FAF released sector’s final results for 2020 and set tasks for 2021
At a recent conference Russia’s Federal Agency for Fishery (FAF) released final results for performance of the fishery sector in 2020 and set tasks for 2021, reports Megafishnet.com.
According to FAF, opening the meeting, the head of the agency Ilya Shestakov noted that despite all the challenges of the pandemic year, the nation’s fishing and aquaculture enterprises managed to quickly restructure their activities and carry out effective exploitation of aquatic bioresources and cultivation of commodity fish.
In 2020, Russian fishermen caught 4.971mln metric tons, almost on a par with the YOY result of 4.983mln MT in 2019. The rise in pelagic catches was 178.4% (398 thousand tonnes). The catch rise in the Western basin was 6%, in the Volga-Caspian – 10%. At the end of 2020, the Western Fisheries Basin came in the third place in terms of catch.
Speaking about the results of the salmon season in 2020, the FAF’s head noted that the low result (299.8 thousand tons instead of the expected 384 thousand tons) required a serious analysis and a change in approaches to scientific forecasting. "We have decided to increase the amount of funding for salmon resource research for 2021 and are now discussing a comprehensive research program until 2025. I hope that these measures will increase the accuracy of forecasts starting this year, so that fishermen can see their potential harvest in advance," Ilya Shestakov stressed.
Ilya Shestakov cited a number of other important indicators of the industry's performance in 2020.
In 2020, the volume of fish production increased by 0.4% compared to 2019 and amounted to 4.257mln tonnes, 70% of which was made up of products with relatively low added value. According to the head of the Russia’s fishery industry, a qualitative change in the situation is expected as the program for updating the fleet and production capacities under the investment quota program is being implemented.
In 2020, the turnover in the fishing sector rose by 5.8% YOY to 390.6 billion rubles and that in the fish processing sector increased by 11.5% YOY to 304.4 billion rubles. Thus, the total turnover in Russia’s fishing and processing in 2020 amounted to 695 billion rubles.
Ilya Shestakov noted that the coronovirus pandemic had a significant impact on the activities of Russian fishing companies, led to additional costs for providing anti-epidemic measures, downtime and unplanned crossings of fishing vessels, and financial losses when selling the fish products. For 2020, the profit of fishing organizations decreased by 14.4% YOY to 116.5 billion rubles, and the net financial result of fishing organizations in 2020 amounted to 112.2 billion rubles, 16.4% down on 2019.
At the same time, in 2020, the total amount of tax revenues and insurance premiums from fishing and fish farming enterprises in the industry increased by 3.9% YOY and amounted to 61.9 billion rubles.
At the end of 2020, the commercial aquaculture production in Russia – one of the most powerful drivers of the industry's development – increased to 328.6 thousand tonnes, showing a 14% rise on 2019. The total output of farmed fish has increased more than 2 times over the past 10 years. At the same time, the farmed salmonid production has jumped almost 3 times since 2013 and exceeded 116 thousand tons in 2020, approximately on a par with Russia’s imports of Norwegian salmon before the sanctions were imposed.
Ilya Shestakov noted that for the further successful development of the aquaculture sector, it is necessary to solve the problem of meeting the farmers’ need in fish feeds and stocking material from domestic producers. To this end, last year construction of a trout breeding farm took off in Karelia. The plans provide for the construction of two more breeding facilities to supply fish farms with stocking material and thus solve the problem of import dependence.
In 2020, the implementation of the investment quota mechanism continued, providing for support for the construction of fishing vessels and fish processing facilities. As of April 2021, 79 contracts for fixing investment quotas were concluded with a total volume of attracted investments of 195 billion rubles, 3 new applications for investment projects for the construction of fishing vessels for the Northern Fishing Basin and 6 applications for vessels for the Far Eastern Fishing Basin were considered and approved. 5 vessels have already been built under the program and delivered to the customer.
Ilya Shestakov noted the importance of conducting fisheries research and thanked the Government of the Russian Federation for allocating additional funds for this work in 2021. "The allocated funds will not only preserve, but also increase the volume of scientific research in some areas compared to 2020," Shestakov stressed.
As part of the program for the renewal of the research fleet, the preparatory stage for the construction of 2 medium-tonnage research vessels has already begun, and the keel laying is planned for October this year. In 2022, it is planned to start construction of the first large-capacity ship.
Restocking operations in 2020 were completed by 99.2%. 86% of released juveniles were grown under the government program (7 billion 784.8 million fish). In total, in 2020, more than 9 billion juveniles were released, including 78.2 million young sturgeons (12.7% higher than last year).
At the end of his speech at the conference, Ilya Shestakov outlined the main tasks for 2021. "In 2021, it is necessary to adopt legislation that will launch the second stage of the investment quota program for the Far Eastern basin," he said. Market diversification with a shift from sale of raw fish means the need to build the facilities for value added processing. Those will help eliminate dependence on supplies to the export market and expand the product range meant for the domestic market. It is very important to use the experience of the first stage, clearly define the priorities and facilities, the construction of which will be supported under this mechanism, discuss proposals with the business community and choose the best way, " Shestakov underlined.
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