Seafood delivery via Northern Sea Route to grow cheaper in 2012

November 16, 2011 15:26

Representatives from Russia's Federal Fisheries Agency, Ministry of Transport, Federal Customs Service and Federal State Unitary Enterprise Atomflot (providing technological service and maintenance of nuclear-powered icebreakers and special fleet) have recently met to discuss prospects for seafood shipments via the Northern Sea Route in 2012, reports

Speaking on the importance of the Northern Sea Route for seafood shipments from the Russian Far East Fisheries Basin deputy head of Russia's Federal Fisheries Agency Vassily Sokolov said that the Basin contributes about 2/3 of wild fish to the national harvest, while the bulk of the Russian consumers lives in the European part of the country. During the first nine months of 2011 companies based in the Russian Far East produced more than 2.4 million MT of seafood for human consumption (including nearly 115 million nominal canned fish units), which accounted for 65% of the nation's total output. Besides, the fishing grounds in the Russian Far East are regarded one of the most ecologically pure in the World Ocean thanks to low water temperatures (providing high quality of raw fish) and absence of hazardous factories.

At the same time, transport component in seafood deliveries has persisted to be an extremely weak point. Rise of tariffs for seafood shipments especially at the height of the fishing season and multiple administrative barriers have been restraining a rise of shipments of domestic products to the national market. Conventional delivery by railway is fraught with its long duration, expensiveness, repeated checks and extra payments in the travel line; moreover the need of cargo transshipment results into a fall of product quality.

Therefore, transportation by the Northern Sea Route brings a number of advantages with fairly high tariffs for ice breaking services being the main deterrent of its further development. The thing is that the current legislation does not specify steering tariffs for seafood cargoes and such are therefore treated as "other cargoes" with the cost of steering thus rising to RUR1,048 per MT of fish (RUR1,000 per registered MT for back way with ballast water).

Atomflot's general director Mr. Rakusha told other participants of the meeting that in 2011 total seafood cargoes delivered to European Russia from the nation's Far East via the Northern Sea Route amounted to 27,000 MT and Atomflot's current capacities enable it to provide continuous steering of all seafood cargoes from the fishing grounds in the Pacific region.

As a result of the meeting the sides have provisionally agreed that in summer 2012 steering tariffs will be reduced to RUR750 per MT (RUR500 per total displacement MT for steering of vessels with ballast waters onboard) subject to total shipments rising to 100,000 MT.

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