American companies interested in Russian fish supplies

September 24, 2008 12:56

On 17 September 2008 a group of American buyers and representatives of Wild Salmon Centre and Sustainable Fisheries partnership ended up their business trip of acquaintance with the Russian Sakhalin and Kurile-based fishing and processing companies. The American companies were invited in the frame of the project Development of Sustainable Fishery by ANO Sakhalinskaya Lososevaya Initsiativa (Sakhalin Salmon Initiative), reports ( with the reference to regional media-sources.

The aim of the visit was to discuss the problems of salmon fishery, measures of conservation of wild salmon stocks and their habitat, prospects of certification and exportation of salmon products from Sakhalin and Kuriles.

According to the representative of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, their companies have been closely working with the Alaskan and South-Asian fishermen and some of the American importers have been buying pollock of the Russian origin which is highly demanded and valued on the world market. The American buyers are interested in stable supplies of sustainable fish products and development of Russian Sakhalin-based companies. The representative of Sustainable Fisheries Partnership admitted that finished seafood products of Russian origin have received many awards at various international exhibitions and American partners are interested in establishing strong relations with Russian producers.

The Sakhalin authorities in their turn told about measures they have been undertaking to support local fishermen. More specifically, the authorities will pay back the interest rates of the companies which have taken loans.

In the Aniva district the fishermen opened a new processing plant equipped with the American equipment. The local authorities have been paying close attention to protection of the local rivers environment as these are the natural breeding grounds for fish species. More specifically the program of reconstruction of river banks has been submitted according to which the banks are to be strengthened by wooding. The Russian legislation differs from the American one, and in Russia the access to water biological resources is limited. The fishing process is done by passive fishing gear to avoid damage of the fish quality. Before the fishing season starts each fishing and processing plant have contracts of supply of frozen and canned products mainly on domestic market.

This year the salmon fishing season has practically ended up with a slightly smaller volume of catches. In the year 2007 the total volume of catch amounted to 160,000 tonnes of salmon (140 tonnes of pink salmon and 20,000 tonnes of chum salmon).

The fishing ended up in Sakhalin and has continued only on the Kuriles. At present the harvested volume amounts to 86,000 tonnes of salmon. Now the chum salmon is being fished and hopefully the total volume will exceed 100,000 tonnes.

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