RFE fisheries overview revealing dynamic changes in APO catch and roe output in January 2007. Full story.

February 8, 2007 12:52

As compared to the recent three years the total harvest of aquatic biological stocks in the seas of the Russian Far East Basin in January 2007 has grown 1.7-fold exceeding the level of 100,000 tonnes. The timely approval of quota allocations and issue of fishing permits already as of 2 January have enabled vessels operating on the grounds in December 2006 to start harvesting fish out of new quotas in early January, according to fish resources in Vladivostok.

On 2 January 2007 eleven ships (who have got fishing permits) out of 29 fishing ships engaged in Alaska pollock fishery in the Bering Sea harvested ca.1000 tonnes of Alaska pollock. On the same grounds three middle vessels out of seven ships were targeting mixed bottomfish species for human consumption, while five longliners were staying idle waiting for fishing permits.

In the Sea of Okhotsk eleven vessels were hunting for herring, seven ships were targeting blue king crab and golden king crab and five trawlers were harvesting mixed bottomfish for human consumption.

In January the Russian fleet also started operations in the waters of the North Kuriles.

In the opening month of the current year 2007 contributions of the Basin's seas in its total harvest changed as compared to the same period last year. More specifically, the volume of catches in the Bering Sea increased three times and amounted to 33.5% of the Basin harvest through the month. While last year the Sea of Okhotsk contributed ca.77% of the total harvest, this year the sea's share dropped to 62%, although in volume terms catches in the Sea of Okhotsk in January 2007 exceeded those in January 2006 by 26,000 tonnes.

In general, the Alaska pollock harvest in the Sea of Okhotsk through the first month of the year jumped by 25,000 tonnes as compared to the same period last year, while the roe yield dropped by 700 tonnes.

The total harvest in the waters of the North Kuriles increased 2.3-fold.

Main species in January 2007 were herring, Alaska pollock, crabs, shrimps, cod, halibut, wachna cod and flounders.

The below table shows catches of main commercial species as compared to the corresponding period last year 2005 (provisional figures).



2007, ‘000 metric tons

2007, ‘000 metric tons

2007 versus 2006, +/- ‘000 metric tons

Total catch



+ 62.15

of which





Alaska pollock



+ 57.85

Atka mackerel



+ 0.713




+ 1.671




+ 0.151




+ 0.522




+ 0.107




+ 0.04

Longfin codling Laemonema



- 0.113

Ocean perch



+ 0.083




+ 0.018

Wachna cod



+ 1.202

Other than finfish







+ 0.311

Sea cucumber



- 0.029

Sea urchins



+ 0.66




+ 0.214





The Basin's total harvest increased by 62,000 tonnes on January 2006 thanks to favourable fishery situation on the APO grounds of the Bering Sea. The number of vessels targeting the species in the first days of the month was twice larger than last year. The vessels harvested from 20 to 50 tonnes per haul depending on the vessel efficiency. The daily harvest per ship would often exceed 100 tonnes. The size of harvested fish was large with the average length and weight reported at 45 cm and 520 grams. The roe yield was within 1.2-1.9%. Kamchatka-based BATM trawlers owned by OAO Okeanrybflot (plc) reported daily catches of 111-118 tonnes on the average. Their leader BATM Irtyshsk harvested more than 3300 tonnes through the month and that was the expedition's best result. Closer to the middle of the month some of the vessels started to leave for the APO grounds in the Sea of Okhotsk where the APO fishery grew more efficient by that time.

The Alaska pollock fishery in the Sea of Okhotsk was traditionally started from the North Okhotsk subarea by three large trawlers and by the middle of the month 14 ships were targeting the species off the Kashevarov Bank. The fishery conditions in the area were fairly good with the daily harvest fluctuating from 60 to 110 tonnes per ship. The ice conditions let the fishermen harvest mature pollock with 41-45-cm fish accounting for 53% of the harvest. The roe yield was reported at up to 1.1%. Vladivostok-based vessel Kapitan Oleinichuk owned by OAO Turnif (plc) was the area's best harvester with the result of 1630 tonnes of Alaska pollock in 13 days.

In the second half of the month as the grounds at the West Kamchatka coast grew open for APO harvesters, the fleet started moving to the Kamchatka Kurile and West Kamchatka subareas where the fishery situation in winter and spring is normally stabler.

The main APO grounds in the Sea of Okhotsk in January 2007 were concentrated in the Kamchtka Kurile subarea, near the Lebed Bank. Up to 50 large ships and 20 middle ships conducted dedicated APO fishery in the area. The conditions were fairly good and the average daily catch per large ship was 15 tonnes up on the last year result. Alaska pollock of more than 35 cm accounted for 57% of the harvest with the roe fish yield fluctuating from 0.7% to 2.5%. The best harvester was Sakhalin-based ship Seawind-1 owned by JSC ZAO SakhalinLeasingFlot who reported a total catch of 1627 tonnes through the month with the average rates per day amounting to 108.5 tonnes. However, the average daily catches of Vladivostok-based vessel Kapitan Oleinichuk were higher at 129 tonnes, though her total harvest through the month was still smaller at 1420 tonnes.


Conditions on the herring grounds of the Sea of Okhotsk were fairly good and catches of the species depended on the vessels' processing capacity. Just like last year, the herring fishery was conducted by vessels owned by 25 companies of the Russian Far East Basin. The total herring harvest in the area was similar to the corresponding result last year, though the fishing efforts on the grounds were larger by 8 ships, but the daily rates were lower. More specifically, the average daily catches amounted to 70 tonnes per large ship and 41 tonnes per middle ship versus 76 tonnes and 47 tonnes last year. The reason behind the decrease had to do with difficult ice conditions on the grounds with the fishery conditions being satisfactory. As a result, the vessels had to work searching for water areas clear of ice. The most efficient harvester was Sakhalin-based vessel Milkovo owned by Imeni Lenina fishing co-op reporting a total harvest of 1640 tonnes of herring through the month with the ship's daily catches amounting to 102 tonnes on the average.

Longliners were targeting cod and halibuts in the Bering Sea, in the Sea of Okhotsk and in the waters of the North Kuriles. About 25 ships participated in the fishery and their harvest of cod, halibut and grenadier amounted to ca. 4500 tonnes, 1600 tonnes up on the last year result.

The fishery operations in the waters of East Sakhalin were fairly successful and eleven fishing companies based in Sakhalin were targeting wachna cod. A group of 27 MRS small seiners harvested ca.3000 tonnes of the species through January 2007 versus 1350 tonnes in the same month last year.

The harvest of Atka mackerel in the Petropavlovsk-Komandor subarea in January 2007 exceeded the corresponding result of last year 2.7 times. At the same time, the Atka mackerel catch in the Sea of Japan went twice down. The Basin's total harvest of Atka mackerel amounted to ca.2000 tonnes.

Crab fisheries in the Sea of Okhotsk were highly efficient with losses of fishing time being the lowest possible. The species targeted by the fleets were blue king crab, golden king crab and snow crab bairdi. In the Sea of Japan red snow crab was harvested by the vessels based in Vladivostok and Sakhalin. Their harvest amounted to 310 tonnes.

Shrimp fisheries were more efficient as compared to January last year. The total shrimp harvest exceeded the last year result by 200 tonnes.

At the same time, in January 2007 the Russian fleets did not harvest squid on the grounds of the Kuriles due to lack of stable fishable concentrations in that period of the year. The bycatch of squid on the Atka mackerel grounds totaled only 4 tonnes.

In the waters of the South Kuriles Sakhalin-based ships were harvesting sea urchins. Their total catch of the urchins amounted to ca.100 tonnes.

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