Russian scientists producing preliminary forecast for salmon season 2021

February 2, 2021 14:27

The scientists of VNIRO fishery research institute have produced a preliminary forecast for salmon season 2021 in the Russian Far East, reports

It is projected that the recommended harvest will amount to 459.3 KT as compared to more than 496KT actually caught in the previous odd year of 2019.

Should the forecast materialize, the season’s result would at least dwarf the catch failure of 2020 when about 300 KT of pacific salmons were harvested.

Kamchatka Territory is expected to lead the fishery with a recommended pacific salmons harvest of about 359 thousand tons.

The advice for the Sakhalin Region and the Khabarovsk Territory stands at 45 thousand and 37 thousand tons, respectively.

In the Magadan Region, in the Chukotka Autonomous District and in the Primorsky Territory (Capital Vladivostok), the catch is expected to reach 17.7 thousand tons.

In 2021, the basis of the pacific salmon fishery in the Russian Far East will be formed by pink salmon with 322.3 thousand tons, or 70% of the total salmon harvest.

The recommended catch of chum salmon and sockeye is estimated at 93.5 thousand tons (20%) and 32.1 thousand tons (7%), respectively.

The total for coho, chinook and sima is expected to reach 11.4 thousand tons (3%).

"The forecast for salmon this year has been prepared according to improved methods, taking into account new data on the state of salmon stocks in the sea life period, including the results of trawl surveys of juvenile migrations and analysis of the climatic situation in the Northern Pacific," said Ilya Shestakov, Head of the Federal Agency for Fisheries.

At the same time, the forecast can be adjusted in accordance with the results of additional pre-season surveys.

The Agency has declared 2021 as the "Year of the Salmon»: The target program "Salmon–2021" has been approved, which will increase the volume of abundance surveys to assess the state of the pacific salmon stocks.


The salmon fishery outlook for Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands is quite bleak standing at only 45 thousand tons.

This is one and a half times less than in 2019 (67 thousand tons) and the year before (76 thousand tons).

Despite the fact that the forecast is preliminary, the Sakhalin fishermen do not expect any significant upward correction. According to the Association of Fishing Enterprises of the Sakhalin Region, the industry is aware of the decline in the salmonids abundance, primarily pink salmon, which still forms the basis of the catch, and the fishermen are ready for catch restrictions.

The salmon runs to the shores of Sakhalin and to a lesser extent the Kuril Islands have continued to decline rapidly for several years after the records of the early 2010s.   

It is believed that the reason behind has to do with overfishing and the environmentalists are calling for a complete ban on commercial pink salmon fishery in the region in 2021.

Another reason for the decline may be linked with fundamental climate change in the Pacific Ocean.

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