ISSN 1063-0740, Russian Journal of Marine Biology, 2016, Vol. 42, No. 7, pp. 568–581. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2016.
Original Russian Text © P.V. Kalchugin, M.I. Boyko, S.F. Solomatov, E.P. Chernienko, 2016, published in Izvestiya TINRO.
The Current Status of Demersal Fish Resources in the Russian Waters
of the Sea of Japan
P. V. K a l c h u g i n
*, M. I. Boyko
, S. F. Solomatov
, and E. P. Chernienko
Pacific Research Fisheries Center, ul. Shevchenko 4, Vladivostok, 690091 Russia
Sakhalin Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography, ul. Komsomolskaya 196, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, 693023 Russia
Received October 9, 2015
Abstract⎯A bottom trawl survey was conducted over all of the shelf and continental slope in the Russian
waters of the Sea of Japan, from Peter the Great Bay to the La Perouse Strait, from March 31 to July 8, 2015.
The species composition and biomass of demersal fish were determined for Peter the Great Bay, waters of
southern and northern Primorye, and the West Sakhalin subzone. The bulk of the biomass (over 90% of the
estimated biomass in the study areas) was formed by four families: Gadidae, Pleuronectidae, Cottidae, and
Clupeidae. The highest biomass, 218000 t, was recorded from the West Sakhalin subzone; the lowest, 77400 t, was
found from Peter the Great Bay. The proportions of biomasses of the considered species varied substantially
between areas: walleye pollock and plain sculpin dominated by biomass in Peter the Great Bay; walleye pol-
lock and scale-eye plaice dominated off southern Primorye; herring dominated off northern Primorye; and
scale-eye plaice and speckled founder were dominant in the West Sakhalin subzone. The density of the fish
concentration was determined for several bathymetric ranges in the considered areas. In the period of studies,
the pattern of distribution of fish in Peter the Great Bay was still of the winter type, which is characterized by
high concentrations over the continental slope. There was some shift towards shallower depths in Primorye
waters; however, taking the great latitudinal span of the area of the research and the early spring into account,
these migrations were not so clearly pronounced, as would be observed in later periods. The most distinct dif-
ferences in the bathymetric distribution were found in the West Sakhalin subzone, where the distribution pat-
tern corresponded mostly to the summer type with its high concentrations in shallow waters and low ones over
the continental slope. According to the estimates in 2015, the biomass of demersal fish slightly increased as
compared to the values of the 1980s–1990s.
Keywords: bottom trawl survey, fish biomass, biomass dynamics, demersal fish, Peter the Great Bay, Primo-
rye subzone, West Sakhalin subzone
The fish capacity of the Sea of Japan is the lowest
among the Far Eastern seas; however, its values of the
yield of fish production, taking catches in Japan and
Korea into account, are almost as high as those in the
other seas of the region [9, 33, 34, etc.].
In the Russian waters of the sea, large-scale fishing
for herring, sardine, walleye pollock, cod, flounders,
and other fishes has been conducted for many
decades. Previously, fishery studies were mainly
object-oriented; they only became complex in the
1980s, which allowed researchers to collect informa-
tion on the structure and composition of fish commu-
nities. The results of these works were presented in a
number of publications [6, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, etc.].
These studies were almost always confined to sub-
zones established on an administrative basis (Pri-
morsky krai, Khabarovsk krai, and Sakhalin oblast).
In 2015, a bottom trawl survey was conducted over all
of the shelf and continental slope within the Russian
waters of the Sea of Japan, from Peter the Great to the
La Perouse Strait, in the spring and summer.
The goal of this work is to present the results of this
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The bottom-trawl survey started in April 2015 from
the western Peter the Great Bay and was completed in
July off Cape Crillon, the western coast of Sakhalin
The works were carried out aboard the R/V Buk-
horo. The total length of the vessel was 35.7 m; width,
8.8 meters; displacement, 560 tons; and engine power,
662 kW (900 hp).
The survey was conducted during daylight hours.
The grid of stations of trawl catches is shown in Fig. 1;
each transect included four to nine stations. Catches