Russia-U.S. Intergovernmental Consultative Committee on fisheries discussed pollock stock assessment in the Bering Sea

05.10.2016 Russia-U.S. Intergovernmental Consultative Committee on fisheries discussed pollock stock assessment in the Bering Sea

TINRO-Center scientists discussed and exchanged data on status of aquatic bioresources with their American colleagues at the 27th session of the Russia-U.S. Intergovernmental Consultative Committee on Fisheries (ICC) held in Vladivostok on September 27-28.

The Russian delegation was led by Vasiliy Sokolov, Deputy Minister of the Federal Fisheries Agency, and the U.S. delegation was led by Russell Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Fisheries at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

During the session, scientists of two countries traditionally exchanged data on pollock stock status assessments in the western and eastern parts of the Bering Sea. The US side believes that pollock resources are in a stable condition as evidenced by latest pollock stock biomass assessment. TINRO-Center specialists also reported that, due to the good condition of Navarinsky pollock stock, some increase of the total allowable catch became possible; however, due to the absence of strong year classes in Karaginsky pollock stock, the amount recommended for harvesting had to be reduced.

Also, opportunities for joint studies in the Bering Sea and Chukchi Sea in 2017 were discussed during the session, and the US side expressed willingness to receive a Russian scientific team for research onboard its vessels.

US representatives also presented their data on marine mammal studies – Pacific walrus, Steller’s sea lion and fur seals and, after data exchange with Russian scientists, it was suggested to consider cooperation in aboriginal hunting monitoring. The sides also discussed the current status of shelf-living crabs in the Bering Sea.

One of important items on the agenda was cooperation in law enforcement practices in fisheries. It was noted that virtually no cases of unauthorized entry of vessels in the other side’s waters have been registered since 2014. The attendees expressed their interestedness in maintaining strong partner links and building up cooperation aimed at prevention of IUU fishing.

The issue of unregulated fishing prevention was further discussed in relation of the high seas of the Arctic Ocean. In the Russian side’s opinion, scientifically proven data on the condition of aquatic bioresources in this region should be collected first of all to establish effective measures for resource management and prevention of IUU fishing. Russian and American specialists discussed the outcome and results of other international conferences, commissions and committees on study of management of marine bioresources (United Nations Review Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks, CCAMLR, ICCAT) in which both sides had participated.

The next meeting of the Intergovernmental Consultative Committee on Fisheries will be held in USA in 2017.

Source: TINRO webpage (

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