Russian fishery industry grows in spite of crisis

March 25, 2009 16:14

In the end of 2008 and in the beginning of the current year 2009 the dynamics of the nation's production indices has been negative against the background of the world financial crisis. On the contrary, despite the economic crisis, the fishery industry has been one of few sectors showing positive trends in the year 2009, reports ( with reference to a report delivered by Russia's fishery head Andrey Krainy.

More specifically, according to the official statistics of Rosstat, in January-February 2009 the nation's fish businesses harvested 566,000 tonnes of aquatic biological resources, 16.3% up on the corresponding period of 2008. The output of fish products for human consumption amounted to 511,000 tonnes, 1.9% up on last year.

The Russian vessel tracking centre has also registered rising trends for catches of most of the abundant species, including herring (+32%), pollock (+17%) and cod (+3%).

For the first time after the five year moratorium the capelin fishery in the Barents Sea has been resumed and the harvest of the species has already amounted to ca.50,000 tonnes or nearly one third of the nation's annual quota.

According to the customs statistics, in January-February 2009 Russia's seafood import decreased in volume terms by more than 20% on the same period last year.

At the same time, practically all the imported species are also harvested by the Russian companies which are able to compensate for the decreased imports, except for a small volume of products (namely ca.5%) of the medium and upper price segment.

Thus, the trend of replacing imported seafood by domestic equivalents has been getting manifest, the trend actually explaining the rise of production volumes in 2009, Krainy explained.

According to the expert estimates, in 2009 a potential increase of seafood landings in Russia will exceed 20% thanks to mandatory customs clearance of EEZ's catch at the Russian ports, the regulation introduced as of 2009.

Despite concerns of ports' inability to handle increased seafood shipments, they have been showing tuned operations. Control bodies have also improved the results of their activities.

As a result, 98% of fishing vessels have been cleared within 3 hours, including time for checks by frontier and customs services. Therefore the Russian ports have been getting more attractive for the nation's companies.

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