Russia and Japan joining forces in Pacific squid surveys

August 2, 2007 16:19

From 22 June 2007 to 11 July 2007 the Russian and Japanese scientists conducted joint surveys of Pacific squid in the national EEZs.

The surveys were conducted from the Japanese research vessel Tekai Maru according to "the Program of the scientific and technical cooperation between Russia and Japan" and the "Plan of cooperation in surveys of species migrating in the zones of the both countries, for the year 2007" (under the "Protocol of the 23rd session of the Russian-Japanese Fishery Commission").

According to the results of the surveys, the delays of the squid runs to the Primorye subarea in the first half of the current summer should be attributed mostly to fairly weak inflow of warm waters to the Primorye coast, according to TINRO-Centre research institute referred to by Fishnews.

Squid fishery

The Pacific squid is harvested with pelagic longlines as attracted by artificial light. In the Japanese Sea the bulk of the squid harvest is contributed by the Japanese and Korean fishermen.

The Russian fishermen mostly coming from Vladivostok and Sakhalin harvest squid from July to November when the mollusk migrates for feeding from the southern part of the Japanese Sea. In the waters of Primorye the annual harvest of squid in 2004-2006 slightly exceeded 300 tonnes. At the same time, foreign fishermen harvested much more squid in the area. In particular, in 1998-2006 the harvest of squid fluctuated from 1000 tonnes in 1998 to 6800 tonnes in 2003. Thus, actual catches of squid in the area do not exceed 4% out of the TAC of 150,000-200,000 tonnes. In other words, the Russian fishermen practically do not exploit the squid stocks.

In the meantime, the stock surveys conducted by the Russian scientists in the Bay of Peter, the Great in 1995-2006 discovered improvement of the fishery conditions in the recent years thanks to the stock's rising abundance. According to TINRO-Centre, the trend of increasing catches may persist in 2007, though unlike in 2006 the trend is forecasted to move and manifest itself in the first half of August due to weak warming up of the bay's waters.

In the Primorye subarea potential catches of squid this year is estimated at 16,000 metric tons, of which 12,000 tonnes are recommended for fishery to the south of the Zolotoy Cape and 2000 tonnes - to its north.

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