Environmental protection measures
The Russian Federation participates in international conventions on prevention of the pollution of air and seawater and strictly complies with their requirements. In particular, measures on prevention of air pollution from ships are specified in MARPOL 73/78 International Convention and ballast water shall be handled in accordance with the Convention for the Control and Management of Ship’s Ballast Water and Sediments.
The Fishing Rules have established 54 permanent and three seasonal area closures for commercial fisheries for all species, in particular, three closures are for mid-water trawls, and others are for all gears for vessels whose total length is greater than 24 m. Most of the closed areas protect spawning and early development of commercial species. Other closures are efforts to restrict large-scale fisheries to the most profitable period (time with the highest catch per unit efforts) to reduce the total effects of a fleet presence on ecosystems.
There are additional 9 area closures for Walleye Pollock. Many of these limitations protect marine mammals’ rockeries and the forage grounds around them, as well as some valuable bottom biotopes which are protected from any possible negative influence of the fishing operation.
Selectivity is the most important component of pollock fishing control in the Far Eastern seas. Pollock fishing shall be performed by mid-water trawls mandatorily using selectivity inserts with “mirror” mesh arrangement which allows for escape of juveniles from the trawl during the hauling.
The Fishing Rules specify that the minimum length of pollock delivered for processing shall be 35 cm. Maximum level of juvenile bycatch for Pollock fisheries has been set for the Sea of Okhotsk fishery – at 20% by numbers in a haul, for West Bering Sea zone – 40%, in other fishing areas of the Far East seas – at 8%.
Analysis of existing means for the selective trawl pollock fishery systems. A.I. Shevchenko, A.A. Maiss, O.V. Akimova. 2014