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Fish asks for shore

A spoonful to lunch - this is how you can describe the situation in the fishing industry in the Far East. Fishermen are forced to reduce their catches, because China does not accept fish, and the Far Eastern Federal District does not have enough capacity for its storage and processing.

The actual cessation of the export of fish to China has exposed the problem of logistics in the delivery of the caught catches to the domestic market. Given the lack of refrigeration facilities in the fishing ports of the Far East and the limited capacity of fish processing industries in the country, large volumes of pollock may be unclaimed. It is possible to minimize the losses of the fishing industry by combining the efforts of all suppliers.

Fish asks for shore
Photo: Maxim Borisov @maxx_borisoff

Instead of an epigraph.
We know the title photo is cod.

The situation with the export of Far Eastern fish is still uncertain. According to data as of January 24, since the beginning of fishing season, 141,5 thousand tons of pollock have been caught, which is almost 20% less than last year's result. The decrease was due to the continuing restrictions on the acceptance of Russian fish products in Chinese ports. A number of fishers have already reoriented their fleet to catch other types of fish, the geography of export for which can be expanded by new consumer countries, nevertheless, there are about 60 vessels in the pollock fishery in the Sea of ​​Okhotsk.

To resume the supply of seafood, consultations were organized with the administration of the Chinese city of Dalian and the leadership of the local port to clarify the list of necessary procedures and measures for the soonest restoration of acceptance of Russian cargo. It has already been decided that double testing of the crews of fishing and transport vessels for COVID-19 and additional disinfection of fish products, containers and packaging materials will be mandatory.


It is expected that China may start importing Russian fish after February 22, when the New Year holidays according to the Eastern calendar end (during this period, the work of checkpoints in the country is limited). Meanwhile, free containers on refrigerated ships and onshore refrigerated warehouses of the Far East - according to the Federal Agency for Fishery, their total volume at the end of January was 125 thousand tons - may be enough for about two weeks of work - until the 15th.

Now various possibilities of operational redistribution of fish are being considered in order not to stop pollock fishing. Part of the flow, as EastRussia already wrote, is supposed to be sent to the ports of other foreign countries, the other to the Russian coast, for which it is planned to maximize the capacity of the country's fish processing enterprises, including those built under the investment quotas program. For example, the Dobroflot holding, which has built a new plant in Bolshoy Kamen, is ready to additionally accept about 20 thousand tons of pollock for fillet processing.

However, the ability of domestic fish processors to accept in a short time (pollock fishing lasts from January to March) massive volumes of raw materials are limited, therefore, a search is underway for reserve refrigerating capacities for storing fish. “The issue of temporary storage of fish products is being worked out with Rosrezerv and the Russian Union of Refrigeration Enterprises. There are proposals from Russian Railways and participants in the rail transportation market for the provision of refrigerated containers, which will be concentrated in the coastal cities of the Far East, "said EastRussia in the press service of the Federal Agency for Fishery.

The Association of Food Sector Organizations assures that the operators of isothermal rolling stock are ready to transport the required amount of fish to the central part of Russia. There are about 1 thousand free refrigerated containers in the Far East, if delivery to the Moscow region by rail takes no more than 10-12 days, this will ensure the optimal turnover of the car between loading and unloading stations.

However, there has not yet been a large presentation of applications for the transportation of pollock for domestic consumers, said Evgeny Kononenko, General Director of Vladreftrans LLC. “There are no applications, probably everyone hopes that sooner or later they will open China,” he added. The JSC "Refservice" EastRussia confirmed that there is no surge in loading fish on railway transport. Another company did not rule out that, since the wholesale prices for pollock are falling, the owners of the catch are in no hurry to sell the fish at such a low cost.

At the same time, the main fish terminals of Primorye (it is through this region, which is connected with the center of the country by the Trans-Siberian Railway and main roads, the main flow of fish products to the domestic market follows) are already operating at their maximum load. Alexander Shevchenko, General Director of Vladivostok Sea Fishing Port OJSC (VMRP), told EastRussia that a record amount of fish cargo is in the custody of the company - more than 30 thousand tons (this is not only pollock, but also other types of fish products, ready for sale: herring , cod, squid, sardine, grenadier, etc.) During the pollock season, VMRP is ready to accept additional volumes of fish products for storage, but the amount of free space will depend on how timely the cargo removal from the port is organized. Moreover, we are talking not only about shipments to Russian consumers, but also about exports: fish arriving from transport ships in Vladivostok are loaded into refrigerated containers, which then follow by sea to various countries. The refrigeration and storage complex VMRP is accredited for sending fish products to Japan, Vietnam, Korea, Nigeria, Thailand, Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire.


Port refrigeration capacities in the Far East are currently designed for about 100 thousand tons of one-time storage, while, according to some estimates, up to 700 thousand tons of pollock can be supplied to the domestic market. In addition, other fish are currently being fished in the Far East basin, for example, herring, which also needs to be unloaded ashore.

