Russia’s preliminary TAC for 2022 contains changes in pollock distribution

Published on
April 22, 2021

The Russian Scientific Fishery Institute Council of Directors announced the country’s total allowable catch (TAC) for 2022 will be 3.25 million metric tons (MT), with nearly two million MT allocated to pollock.

The lion’s share of the TAC for Russia – 3.08 million MT – is assigned to the Far Eastern Fishery basin, slightly higher than in 2021. Stocks in the basin are stable, which results in highly accurate forecasts.

The TAC of pollock will see no big changes in volume – two million MT against 1.996 million MT for 2021 – but there will be some differences regarding the locations of capture, Russia’s Federal Agency for Fisheries said. 

The Sea of Okhotsk will see lower TAC next year. This year, it is set to yield 1.186 million MT, but the TAC will be less than one million MT in 2022. Scientists registered a decline in the stock of the species in the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea caused by natural phenomena. At the same time, the size of southern populations are on the rise, aided by newly discovered pollock populations in areas where the species has not been fished previously. Stocks of the species, discovered in the Chukchee Sea and studied just a few years ago, have been deemed commercially viable. The TAC for the Chukchee Sea pollock stock for 2021 is 37,200 MT. In a separate message, the agency said that auctions for 36 quotas of this stock will be held in May this year. The winners of the auctions will be awarded 15-year contracts for the quota. The starting price for a lot is RUB 31 million (USD 401,421, EUR 338,122). 

Russia’s Federal Agency for Fisheries Chair Ilya Shestakov charged the Russian Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (VNIRO) with the preparation of a 10-year forecast on the dynamics of pollock stocks with advice from business and industry experts.

“We have launched a fleet renovation program [and] we are creating a new cod industry, so we need to know which stocks to fish in the long-term,” Shestakov said in an agency statement. 

The council’s advice on TAC is subject to further revision and approval by Russia’s Ministry of Agriculture, and is usually signed in October each year.   

Photo courtesy of Sergei Butorin/Shutterstock

Reporting from Saint Petersburg, Russia

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