China closure makes Russians rethink fishery sector strategy

January 23, 2021 22:59

The suspension of fish imports to China has brought into spotlight the weak point of the current investment quota program’s ideology, reports

According to German Zverev, head of VARPE (All-Russia Association of Fishery Enterprises, Entrepreneurs and Exporters), should a second phase of investment quotas be launched, it must focus on boosting land-based infrastructure for fish cold storage and processing rather than big factory trawlers.

In this case the Russian fishermen would be able to respond to developments like China closure by increasingly landing their catches for processing and product cold storage in Russia.

The new approach also implies that construction of small and middle boats supplying the onshore factories with material must be included in the second phase of the investment quota program too.

Views along the same lines were expressed at a recent FAF conference where Kamchatka fishermen were urged to freeze less and land more chilled material for onshore processing because the fishing grounds in that area are in sufficient proximity. On the other hand, some of the existing factories do not have the hardware to process frozen catch and produce double-frozen products. 

Note. FAF stands for Russia’s Federal Agency for Fisheries.

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