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Highseas fisheries: large or medium-sized fishing vessels?

Highseas fisheries: large or medium-sized fishing vessels?

December 17th, 2021

In the forecast for the next walleye pollock fishing season, sectoral science notes, “The efficiency of the fishery will account to 100–110 tons per vessel fishing day when using heavy-tonnage vessels, and 50–60 tons per vessel fishing day when using medium-tonnage vessels”.

In addition to different fishing and processing capacities of vessels of different types, this conclusion is justified by weather conditions and ice conditions in the fishing areas, “Background conditions – storms and ice conditions – play an important role for successful fishing. Based on science data, the average number of stormy days is predicted for the "A" fishing season, and, therefore, a decrease in unproductive losses of the fleet. At the same time, the increase in the ice coverage of the sea will lead to a decrease in the number of fishing operations off eastern Sakhalin and northward of 57 degrees north latitude.”

Operating features of large and medium-sized fishing vessels in the fishery, the economic indicators of their work, the advantages of some and the limitations of others are analysed and presented by FSA in the analytical material "On the feasibility of building heavy-tonnage fishing vessels within the second stage of investment quota program".

The main advantages of large-sized fishing vessels:

  • Fishing capacity is up to 2 times higher than that of medium-sized vessels
  • Zero-waste fish processing factory on board, automated storage of products
  • Output of highly processed products
  • High endurance of fishing and navigation
  • High technological effectiveness and environmental friendliness of the modern fleet in comparison with old-built fishing vessels

Limitations of medium-sized vessels:

  • Vessel construction constraints on the placement of a set of zero-waste processing equipment
  • Lower duration of the vessel's fishing voyage and higher loss of fishing time due to environmental conditions
  • Specialization in the harvesting and shipping: storage of fresh/chilled catches on board and/or output of frozen fish (headed or whole)
  • Productivity of labor is lower than on large-sized vessels
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