Results of Murmansk fishery operations in 2006 and plans for 2007

February 15, 2007 16:38

At the first meeting in 2007 Murmansk Regional Fishery Council discussed two core issues: results of the province's fishery industry activity in 2006 and plans for 2007, according to deputy head of Murmansk fishery industry department.

The fishing companies of the main province of the North Basin (it also includes Arkhangelsk region, Karelia and Nenets Autonomous District) totally harvested 606,100 tonnes of finfish and other aquatic species in the year 2006 making 104.7% as compared to 2005. The total output of market products also grew to 529,000 tonnes. In value terms, the figure amounted to RUR18,775 million versus RUR14.3 billion in 2005. At the same time, the output of canned fish dropped to 23.7 million nominal cans (a statistical unit equal to 325 grams) and accounted for 95.5% of the last year figure. Decreases were also recorded for the output of ready-to-eat fish, seafood in marinades and salted fish with spices.

Commodity fish output of land-based Murmansk plants in 2006 amounted to 50,260 tonnes up from 41,000 tonnes in 2005. As for particular fish species, frozen fish production increased by 110% in general, by 132% for fillets, herring exclusive and by 186% for herring of all types of processing. Production of special-cut fish increased 3.7-fold and food mince - nearly 3-fold. In the meantime, the province's land-based processors produced less canned fish, ready-to-eat products, marinated and spice-salted fish.

In the year 2006 Murmansk fishing companies failed to cover their quotas of cod (a shortfall of 1468 tonnes), haddock (265 tonnes), red king crab (1479 tonnes), ocean perch (330 tonnes), black halibut (173 tonnes) and blue whiting in the Faeroese fishing zone (11,888 tonnes). Total taxes of Murmansk-based fishery industry companies contributed 2336 billion RUR into the budgets of all the levels (compared to 1475 billion RUR in 2005).

Aquaculture

Serious success in the sphere of Murmansk aquaculture has been not achieved yet. The total output of market-size farmed fish through the year under analysis amounted to 416 tonnes up from 10 tonnes in 2005.

The main goal for the current year 2007 is to remain in keeping with the results of 2006. The resources necessary to meet the goal have already been allocated to the province and the quotas have been distributed between the users. There is an opportunity to conduct efficient fishery under the Olympic system in the NEAFC waters. Besides, Murmansk-based fleets have been exploiting the catch potential of the Central Eastern Atlantic (Moroccan and Mauritanian waters) not at full extent so far.

According to chairman of Murmansk Union of Fishing Co-ops Mikhail Ryabchevsky, the association is going to commission a new fish processing complex furnished with Finnish equipment to process catches of Murmansk inshore fleet. There are also plans of restoring a fish processing facility in Minkino village on the west coast of the Kola Bay.

Chairman of Murman Inshore Fishermen's Association Anatoly Evenko informed the meeting that the association's quotas have been covered not at full extent mainly because of the defects in the legislation. The draft of the Federal Law on Inshore Fishery has been not finalized yet.

Another issue to be solved concerns approval of legislation aimed at providing the province's population with chilled fish.

CEO of OAO Murmansk Trawl Fleet (plc) Nikolay Karlin suggested paying attention to the need of practical state support of the fishery industry (e.g. to encourage fishery of cheap species bringing low profit to producers). In the year 2007 Murmansk Trawl Fleet Consortium is ready to conduct active fishery on the grounds of polar cod Boreogadus saida in the eastern part of the Barents Sea, but the company's leaders fear repetition of the negative experience of 2005 when MTF bore serious losses due to low prices of polar cod.

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