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Catch or cut

Does the Far East need fish processing on the shore, found out EastRussia

Rosrybolovstvo assumes from the moment of allocation of investment quotas, which should encourage fishermen who invest in domestic shipbuilding and processing, to start creating the Far Eastern Fish Processing Cluster (PKK). EastRussia interviewed representatives of key fishing entities of the Far East and experts that the industry needs more: catch more, process a lot, or take the finished products easier.

Catch or cut
Photo: Dmitry Shcherbakov

Add capacity 

This year, if amendments to the Federal Law "On Fisheries" are adopted, an application campaign for the distribution of quotas for investment purposes should begin. Rosrybolovstvo, we recall, proposes to distribute 20% of the total volume of quotas for the extraction of biological resources among those industry entities who are ready to order ships in Russia and build fish processing factories. Quotas, if approved, will begin to be allocated from 2019, when the new distribution period starts. It was after this, says EastRussia, the head of the press service of the Federal Agency for Fisheries Ksenia Timakova, that the concept of a fishing cluster (PKK) in the Far East should start working. 

As part of its implementation, Rosrybolovstvo proposes to create additional production, processing, logistic and research facilities at Primorye, Kamchatka, Sakhalin and the Kuriles through private investments. The main goal - instead of selling fish abroad to establish production of products with high added value and to increase its supply from the Far East to the domestic market at affordable prices. The very idea of ​​the PKK, we note, is far from new. Earlier, the project of a similar facility was developed by the administration of Primorye. But the industry representatives met the concept coolly, and Rosrybolovstvo rejected the project as being too focused on logistics, and not for processing, and too local. 

Nevertheless, Primorye under the new concept remains the core of the PKK: it has an outlet through ice-free ports and Transsib to central Russia and developed fisheries and related industries. Here, within the framework of the cluster creation, a wholesale distribution center for 50 thousand tons of one-time storage, a plant for the production of 200 thousand tonnes per year of pollock fillets, a multipurpose fish processing complex, an enterprise for the production of 30 thousand tons of frozen semi-finished products and an innovation scientific park may appear. Kamchatka Territory Rosrybolovstvo assigns the role of a repair base for the fishing fleet and the center for the processing of salmon, as well as one of the main points for transshipment and storage of fish products, including the Northern Sea Route. On Sakhalin it is proposed to develop processing of salmon, pollock, ivasis and mackerel. 

EastRussia Help. According to the Russian Fishery Agency, in the 2016 year, the Far Eastern fishermen produced almost 3,12 million tons of marine bioresources, which is 8% more than in the 2015 year. The catch of pollock in the Far East amounted to 1,74 million tons, herring - 398,9 thousand tons, cod - 87,7 thousand tons, crabs - 57 thousand tons. Kamchatka remains the largest fishing subject in the country - for 2016, the year the catch here was 1,06 million tons. According to preliminary data, the total catch volume in Russia is 4,75 million tons (by 5,5% more than the record level of 2015 of the year). 

Processing relevance 

Meanwhile, the position of Rosrybolovstva on the need for mandatory development of coastal fish processing throughout the Far East, there are critics. So, the head of the department of the Ministry of Fisheries of the Kamchatka Territory Vladimir Davydov tells EastRussia that the fishermen, in his opinion, "should first of all be allowed to catch more." "I always said that the task of fishing first is to take raw. This is the same way as with other miners: no one says that all oil must be distilled into gasoline, and gas - sealed in lighters. And the gas pipelines are being built, and trade for exports is proceeding normally. And why you can not trade with raw fish? At the initial stage, the fisherman does this - catches, quickly freezes and sells, receiving foreign exchange earnings, without being distracted by the colossal costs of building factories and refrigerators. Literally, "caught-sold", occupying a niche in the sea: who does not catch anything, they are quickly ousted, "he says. 

Modernization of the fishing industry is needed, Vladimir Davydov agrees. But it should start with the production capacity, and only if the quota of 100-percentage quotas is developed, the fisherman should think how to "squeeze out everything from his raw material - both value added and finished products". The process of creating processing facilities in Kamchatka was proceeding according to the needs of business, he recalls. But now, he said, there is an overabundance of processing capacities in the region: "In recent years, fishermen built more than 17 plants - these are those that we know well, as the region partially reimbursed them for costs. And there are those that were built without state support. But the factories work until half the time - they do not have the resource to fully load. " 

In addition, Vladimir Davydov draws attention, to process fish in the northern subjects of the Far-Eastern Federal District - it means to take everything from the central part of Russia or from Vladivostok to the sea: “jar, salt, spices, label” - and then also carry the packed fish back. For the Russian market, even for Primorye and Sakhalin, these products, taking into account the higher costs of their production, will be uncompetitive, he stresses, and the local market is already full. It is more profitable to put processing industries near consumption centers, for example, in the Moscow region, Vladimir Davydov stresses. 

At the same time, in Primorye, they are still more focused on the development of logistics. According to the information of the acting Sergey Nastavshev, Director of the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Biological Resources of the Primorsky Territory, several companies are going to invest in projects for the construction of refrigeration facilities for storing fish and fish products in the region: Vladivostok Fish Terminal, Nakhodka Sea Fishing Port, Diomidovsky Fishing Port , "Preobrazhenskaya base of the trawl fleet", "Red pennant" and "Integrated solutions". However, fish processing is also in the plans. For example, the Integrated Solutions refrigeration and storage facility on Russky Island should include a processing workshop. The production complex of the Diomidovsky Fish Port Group of Companies is also a workshop for processing pollock and its waste with a capacity of up to 50 thousand tons per year. 

Will the investor come 

But the director of the Far Eastern Center for Regional Studies, Alexander Timofeev, believes that the adoption of amendments to the legislation will not force domestic business to invest in the fishing cluster in the Far East in large quantities, and it will be beneficial for foreigners "only if guaranteed export supplies of processed products to their countries." "But then the main goal of creating the PKK is to provide the Russian consumer with products. We, having changed the fish to a fish cluster, can find out that there is no more fish left for us, "says Alexander Timofeev. 

More categorically set up a seaside economist Nikolai Matvienko. "The development of the fishing industry is the development of sales markets, sales technologies, contracting systems, access to cheap loans. About this in the concept of the PKK from Rosrybolovstva there is not a word, "he said. According to the expert, the investments in the next construction projects are "the last thing that is necessary to improve the fish sector of the Far Eastern economy". "Let's call things by their proper names: fishing is the last type of gathering that has been left in the human economy since the Paleolithic times. The costs of fishing year after year only grow, resources become more expensive. Who needs different "innovative pollock fillet factories", if the high cost of raw materials will make the payback period of all these plants a bit more than infinity? " 

However, it is too early to say how the implementation of the PKK concept in the Far East will turn out, the president of the Association of Fishery Enterprises of Primorye Georgy Martynov is diplomatic. “It is likely that the fish cluster created in the end will incorporate elements of two main approaches. First, it is necessary to build new storage and processing facilities. Second, it is necessary to develop existing ones. In my opinion, both new ones should be built and old ones developed, ”he says.
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