Value-added seafood exports to China to contribute to Russia’s $8 billion target

January 22, 2019 08:32

Among other things, Russia’s target of $8 billion seafood exports by 2024 can be reached through greater exportation of non-TAC regulated species, marine culture and greater sales of value-added products to Chinese market, CEO of Dobroflot Group Alexander Yefremov told Fishnews.

This is in line with the May Decree of President Putin who instructed the government to develop a National Project for International Co-operation and Export.

Nowadays Russian fishing fleets do not harvest a great number of aquatic resources in the nation’s EEZ, though they are highly demanded on the international market, said Mr. Yefremov. Such underexploited resources include pacific sardine (iwashi) with the stock’s abundance estimated at several million metric tons and Japanese flying squid Todarodes pacificus enjoying a strong demand in the Asian Pacific countries. More specifically, Japanese flying squid is priced at ca.3,000 USD per tonne which is much more expensive than other abundant and popular species in the Russian Far East such as cod, pink salmon, chum salmon, etc.

The stocks of pacific sardine and Japanese flying squid remain underexploited by the Russian fleets due to the lack of technologies, experience, competence and mostly due to financial risks associated with organization of experimental fishing. Subsidizing these costs, at least costs of fuel for experimental fishing, would significantly raise the export potential of the nation’s fishery industry, said Alexander Yefremov.

Another way to increase fish exports is to develop mariculture, first of all, in Russia’s Far East. To do this, it is necessary to create an effective tool to protect the "sea gardens" from poaches, the CEO said.

Alexander Yefremov sees the Chinese market a keypoint for increasing the nation’s export of value added products. Towards this end, it is necessary to eliminate a number of barriers on the Chinese side, as well as to provide special subsidies for domestic producers in Russia.

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