Results of Russian fisheries in the seas of nation's Far East in January-September 2010

October 8, 2010 10:17

According to provisional catch figures, the total harvest of main commercial species, except for Pacific salmons, has amounted to 1.75 million metric tons from the year start through to September 2010, reports with reference to fishery sources in Vladivostok.

Alaska pollock has remained a dominating species in terms of catch volumes. The fishery situation on the pollock grounds in the subareas of the Sea of Okhotsk has been developing fairly favourable. The pollock catches through the period under analysis amounted to 1.3 million tonnes, 300,000 tonnes up on the respective result of last year. With the closure of the main pollock season in the Sea of Okhotsk in the first quarter of the year, the vessels of separate companies continued the pollock fishery in the East Sakhalin subarea where the fishery of the species is available all the year round. As compared to last year, the harvest in the subarea jumped by 11,000 tonnes. The pollock harvest was rising also thanks to a large bycatch of the species in the trawl and Danish seine fishery of ground fish species at the western coast of Kamchatka. As a result, the total pollock catch rise in the Sea of Okhotsk amounted 225,000 tonnes. Through the third quarter the gap in the Bering pollock harvest was covered and the area's total pollock catch turned out to be 17,700 tonnes up on the respective result of the first nine months of 2009.

Cod fisheries (trawl, Danish seine and longline) grew dramatically brisker. While in the first half of the current year the cod harvest exceeded the last year level only by 4300 tonnes, in the current year 2010 the cod catch grew by more than 20,000 tonnes thanks to more active operations on the grounds. Due to increased number of fishing vessels at the western coast of Kamchatka and in the Karaginsk subarea the halibut harvest increased nearly by 2500 tonnes.

The harvest of Atka mackerel grew by 6000 tonnes caught by the Russian fishermen in the waters of the North Kuriles and in Petropavlovsk-Komandor subarea. At the same time, the Atka mackerel catch gap in the first half of the year was decreased by 2000 tonnes.

On the mixed fish trawl grounds the fleets increased catches of sculpins by 4500 tonnes in the Bering Sea and nearly by 6000 tonnes in the Kamchatka Kurile subarea of the Sea of Okhotsk. Catches of skates and ocean perch came up and exceeded the last year results for those species by 1200 tonnes and 400 tonnes correspondingly.

A considerable decline of catches was observed on the grounds of Okhotsk herring. The catch lag on last year in the main fishing area of the North Okhotsk amounted to 22,500 tonnes. That was mostly due to a smaller number of fishing vessels sent to the grounds of roe and spawning herring. Besides, there were also difficult ice conditions unfavourable both for the fleet's operations and for setting fixed fishing gear on the grounds of spawning herring in the first quarter of the year 2010.

Smaller activity of the Danish seine fishery in the spring period of the current year 2010 versus last year and the vessels' switch to salmon fishery at the western coast of Kamchatka conditioned a smaller harvest of flounder and wachna cod on the efficient grounds in the Kamchatka-Kurile subarea by 10,000 tonnes and 8100 tonnes correspondingly.

The main reason behind the decline of catches of longfin codling Laemonema, grenadier and saury was participation of a smaller number of vessels. Catches of longfin codling in the Japanese zone were limited to 6000 tonnes versus 12,000 tonnes last year in the same period.

The fishing efforts on the saury grounds were two times smaller in number, namely 20 ships versus 40 last year. As a result, the saury harvest declined by 6500 tonnes.

The number of vessels participating in dedicated trawl fishery of grenadier in the North Kurile waters reached 7 last year, while in the first nine months of the current year 2010 their number did not exceed 3-4 ships. The grenadier harvest in the North Kurile zone declined by 7800 tonnes to 6100 tonnes.

Along with the above factors, the catch volumes of flounders, wachna cod and grenadier also depended on the return of those species into the list of TAC-regulated aquatic biological resources in the current year 2010.

As for the invertebrates, the smallest harvest was observed for such species as squid, sea urchins, sea scallops and whelks.

While in the first half of the year the decline of squid catches was covered with an excess, catches of squid in the third quarter of the current year did not make the fishermen happy. Non-stable conditions on the squid grounds in the waters of the North Kuriles pushed down the fishery results for the group of such vessels in the area by 8000 tonnes versus the respective result of last year. At 60% the catch decline was covered by squid catches in the West Bering Sea zone and in the subareas of the East Kamchatka coast. As a result, the volumes of squid catches in the Basin went down by 2000 tonnes.

The catch gap on the whelks grounds through the first nine months of the year 2010 declined to 200 tonnes due to organization of the whelks fishery in the waters of the East Sakhalin and at the shores of Kamchatka to the south of the 54th degree North. As for the North Okhotsk subarea, the main fishing area for the mollusk, in the third quarter of the year the fishermen failed to compensate for the catch volumes lost in the winter-spring period due to difficult ice conditions thus failing to reach the last year results. The harvest in the area was limited to 3400 tonnes versus 3700 tonnes last year.

On the crab grounds the harvest rose by 2100 tonne. The Basin's catches showed positive dynamics for such species as snow crab opilio, red tanner crab and spiny king crab in the Sea of Okhotsk and in the Sea of Japan.

At the same time, the catch decreases on last year were observed for such species as red king crab, blue king crab, golden king crab, spiny crab, hairy crab, triangle snow crab and snow crab bairdi. More or less good results were reported from the grounds of snow crab opilio in the North Okhotsk subarea (+1400 tonnes) and deepsea red tanner crab in the Sea of Japan (+900 tonnes). Not very good results were reported from the grounds of red king crab, blue and golden king crab, catches of which declined by 1250 tonnes on 9 months of 2009. The total harvest of crabs was based on catches of 16,500 tonnes of snow crab opilio.

In the third quarter of 2010 the fishery operations on the grounds of pink shrimp and shrimp (Pandalus goniurus) grew brisker. As a result, the decline of the shrimp harvest in the first half of the year was covered, and their harvest rose by 700 tonnes on last year.

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