Russia recommends quota for 2018 pollock, cod fisheries

Pollock quota in the Sea of ​​Okhotsk will remain at the same level as this year, at 1.07 million metric tons.

Rosrybolovstvo, Russia's federal fisheries agency, reached an agreement on the recommended allowable catches for the main commercial fish species for next year.

Total allowable catch (TAC) for the trawl pollock fishery in the Sea of ​​Okhotsk -- which makes up the bulk of the Russian landings -- was recommended at the same level as this year. Pollock quota off the Kurils and in the Bering Sea will see a slight decrease.

"There are reasons for increasing the catch of the Sea of Okhotsk pollock fishery,” Ilya Shestakov, head of Rosrybolovstvo, said. “Stocks are growing, but there are certain risks of under-use".

The recommended pollock quota might be corrected in line with the results of monitoring of the fishing activities, Rosrybolovstvo said.

This year's 'A' pollock season in the Sea of Okhotsk started on Jan.1 with a TAC set at 1,070,700 metric tons.

As of March 21, the overall pollock harvest in the Sea of Okhotsk amounted to 669,400 metric tons, or 6,000 metric tons less than this time last year, according to Rosrybolovstvo. The quota was used at 62.5 percent.

The country's overall pollock quota for 2017 is set at 1.89 million metric tons.

The recommended TAC for 2018’s Pacific cod fishing increased 9.3 percent compared with 2017 to 132,960 metric tons, mainly due to quotas in the West-Bering Sea and Chukotka zones, which were raised by 16,400 metric tons in total.

Quota for Pacific herring decreased slightly, by 700 metric tons to 325,450 metric tons.

In the Northern fishery basin, Russia sets TACs only for commercial invertebrates: red king crab, opilio snow crab and scallops.

TAC for red king crab is recommended to increase 16.8 percent compared with this year  to 9,940 metric tons.

Recommended catch for opilio snow crab rose 25 percent to 9,840 metric tons.

According to the Russian regulations, approved TACs must pass the procedures of public discussion and state environmental expertise.

In 2016, Russia’s seafood harvest reached the record number of 4.7 million metric tons, up 5.8 percent from the previous year.

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