected at 40,000 tonnes. The fishery may be however impeded by the weather conditions as well as by the propable high bycatch of juveniles, which would make the fleet change its location on the grounds and close the trawl herring fishery to the north of the 55th degree North.

In case of disclosing the commercial concentrations of the Gizhigino-Kamchatka herring when spotting on a wide scale the fishermen are allowed to harvest the species from the vessels of all types. The scientists forecast the daily catch rates of 75-80 tonnes per large trawler, 30-45 tonnes per middle vessel and 45-50 tonnes per purse seiner on the average in November 2008. According to the scientific forecasts, during the month the fishermen will have ca.20 working days.

The saury fishery in the Kuriles will be no less important, though in November 2008 the fishable concentrations of the species will be moving farther from the islands. Following movement of the second branch of the warm current beyond the Russian EEZ to the Japanese and international waters, a lot of saury schools will continue feeding and forming strong concentrations of large-sized fish.

Longliners' operations will be halted by the weather conditions on the fishing grounds. The bulk of the harvest will be made up by cod. In the Karaginsk subarea white halibut is forecasted to account for 15-20% of the mixed harvest from cod and halibut logline operations. In the Sea of Okhotsk white halibut will be harvested as bycatch on the bottomfish grounds. The fishery of black halibut is possible in November 2008 for longliners and trawlers on a vast area in the North Okhotsk subarea and in the both subareas of the west coast of Kamchatka. However, already by the end of the month the daily catch rates will tend to decrease with the halibut stock spawning on a wide scale. The recommended harvest of halibuts in the Sea of Okhotsk in November 2008 should not exceed 400 tonnes.

On the mixed bottomfish grounds up to 30-50% of the harvest may be contributed by flounders at the western coast of Kamchatka, while the catches in the Petropavlovsk-Komandor subarea may contain up to 40-70% of the species.

The fishery conditions on the squid grounds of the North Kuriles will be fairly stable. There the catches are expected at 4-6 tonnes per tow and 15-20 tonnes per ship daily. The bycatch of finfish will not exceed 3-5% of the total harvest in the daytime and up to 10% in the nighttime.

In the first ten days of November 2008 the squid fishery was conducted by 8 vessels with the harvest reported at ca.1000 tonnes. In the West Bering Sea zone the fishermen continued harvesting blue king crab, snow crab opilio and snow crab bairdi. In the North Okhotsk subarea 13 vessels were harvesting the commercial quotas of snow crab opilio, 8 crabbers were targeting red king crab and 3 ships were hunting for golden king crab. In the West Kamchatka subarea 24 fishing vessels were harvesting blue king crab.

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