F/V Alexander Kosarev entering the port of Talcahuano (Photo: SERNAPESCA)
Russian trawler operating in international waters will export from Chilean port
Tuesday, August 20, 2019, 00:00 (GMT + 9)
The trawler Alexander Kosarev is a ship of the type "Moonzut or Super-Super" that was the last model built during the USSR (some series were built in Ukraine and others in Poland) IMO: 8607153 | Call Sign: UBXS, is based on the Murmansk port (Photo: SERNAPESCA)
Inspectors checking the frozen horse mackerel under the brand "Ocean Spirit" (Photo: SERNAPESCA)
What jack mackerel are we talking about?
The Jack Mackerel (Trachurus picturatus murphy) is a migratory pelagic species, which moves in large schools, of similar size, along the coast and beyond the outer limit of 200 nautical miles of the EEZs. The fish, which can grow to a length of 70 cm, finds its habitat in the ocean front, which consists of cold coastal and subtropical surface waters. The fish can also be found, however, in waters as deep as 300 m. The fish approach the coast during the summer, as well as in other seasons during the warm years.
Fish can reach maturity, when they have grown to 21 cm in length; although the average length upon reaching maturity is 31 cm. Spawning occurs during the months of October and November. The minimum allowed capture size is 31 cm.
Chilean jack mackerels are the most commonly fished species, which is not a true mackerel. They are captured commercially with enveloping nets designed for small pelagic fences, or with trawls in the middle of the water.
Horse mackerel history
In the early 1970s, Chilean jack mackerels began to flourish along the west coast of South America and became important as a commercial species. The mackerel then expanded in a westward movement through the open ocean, and finally reached the coastal waters around New Zealand and Australia. During 1997 and 1998, there was a precipitous decline in capture (see chart on the right), which can be attributed to changes in sea surface temperature that accompanied the 1997–98 Child.
On the eastern side of the South Pacific, the Chilean fishery that operates primarily within its own EEZ has captured 75% of the world's catch over the years. The Peruvian fishery captured 800,000 tons in 2001, but in general it is an order of magnitude smaller. On the western side of the South Pacific, New Zealand mackerel fishing primarily within its own EEZ, with a modest peak of 25,000 tons in 1995-96. From 1978 to 1991, the USSR fishing fleet intensely caught the horse mackerel belt on the high seas, with 13 million tons. In the following years, other distant fishing nations, such as Belize, China, the Netherlands and the Republic of Korea, joined Russia to fish for the horse mackerel belt, and in 2007, these nations were obtaining 18% of the world's catch .
Between 2006 and 2011, the biomass of the populations decreased another 63%. Fishery scientists provisionally estimated in 2011 that to achieve maximum sustainable yield, a spawning biomass of approximately 7.4 million tons was required with a fishing mortality rate of 0.15. If spawning stock is going to be rebuilt, current catches should probably be less than 390,000 tons.
During an El Niño phenomenon, as happened in 1997–98, weaker winds fail to drag cold and nutrient-rich waters to the surface, resulting in a drop in horse mackerel abundance.
What is the SPRFMO
The South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation is an inter-governmental organisation that is committed to the long-term conservation and sustainable use of the fishery resources of the South Pacific Ocean and in so doing safeguarding the marine ecosystems in which the resources occur. The SPRFMO Convention applies to the high seas of the South Pacific, covering about a fourth of the Earth's high seas areas. Currently, the main commercial resources fished in the SPRFMO Area are Jack mackerel and jumbo flying squid in the Southeast Pacific and, to a much lesser degree, deep-sea species often associated with seamounts in the Southwest Pacific.
The Organisation consists of a Commission and a number of subsidiary bodies. New Zealand is the Depositary for the SPRFMO Convention and hosts the SPRFMO Secretariat in Wellington.
The RFMO-PS has published a map describing the area of application in accordance with the legal terms in article 5 of the Convention, it is specified that it is for informational purposes only, has no legal status and is not part of the text of the Convention .
The Bío Bío Region has the largest and most diverse port system in the country, composed of seven important ports in the South American Pacific: San Vicente, Talcahuano, Lirquén, Penco, Coronel, Jureles and Puchoco. This system is the largest in the country in terms of cargo transfer, with more than 13,000,000 tons, and with about 1000 annual landings.
The trawler Alexander Kosarev is operating from the port of Talcahuano and sources from Sernapesca have reported that the cargo is destined to South Africa