The lack of refrigeration and storage facilities in the region has long been discussed. However, until now the situation has become acute mainly at the peak of the summer-autumn fishing season, when a lot of Pacific salmon enter the domestic market. “This problem arises every year and every year we talk about it,” Vladimir Galitsyn, chairman of the Kamchatka Salmon Catchers Association, emphasized in an interview with EastRussia. - Back in 2009, when there was the first mass approach of salmonids, we faced a problem in full growth: in Primorye, ports, refrigerators and the railroad were not ready to receive such an amount of fish arriving from different regions in a short period of time. Then there was a collapse, but it still exists today. "

Indeed, the cessation of the import of Russian fish through Chinese ports once again exposed the issue of a shortage of port facilities in Russia. According to Gennady Martynov, President of the Association of Fisheries Enterprises of Primorye, 6-7 years ago, the idea of ​​creating a specialized cluster was announced in Vladivostok, but the task was never completed. It is known that high expectations of the industry were associated with the construction in the Vladivostok fishing port of a new refrigerator for almost 40 thousand tons. For comparison, now the VMRP has freezing facilities for simultaneous storage of more than 32 thousand tons of fish products with a temperature regime of up to -25 degrees.

As Aleksandr Shevchenko informed, modern realities have made adjustments to the basic concept of construction of the port's refrigeration and storage complex. "In connection with the trend towards containerization of fish cargo traffic, refrigerated containers are becoming more and more important for export shipments, which are used as a vehicle for unloading fish products from a ship into a container without placing them in a stationary refrigerator, in connection with which an additional container terminal is envisaged in the port." , - said the general director of JSC "VMRP". 

By now, he said, the construction of a transformer substation has been completed, a large-scale reconstruction of railway tracks is being carried out in order to ensure transport accessibility to the port's refrigeration facilities, one of the refrigerators is being modernized and a new one is being designed. In addition, the equipment of the refrigeration platform continues, equipment is purchased.

Over the past three years, the design and construction costs of the refrigeration and storage infrastructure amounted to RUB 998,3 million. Planned investments in the further implementation of the project - 1,2 billion rubles.


Another problem of the fishing ports of the Far East is the state of the berthing infrastructure. In particular, this applies to Magadan. In January, the transport prosecutor's office obliged the local branch of FSUE Natsrybresurs, which is in charge of the berths, to conduct a comprehensive survey of hydraulic structures. Insufficient funding for renovation work over the years has led to significant depreciation of the facilities. The prosecutor's office found that there is no proper control over the operation of the infrastructure in the fishing port, which poses a threat of emergencies.

At the time of publication of the material in the "Natsrybresurs" could not comment on the situation with the Magadan port. It is known that Rosrybolovstvo made proposals to allocate money for the reconstruction of berths to the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation. The project cost was estimated at over 1 billion rubles.

This is not the only port that requires serious investments. The terminal in Korsakov needs twice as much investment. While the issue of financing for it is open, however, the creation of modern facilities for transshipment of fish has been included in the project for the integrated development of the Korsakov port, which is currently looking for investors.

Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky was waiting for a big construction site - here the situation, although belatedly, moved from a dead center. In the Mokhovaya Bay, by now, the reconstruction of the berth No. 10, which is on the balance of the National Fishery Resource, has been completed, which was partially destroyed by the beginning of construction work, and No. 11. In May 2021, berth No. 12 will be put into operation, which also serves the fishing fleet. The reconstruction will increase the load on the quay walls, and the service life will increase by at least 30 years. 

The modernization of fish terminals and hydraulic structures with a high degree of wear is one of the priority tasks for the development of the industry, the Federal Agency for Fishery assured. At the same time, the last work in the seaports of Russia (among the Far Eastern ones - these are Nevelsk, Kholmsk, Vladivostok, Nakhodka) were funded by private investors for a total of 3 billion rubles. Only for the reconstruction of the berths in the Mokhovaya Bay, the source of funding was the state budget - the costs amount to 1,5 billion rubles.

In total, in 2020, according to the Federal Agency for Fishery, at the expense of public and private funds in the Far East, more than 11 km of berthing facilities in fish terminals were reconstructed, three refrigerators with a total storage capacity of 9 thousand tons were built, warehouse and container sites with an area of ​​16 thousand square meters were commissioned. ... m.

The port infrastructure must also be ready for the promising volumes of fish transshipment. The turnover of products from aquatic biological resources through Russian ports by 2030 is estimated at at least 3 million tons annually. At the same time, the main increase in the transshipment of fish products - about 900 thousand tons per year - will be at the Far Eastern terminals. To ensure such volumes, it will be necessary to commission refrigerated warehouses with a one-time storage capacity of at least 150 thousand tons. The total volume of additional investments will amount to 15 billion rubles, the Federal Agency for Fishery said.

Returning to the current pollock fishing season, we can say that its progress largely depends on the search for logistics reserves by all interested parties. In particular, VMRP proposes to consider the possibility of conducting an initial inspection of fish products presented for transportation at the side of the vessel at the time of unloading or on a vehicle during loading, before the entire consignment of lading is unloaded. This will reduce both the simple transport and the delivery time for fish, in other words, save time, which is now extremely small.

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