Russian fisheries in North Atlantic and Central Eastern Atlantic in December 2007

January 16, 2008 15:53

According to provisional figures, in December of 2007 the total harvest of Russian vessels in the North Atlantic and Central Eastern Atlantic amounted to 50,100 tonnes, thus displaying a considerable decrease by 12,800 tonnes on the result of the previous month of November 2007, fishery sources in Murmansk, with reference to provisional figures as per early January 2008, told www.fishnet-russia.com (https://www.fishnet.ru/).

The catch decrease could be attributed mostly to quota exhaustion by the bulk of the resource users in the Barents Sea (cod and haddock), closure of polar cod Boreogadus saida fishery in the New Land in early December and closure of herring fishery in the Norwegian Sea already in November 2007.

Barents Sea

In the Barents Sea the landings of cod through December 2007 were estimated at 10,000 tonnes, 2600 tonnes down on November 2007.

According to the distribution of the fishing fleet in the course of the month, the bulk of the cod harvest (65% namely) and haddock harvest (85%) was contributed by the Russian waters. In the northwest part of the Barents Sea, in the waters off Spitsbergen, the Russian fishermen harvested ca.35% of cod and 15% of haddock through the month.

According to the NCMC Vessel Satellite Tracking Center, the harvest of cod in the Barents Sea through 12 months of the year 2007 is estimated at no less than 175,000 tonnes, of which ca.2% have been contributed by the vessels coming from Kaliningrad-led West Fisheries Basin, while the harvest of haddock is estimated at ca.64,000 tonnes, of which 0.2% has been contributed by Kaliningrad-based vessels.

According to the provisional figures, through the whole year 2007 the Russian shipowners have practically exhausted their quotas for capture of main bottomfish species in the Barents Sea Basin.

Crab

Conditions for red king crab fishery in December 2007 remained on a par with November with the total harvest through the closing month of the year estimated at ca.2300 tonnes, 200 tonnes down on November 2007.

Through the whole year 2007 crabbers based in Murmansk-led North Basin harvested nearly 11,000 tonnes of red king crab. According to the specialists, taking into account a large volume of the quota the fishery results could be considered as fairly satisfactory. The quota remainder amounted to no more than 2000 tonnes, most of which belonged to quota users in the inshore zone of the Cola Peninsula.

In the meanwhile, according to some operators, the results of fishery in 2007 satisfied not all the participants as catches contained much fewer large red king crab males meeting all the market requirements. In a situation of changed fishery conditions which have been observed in the recent two years, in 2007 the technologists working onboard the crabbers have had to considerably decrease requirements to products in terms of size and percent of meat content in the crab legs. As a result, competition among the crabbers, even those owned by one company, has noticeably increased in their drive to find the most efficient grounds.

Blue whiting

In the Norwegian Sea in December 2007 the expedition fleet was targeting only blue whiting in the Faroe fishing zone. Just like in the previous months, the fishing efforts on the blue whiting grounds were too short, especially there were few vessels coming from the Russian West Fisheries Basin (Kaliningrad). The expedition's total result through December 2007 amounted to 16,500 tonnes, of which no more than 7.5% were contributed by Kaliningrad-based vessels.

As a result, the Russian quota of blue whiting in the Faroese fishing zone in 2007 has remained non-exhausted at a considerable extent. Though the results of the year 2007 have not been finalized yet, it is clear that the Russian fleet operating in the waters of the North Atlantic has long been suffering from a lack of large trawlers. If the fleet remains as it is now, in 2008 the Russian quotas for capture of pelagic species (polar cod Boreogadus saida in the Barents Sea, blue whiting, herring and mackerel in the Norwegian Sea and in the areas to the west of the British Isles) will hardly be covered again, moreover the nation's quota for capture of spring-spawning herring in the Norwegian Sea has been increased this year. Russia's total harvest of blue whiting in the North Atlantic in 2007 is estimated at 247,000 tonnes, of which 35% were contributed by Kaliningrad-based vessels. At the same time, catches of blue whiting in the spring period in the open part of the Atlantic Ocean to the west of the British Isles amounted to ca.99,000 tonnes (ca.40% of the total harvest of blue whiting in the North Atlantic).

Central Eastern Atlantic

In the waters of the Central Eastern Atlantic (zones of Mauritanian and Western Sahara) Russia's harvest of pelagic species in December amounted to 13,100 tonnes, 2400 tonnes up on November 2007. The main contribution into the catch increase was made by horse mackerel (plus 2900 tonnes). The range of harvested species was dominated by mackerel, horse mackerel and sardine contributing within 27-28% for each of the above species.

Catches of Russian vessels in the North Atlantic and in the Central Eastern Atlantic in December 2007

Species

December 2007, ‘000 metric tons

November 2007, ‘000 metric tons

December 2007 versus November 2007, +/- ‘000 metric tons

Murmansk-led North Fisheries Basin

Kaliningrad-led West Fisheries Basin

Russia's total harvest

Russia's total harvest

Barents Sea

Cod

9.5

0.5

10.0

12.6

-2.6

Haddock

2.7

0.2

2.9

4.1

-1.2

Halibut

0.7

0.0

0.7

0.7

0.0

Sea cats

0.4

0.0

0.4

0.4

0.0

Plaice

0.2

0.0

0.2

0.2

0.0

Polar cod Boreogadus saida

3.8

0.0

3.8

19.8

-16.0

Sea scallops

0.1

0.0

0.1

0.3

-0.2

Red king crab

2.3

0.0

2.3

2.5

-0.2

Total

19.7

0.7

20.4

40.6

-20.2

Norwegian Sea

Blue whiting

15.3

1.2

16.5

6.6

9.9

Herring

0.0

0.0

0.0

4.9

-4.9

Total

15.3

1.2

16.5

11.5

5.0

Northwest Atlantic (Greenland zone, NAFO zone)

Greenland halibut

0.1

0.0

16.5

0.1

16.4

Total

0.1

0.0

0.1

0.1

0.0

Central Eastern Atlantic

Mackerel

2.7

1.0

3.7

2.8

0.9

Horse mackerel

3.1

0.5

3.6

0.7

2.9

Sardinella

1.1

0.1

1.2

1.5

-0.3

Sardine

2.5

1.0

3.5

5.0

-1.5

Anchovy

0.5

0.5

1.0

0.6

0.4

Tuna

0.0

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.0

Total

9.9

3.2

13.1

10.7

2.4

GRAND TOTAL in the North Atlantic and in the Central Eastern Atlantic

45.0

5.1

50.1

62.9

-12.8

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