Committee comes forward with ambitious plan to revive fish industry in the Ukraine

February 28, 2008 16:45

Ukraine's State Fisheries Committee has come forward with an ambitious plan to establish a Holding Company to manage the Ukraine's fishing fleet. The State Fisheries Committee has submitted the respective draft to the Ukrainian Government and is expecting a decision on the point in March 2008.

According to the Head of the Committee Mr. Vladimir Volkov, the Holding is to be created on the basis of the shipping companies working with the Ukrainian fleets.

It is expected that the new establishment will revive the state fishing fleet by attracting investments to the industry. The Holding will be partly private- and partly state-owned.

The Ukrainian industry players hope that the new establishment will at last stop a struggle for fleets control that is observed at present between the State Fisheries Committee of the Ukraine and the Ministry for Transport and Communications. Now the question is on the agenda because there are two registers of the fishing vessels in the country and this makes the situation even more complicated.

At the same time the fishing fleet of the Ukraine needs modernization and total renovation, but without private investments it is impossible. If the fleet is not modernized in two years period there will be about 20 vessels left capable to catch seafood in the World Ocean.

In 2006 the Ukrainian catches of seafood decreased and amounted to 230,000 tonnes per year (including inshore fisheries). For comparison in 1995 the respective volume amounted to 400,000 tonnes. Moreover, according to state programs launched by the Government in early 2000s, by the year 2010 the catches' volume will reach 750,000 tonnes. However, the industry has not reached the figures planned for the current period and the reason behind has to do with the lack of state financing and persisting shadow market.

In 2008 the Ukrainian Government plans to invest 50 million Hryvnia (USD 9,8 million) in vessels leasing and their further buy-out in 6 - 8 years period. According to Mr. Volkov, at present the Committee (together with the Agricultural Confederation of the Ukraine) are having negotiations with the World Bank on that point.

At present, foreign investments to the national fishery industry are insignificant (less than 1% in the year 2006, namely USD 9.3 million). At the same time the officials admit that the development of industry in the country could decrease the dependence from import on the Ukrainian market, while now the Ukrainian producers' share on the domestic market is less than 10%.

According to ProAgro Company, the foreign trade turnover of seafood and canned seafood products amounted to USD470 million in 2006 and 96% (USD452.2 million) of it is made up by the imported products.

At present, annual consumption volume of seafood products in the Ukraine reaches 14 - 15 kg per capita, among them 2.5 - 3 kg of canned seafood products (60% of it are of domestic origin).

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