AKROS to enhance upswing of Consolidation of Russian Whitefish Operations

January 2, 2012 13:58

Professional media have recently written a lot how nice it is that Akros (major Kamchatka-based harvester with more than 50 000 tonnes of Pollock quota) had decided to join Pollock Catchers Association.  We want to say something about it too, writes http://www.megafishnet.com/.

We don't really understand why somebody is exulted.  Akros decided to join PCA not because its management somehow recovered their sight, or decided to change its position to PCA.  The company control package has recently been bought, and both Far-Eastern subsidiaries of the new owners (Kamchatka UTF and Vladivostok Roliz) have been the Association members for quite a long time.  It would've been strange to see the third one out of the PCA.

Another reason for joining is absolutely pragmatic.  It is well known that MSC certification of Russian pollock is close to finish.  If the Russians are lucky enough, in half a year the blue logo will be printed at packing of PCA members' packing.  Non-members will not use the logo, and will not be able to add respective surcharge.  Many market specialists expect that certification will cause entrance fee rise, and it would be only reasonable for those who had not wanted to take obligations and co-ordinate actions to try to jump into the boat before sailing.

Is it good for PCA and fishing business in general?  Sure.  The Association weight and lobbying ability is defined by resource operated by its members.  As PCA President Mr. German Zverev was cited by Kommersant newspaper, "after Akros joining the Association PCA members share of Russian pollock will grow up to 72% (today - 62%) and come close to 50% of world catch (now 38%)".  Of course the percentage is very approximate as shares are fixed per areas and are different for the country every year.

In 2011 great restructuring was under way in Russian fishing business.  Many companies had been on sale for years, and the last year deals were done.  Karat Holding bought two companies at Far East.  Sigma Marine Technologies successfully bought many small companies.  There are rumors from reliable sources that Pacific Andes is deep in negotiations process trying to increase its involvement into Russian fishing business.  There is information that Russian Sea (Russkoye More) Group (currently major importers, processors and distributors)is preparing to enter the catching business.  The latter will surely start with something large enough, because it would've been improper for such a company to begin with some small fry. 

There are less reliable rumors about plans of Trident Seafoods and Nippon Suisan to buy a part of Far-Eastern fishery.  The consolidation process will go on, and we could expect that in some years the number of fishing companies will decrease (at least real players at the market).  It will help government bodies to simplify control over the industry, and reinforced PCA will lobby its industry in a more powerful way.

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