Korea working on pollock sourcing from Russia
As this year production of pollock WR in Russian waters has become quite low (82% of 2020 as for Jan-Apr), Alaskan production was insignificant (238 MT). Korea stopped pollock import from Japan after the Fukushima disaster 10 years ago, and current plans to dump heavy water doesn’t motivate them to lift the ban. It makes problems for APO WR supply to Korea, while the fish is of startegic importance for Koreans.
Russia remains the main pollock source to the country. In April 2021, imports of frozen pollock to South Korea (WR and HG are accounted together) amounted to 16,875 tons, which is 5% less than 17,693 tons in April last year. The import value was $ 17.62 million, down 20% from $ 22.08 million a year earlier.
In total, 51,814 tons of pollock were imported from the beginning of the year to April, which is 17% less than 62,277 tons last year. The main supplier of pollock was Russia. 49,006 tons were imported from Russia, 2,744 tons were imported from the USA, and Canada exported 64 tons.
The average import price was the highest in the United States at $ 1.23 / kg, in Russia at $ 1.08 / kg and in Canada at $ 1.06 / kg.
To prevent potential shortage South Korea's Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries requested quotas from the Russian Federation, and it was authorized to catch 41,260 tonnes of fish in Russian waters this year. At the same time, the fee for the fish catch remains unchanged for the third year in a row.
Alaska pollock and cod will be the main prey species. According to an intergovernmental agreement, South Korea can catch 28,400 tons of pollock and 5,050 tons of cod. The total catch will be 11.6% less than in 2020. The decline occurred amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fishing fees remain unchanged from the previous year, with a pollock license at US$375 per tonne.
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