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Russian scientists set strong outlook for South Kuril pollock stocks

Future prospects for the Northern Sea of Okhotsk population are also expected to be good.

Researchers from Russia’s Pacific Fisheries Research Center (TINRO) projected an increase in South Kuril pollock stocks due to a large biomass of two and three-year-old fish detected through acoustic and bottom trawl surveys conducted in spring.

According to TINRO, the total biomass of pollock on the Pacific side of the South Kuriles amounted to 145,400 metric tons.

The stocks were dominated by fish from 2017 and 2016 with a size ranging from 23 centimeters to 27 centimeters and from 28 to 33 centimeters, respectively.

The share of commercial pollock of more than 37 centimeters in size was at an extremely low level of 3.1 percent, since this season the commercial pollock is feeding in other areas of the South Kuril.

Fresh research data also showed that the total pollock biomass in the Sea of Okhotsk amounted to 12.7 million metric tons, with the spawning stock accounting for 8.9 million metric tons.

The stocks were dominated by fish from 2013 and 2014 generations, with a size running from 31 centimeters to 40 centimeters and a share of 43.6 percent in total.

The estimates obtained from bottom trawl surveys in the Sea of Okhotsk in the past four years, showed around the same figures. However, since 2018 there has been a gradual decrease in the number of total pollock stock.

“New research surveys showed that, at present, mid-yielding generations of short-term replenishment continue to be present in the pollock stock, which in the future should have a positive effect on pollock resources in the Northern Sea of Okhotsk," TINRO said.

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