Russian fishermen urged to look for new markets

January 31, 2021 22:01

With the sales to China on hold, Russia’s Federal Agency for Fisheries (FAF) is urging the fishermen of the Russian Far East to look for new markets for the “A” season pollock catch. On their part, the fishing companies are also working on ways to handle the expected harvest of about 915 000 MT in a different fashion as opposed to the practice of shipping some 70% of the total to China for many years on end, reports

According to RG, FAF has mentioned Vietnam, Thailand and some other destinations in the Southeast Asia. However, these markets are not large enough and, as an extra possibility, the fishermen are planning to increase production of FAS fillet blocks at sea by 25-30% during the season. Mince output will also be boosted at the onboard factories. In fact, a third of the catch will have to be processed by factory trawlers into such products which can be sold direct to US and Europe bypassing China.

Land-based factories must also contribute to processing of the huge pollock catch.

Sales to the domestic market can be increased too but they are hampered by high retail prices for pollock despite reductions in the first hand price in the past year. 

Lack of reefer containers is another problem.  Normally, the Russians will buy second-hand containers from China but with the current shortage it is no longer possible and calls have been made for containers’ manufacture inside Russia.  The thing is that it is much easier to disinfect container loads as opposed to huge ship loads of fish products.

The government is also urged to buy pollock for the needs of the Army, Ministry of the Interior and the educational establishments. The budget sector might consume up to 700 KT of pollock, the fishermen say.

Meanwhile, the existing facilities of the Russian Far East can accommodate up to 250 KT of fish products at the utmost.

On the other hand, Russia’s Federal Agency for Fisheries (FAF) says that it is doing everything possible to meet the Chinese requirements for COVID-19 preventive measures.

Specifically, FAF is preparing a draft regulation that only vaccinated crews be allowed to go to sea.

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