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The Far Eastern salmon sailed to the West

According to the published statistics, Russia exports more fish than imports

The Far Eastern salmon sailed to the West

Many Far Eastern fishermen gladly accepted the news about sanctions on imports of a number of Western food products. They are sure that such measures will significantly increase the supply of high-quality Far Eastern fish to the domestic market.

Annual indicators of the volume of fish catch in Russia allow more than compensate for the shortage of products that can result from the long-term use of sanctions. According to the published statistics, Russia exports more fish than it imports.

“In general, we caught 4,3 million tons last year, this year we expect a slightly lower result, but not significantly. Taking into account the fact that supplies abroad accounted for, according to the results of last year, 1,8 million tons, and imports - just over 1 million tons, it is clear that we can fully provide ourselves with fish products. The only question is in the range of products, ”Ilya Shestakov, head of the Federal Agency for Fishery, comments on the situation.

In total, the catch is in the lead of the Kamchatka Territory, traditionally showing the best results in the country. Since 2008, the region has implemented a number of investment projects aimed at the development of the fishing industry, which has made it possible to significantly increase the volumes of bioresources produced over several years.

Vladimir Galitsyn, Minister of Fisheries of the Kamchatka Territory, notes: “Last year’s result, 874 thousand tons of aquatic bioresources (quotas and quotas), is a very high figure, the best in the country. Let me remind you that in 2013, the volume of production fell in Russia as a whole for various reasons. For example, there are no Pacific salmon approaches that have been with us for the last 4 – 5 years. In 2008, Kamchatka showed a catch of almost 840 thousand tons, and then 933 thousand tons, 1017 thousand tons, 1048 thousand tons - the peak was in 2011 – 2012. This is the time when Kamchatka fishermen actually approached the results of the work of the Soviet-era fishery complex. And this is impressive, although the main pressure of domestic fisheries is now on Russian resources in the territorial sea, internal sea waters and the exclusive economic zone of the Russian Federation, whereas in the Soviet past a significant part of the resources was harvested by our fishermen outside the economic zone of the USSR. And this niche is not yet available to us. ”

Since 2008, 16 of modern fish processing enterprises, whose products are in great demand, was built on the territory of the Kamchatka Territory. Over the past 6 years, 2,7 billion rubles have been invested in the coastal fishing industry. However, according to experts, in fact, the amount of investment is much higher. The result of public and private support was the creation of an additional 3,5 thousand tons of finished products daily, 30 thousand tons of refrigeration capacity were introduced, and 2,5 thousand new jobs appeared in the industry.

Vladimir Ilyukhin, the Governor of the Kamchatka Territory, was one of the first to declare the region’s readiness to increase the supply of fish products to the domestic market: “Today, the main flow of Kamchatka fish goes to the central regions of Russia. Our task is to expand sales of products to the western part of the country. With the introduction of restrictions on imports, our fishermen have already begun to receive significantly more applications from the regions. We have a good experience in the supply of Kamchatka fish to St. Petersburg along the Northern Sea Route. So far, due to relatively small volumes, the cost of delivery is rather high. However, now, with the growth of supplies, we again intend to return to this issue. Kamchatka is the fish capital of Russia, and our main task is to provide Russian regions with quality Kamchatka fish. ”

In the same vein, the President of the Association of Fishermen of Sakhalin Dmitry Matveyev expresses himself: “Now retailers will be forced to pay attention to products from Russian fishermen, including our salmon. Such a “change of tastes” will only benefit the consumer, because it is a question of wild, ecologically clean fish from the Far Eastern seas. The processors of domestic raw materials will also receive a push. ”

However, despite such optimistic forecasts of officials, the Far Eastern fish to the stores in the European part of Russia are still "floating and swimming" - in the path of treasured salmon there are still many barriers and barriers, which are difficult to overcome without another increase in cost. And without that the high cost of the product inevitably increases after transportation. Transporting fish products by air is very expensive, and the Northern Sea Route, the use of which would solve all the problems, is still difficult to access and therefore no less expensive.

Another problem is sanitary norms established by the Rosselkhoznadzor: fishermen call administrative barriers the main obstacle to the promotion of their products to the mass consumer in the domestic market. "While imports are made in two hours with the necessary papers, Russian fish products, in the presence of documents, are also subjected to total laboratory tests for a fee. It turns out two hours against two weeks of waiting - the account is clearly not in favor of Russian fish. In the conditions of sanctions, it is necessary to cancel the veterinary and accompanying documents for catches taken in Russian sea waters. Then lovers of artificially grown salmon will have a real chance to evaluate wild Far Eastern fish, "said Eduard Klimov, chairman of the board of directors of the media holding Fishnews.

However, for the fish industry of the Far Eastern region, this problem is not the main one - industrialists have a good demand for their goods both within the region and beyond. That is why, after the introduction of sanctions, the Ministry of Agriculture first began to think about replacing some foreign suppliers with others. There is no shortage of food in the department. According to the head of the ministry, Nikolai Fyodorov, providing the population with fish and aquatic bioresources is at the level of the “near-threshold values” of the Food Security Doctrine.

According to Nikolay Fedorov, despite the fact that the share of Norwegian fish and fish products in the total volume of imports is quite high, it is realistic to find a replacement: "We export nearly 2 million tons of aquatic bioresources, including enough red fish and red caviar. We import - 600-700 thousand tons. Therefore, we, of course, will have to make additional efforts. We talked about this not only with trading networks, but now we are even preparing to sign an agreement on the reorientation of some logistical flows, so that in the possible temporarily scarce regions, if they are accustomed to receive from Norway, the replacement was at the expense of either Russian fish, Russian aquatic biological resources, or from other countries that can compete to replace the Norwegians. "

In general, the expert community sees positive prospects in the measures taken. Sanctions were introduced for a year, and during this time the Far Eastern fish has every chance to gain a foothold on the shelves of Russian stores.

“We have a big fish surplus, the question is in logistics. Often it was easier and cheaper for retailers and processors to import goods to the western part of the country from Norway and Iceland than to pull from the Far East, despite the fact that our products are objectively better in terms of consumer properties, '' agrees General Director of Engineering & Development Company Anton Sukhorukikh. –Today, using mechanisms, including non-tariff regulation (for example, phytosanitary and other measures), it is possible to deliver our salmon, pollock, herring to the “non-prohibited” foreign products and at the same time, having worked out the logistics, and not only frozen, but also processed products to the central regions. And everyone will benefit from this. We will be able to make the domestic market quite competitive in a relatively short time and use this advantage in the future ”.

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