Results of APO roe production in the Sea of Okhotsk

April 18, 2007 12:43

The analysis of the Alaska pollock fishery results 2007 highlights that APO roe is the most valuable (currency earning) product processed in the course of the fishing season. Its price on the Asian markets will determine the margins of fishermen and processors in the Okhotsk APO season.

This season has already proved efficacy of the activities of the young Association of Alaska pollock fishermen which has been rigidly controlling daily roe yield for each particular vessel. In particular, companies breaking roe yield standards have come under fire in the fishery media.

Through the season 2007 companies of the Russian Far East Basin produced ca. 19,500 tonnes of frozen APO roe, of which 38% and 31% were contributed by the producers based in Vladivostok and Kamchatka. Koryak Autonomous District and Magadan region contributed 4% each to the above figure. The shares of Sakhalin and Khabarovsk producers amounted to 14% and 7% respectively.

Alaska pollock roe yield in the Sea of Okhotsk in 2005-2007 (provisional figures)

Province

2007, metric tons

2006, metric tons

2005, metric tons

Primorsky Krai (capital Vladivostok)

7469

10080

9037

Khabarovsky Krai

1367

2111

1512

Magadan Oblast

784

922

819

Sakhalin Oblast

2727

3681

3203

Kamchatka Oblast

6079

10718

8389

Koryak Autonomous District

818

1241

830

Chukotka Autonomous District

198

302

199

Background

According to the information coming from the Russian Far East, in the previous two years in chase of profits some Russian fishermen have been breaking fishery regulations via freezing APO roe only, discarding males and juveniles thus bringing the roe yield to 12% or even more. As a result, in 2005-2006 Pusan auctions offered record high volumes of Alaska pollock roes, namely 25,000 and 30,000 tonnes correspondingly, which were the highest figures in the APO fishery history. However, instead of expected profit most of the companies bore losses as the market was overstocked, the supply considerably exceeded the demand and the prices simply collapsed.

The above situation encouraged largest fishing companies of the Russian Far East Basin to unite and establish the APO Association in October 2006. The organization is to pursue single policy in the issues of sustainable exploitation of the Alaska pollock stocks, their conservation, cooperation with scientific organizations as to fishery regulation measures and production standards, especially roe yield. The association is also aimed at developing single price policy in sales of Alaska pollock product both on the domestic and on the international markets for the sake of the highest efficiency of the Basin's fishery industry (where Alaska pollock has always been the dominating species).

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