Results of Russian finfish and shellfish operations in Far East in January 2011

February 10, 2011 16:06
Russian fishermen summarized the results of fishing operations in the seas of Russian Far East in January 2011, reports

According to provisional figures, in January 2011 Russian fishermen harvested 240,000 tonnes of fish and other aquatic biological resources. The figure exceeds the level of the same period the previous year only by a daily catch volume.

Alaska pollock

Alaska pollock remained the dominating commercial species, the harvest of which in January 2011 amounted to 192,000 tonnes or 80.4% of the total catch. Dedicated fishery of Alaska pollock was carried out by pelagic trawlers of Primorye (capital Vladivostok), Sakhalin and Kamchatka in waters of Kuriles. In the South Kurile zone the catch of roe and spawning pollock exceeded the previous year levels. Kamchatka and Vladivostok-based trawlers carried out operations in the Petropavlovsk-Komandor subarea. Meanwhile, the intensity of pollock operations in West Bering Sea zone in January 2011 was lower thus resulting into a decrease of the area's total catch by 6,000 tonnes on January 2010. Vessels left Bering Sea to switch to Alaska pollock and herring fisheries in the Sea of Okhotsk where the main season of the year was in progress. But even there, despite satisfactory fishing conditions, the pollock harvest in the Sea of Okhotsk declined by 17,000 tonnes on the previous year mostly due to the lack of the fishing efforts. More specifically, by mi-January only 69 vessels (39 large vessels and 30 middle-class vessels) were operating on the grounds, while last year 94 trawlers (including 68 large vessels) were working in the area. By the end of January 117 vessels carried out fishing operations on the Alaska pollock grounds, the efforts therefore decreasing by 20 in number on the same period 2010. In this situation the total catch of Alaska pollock in all the subareas of the Sea of Okhotsk amounted to 179,000 tonnes or 91.2% from the same period in the year 2010.

Okhotsk herring

An opposite situation was observed on the herring fishing in the Sea of Okhotsk where larger efforts positively influenced upon the total catch volume of herring. Monthly catches of herring amounted to 30,000 tonnes, up 17,400 tonnes from January 2010 level.

Spawning wachna cod

Good ice and fishing conditions in Terpenia Bay encouraged Sakhalin vessels to carry out active operations on the grounds of spawning wachna cod, the recommended and additional quotas of which were taken up by the beginning of the third decade of January. By that time, 7,000 tonnes of wachna cod were harvested in comparison with 5,100 tonnes in January 2010.

Flounders, halibuts

Catches of flounders increased by 2,300 tonnes in comparison with the same period 2010, catches of cod increased by 1,300 tonnes. Flounder dominated in catches of Danish seiners in the waters of West Kamchatka. Along with Alaska pollock, the catches in the Southeast Kamchatka consisted of flounders (18.7%) and cod (18%). Longliners were targeting cod in the Sea of Okhotsk and East Kamchatka. Cod was also harvested in the Kurile waters. The main species harvested by Danish seiners was cod species accounting for 61% of total catches. Thus, the catches of cod and flounders amounted to 3,100 tonnes and 3,300 tonnes correspondingly.

The halibut catch in January 2011 rose by 110 tonnes while that of skates jumped by more than 200 tonnes.

Atka mackerel, grenadiers

As a rule, there is no dedicated fishery of Atka mackerel and grenadiers in January. These species are usually harvested as by-catch. In January 2011 the catch volume of these two species decreased by 700 and 200 tonnes correspondingly as compared with the same period of 2010.

Non-finfish species

Catch volumes of invertebrates increased by 1,500 tonnes in January 2011. The harvest of crabs increased to 1,700 tonnes. The main targeted species in the Sea of Japan were red snow crab and opilio crab, while in the Sea of Okhotsk they targeted blue king crab and golden king crab, opilio crab was harvested in the Bering Sea in January. Most of vessels were targeting sea urchins in the South Kurile zone with the group's total catch exceeding the result of 2010 by 300 tonnes. About 130 tonnes of scallops were harvested by Kurile-based vessels, while in the same period of last year the species was not practically targeted at all. Despite fairly successful deepwater shrimp fishery in waters of West Sakhalin and Primorye, the total harvest of shrimps in January 2011decreased by 45 tonnes on last year.

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