TAC forecast 2009 in the Russian Far East Basin submitted for ecological examination

July 14, 2008 16:33

The Russian scientists have produced provisional advice (known in Russia as preliminary forecast) for the TACs for the year 2009 in the seas of the Russian Far East Basin, the figure submitted for consents and approval to the Government standing at 3.391 million metric tons, fishery sources in Vladivostok told www.fishnet-russia.com (www.fishnet.ru).

Actually, the Basin has been displaying a surplus of the fish stocks with the TACs 2007 covered only at 63.6%. The scientists think that the abundance of the fish resources in the Basin's seas will not change in the near future. In the year 2009 the fishermen may be allowed to harvest 320,000 tonnes more than the TACs set for the current year 2008 mostly thanks to increased finfish quotas (+380,000 tonnes). The TACs of finfish species have been recommended at 2.77 million tonnes.

Just like in all the previous years, the fishery results in the Sea of Okhotsk area are expected to be more efficient than other fisheries. More specifically, the catch volumes are forecasted to grow by 256,000 tonnes on last year. The Okhotsk herring TAC is recommended to be increased by 68,000 tonnes. Alaska pollock of the North Okhotsk and Kamchatka-Kurile subarea will be boosted by 85,000 and 74,000 tonnes correspondingly. The TACs of wachna cod and flounder in the West Kamchatka are forecasted to grow by 13,000 tonnes for each of the species.

A considerable increase of the TACs will be observed in the Kuriles. As compared to the current year 2008, the TACs 2009 in the area are recommended to be increased by 135,000 tonnes. While in the waters of the South Kuriles the TACs' boost will be contributed by an 84.5% rise of the saury TAC, in the waters of the North Kuriles the growth of the TACs will be contributed by Alaska pollock (+21,300 tonnes), Atka mackerel (+6000 tonnes) and cod (+1800 tonnes).

For another year running the scientists have been pressing for an increase of the saury TAC in the South Kuriles. They think than the saury stocks can sustain catches of 240,000 tonnes without any damage for its reproduction.

In the recent year the inshore fisheries with a special focus on the East Kamchatka schools of Alaska pollock have been growing more and more active in the Petropavslosk-Komandor and the North Kuriles subareas. As a result, the actual harvest of the species has been much higher than the officially allowed catch. Stabilization of the spawning stock and its certain growth have encouraged recommendations of the pollock TAC increase by 12,000 and 21,000 tonnes correspondingly in the above mentioned areas. The increase has been aimed at legalizing the Danish seine operations.

The large fishery pressure in 1980s in combination with the natural factors has pushed down the abundance of the Alaska pollock stock in the waters of the South Kuriles. In the meantime, during the periods of the stock's strong abundance the harvest of the species used to reach 400,000 metric tons per year. In the second half of 1990s Alaska pollock was not harvested in the dedicated operations, only as bycatch. With the rich classes joining the spawning stock in late 1990s, the fishermen will be able to harvest the species on a wide scale in the near future. The TACs 2009 in the South Kuriles are recommended to be boosted by 23,000 tonnes.

At the same time the TACs in the Bering Sea and in the Sea of Japan will be increased by 54,000 and 22,000 tonnes correspondingly. In the Bering Sea the TACs will be decreased mostly for such species as Alaska pollock (-48,000 tonnes), cod (-3500 tonnes) and wachna cod (-4500 tonnes).

In the Sea of Japan the squid stocks are characterized with fluctuations with a certain recurrence. As a result, the squid TACs 2009 are recommended to be decreased by 40,000 tonnes.

TACs in the Russian Far East broken down by regions

Year

Bering Sea

East Kamchatka

North Kuriles

South Kuriles

Sea of Okhotsk

Sea of Japan

TOTAL

2009, 1000 metric tons

663.4

290.6

232.2

578.5

1379.1

241.8

3391.3

2008, 1000 metric tons

717.2

280.9

203.1

471.9

1122.7

264.4

3067.6

+/- 1000 metric tons

-53.8

+9.7

+29.1

+106.6

+256.4

-22.6

+323.7

The Basin's crab TACs 2009 will be reduced only by 283 tonnes for all the species and areas. More specifically, in the Sea of Okhotsk the scientists recommend a decrease of the crab TACs by 2400 tonnes, of which by 1200 tonnes for blue king crab and 1300 tonnes for snow crab bairdi. In the Bering Sea the crab TACs will be reduced both for blue king crab and snow crab opilio. In the Primorye subarea the crab TACs are recommended to be increased by 2500 tonnes, including 2025 tonnes for red tanner crab and 400 tonnes for snow crab opilio.

According to the current legislation, the above TAC recommendations for the year 2009 are yet to be approved by the Federal Fisheries Agency after consent of the Ecological Expertise.

TABLE: Recommended TACs of finfish and other aquatic species in the economic zone of the Russian Far East in 2009 as compared to the TACs 2008 (the table will be published in the July issue of the Russian Fish Report coming soon)

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