Number 1 (14) 2009
German Zverev: By mid-2010 fishery industry in Russia and in the world would start cautiously getting out of the crisis
The President of the Pollock Association answered the questions of the Fishnews.ru, the Russian information agency Chief editor.
- In its newest history Russia twice was suffering because of a large scale economic crisis: in 1992-1994 and in 1998-1999. At first the Russian catching output dropped from 7.4 mln MT to 5 mln tons, while during the second one it reduced from 4.8 mln tons to 4 mln. Per capita consumption of fish in 1992-1994 dropped twice as much. As for the economic crisis started last summer – only China showed a slight (2%) increase in the fish per capita consumption. Russian consumers, due to the constant price rise have to change their demands for cheaper and more common products, like meat and poultry. Can we reorient them to consume Alaska Pollock?
- At the recent general meeting of the Pollock Association on March 24 we evaluated the highest level of import substitution for Alaska Pollock at 100-120 thousand tons. You see, Russians like the Herring more.
- As for the development of the retail nets – according to the chief executive director, Lev Hassis, the biggest Russian retailer, «X5 Retail Group» isn’t planning to expand in the nearest future its fish food markets, either he doesn’t see the economic expedience in the project of «Okean» fish markets. As to my mind, the more productive is the idea put forward by Andrey Krainiy last December at the first meeting of catchers and retailers, i.e. the development of the factoring.
- Another idea on establishing a net of cold-storages is a good one, still it’s not mature yet. The net of cold-storages could be effective only in case it’s correlated with the development plans of the whole country transportation system.
- Speaking about the proposed project of the «NatsRybResursy» and the US corporation «Ocean Recourses Company International» – our Association is ready to participate to the marketing survey of the project. However, I doubt very much the US banks in the nearest future would dare to invest seriously into this project.
- As for the credits for Russian fishermen promised last year by the FAR authority, i.e. 50 billion of Rubles through the «Rosselkhozbank» – too little clients could take advantage of those credits, as banks put forward very severe requirements to the quality of mortgages.
- As a matter of fact there is neither serious preferential to Russian fishermen in response to the increase of fish deliveries to the local market. Russia doesn’t have nothing of the kind like the Magnusson-Stevens Act in the USA, either EU Common Fishery Policy. Anyhow, thanks to the efforts of Andrey Krainiy, the system of the state fishery management is reducing its lagging behind the foreign analogues (at present the lag is not 30-40 years, like a couple years before, but 15-20 years).
- So, we can see the signs of changing the situation to the better. I think, by mid-2010 the fishery industry (both in Russia and in the world would start to cautiously getting out of the crisis and since that I forecast the increase of the national catching output and the growth of the per capita fish consumption in Russia.
Prospective of high seas fishery
«AtlantNIRO» scientists present their analysis of the present day resource base in the various areas of the international high seas.
Catching output of fishery companies of the whole North-West region of Russia in 2008 amounted to 935 thousand tons, out of them some 180 thousand tons (19%) were caught in the Russian zone. As of late the main catching output is taken from the near areas in the North-East Atlantic, Morocco and Mauritania waters where the fish resources tend to reduction. It’s necessary to exploit the distant areas of the high seas with significant amounts of fish resources.
Among the prospective target species in the high seas areas it’s possible to indicate: tunas, Horse macherel and other species in the South-East part of the Pacific, krill of the Antarctic part of the Atlantic and the oceanic squids of the Eastern part of the Pacific and the South-West Atlantic.
Within the last five years an average annual catching output of tunas in the Atlantic amounted to 640 thnd MT. In accordance with international treaties Russia may use for tunas catching 9 medium tuna-catching vessels, none of them works at present.
Within the period 1979-1991 some 90 Soviet large vessels have been catching Horse macherel in the South-East part of the Pacific, with the total catching output within the period of more than 1 million tons. Since that time there are not Russian vessels, but those of China, the EU and other fishery powers.
In the 80-s of the last century the USSR was catching annually some 400 thousand tons of krill, since the collapse of the USSR the krill operation has been terminated. As of late the TAC volume of the krill is evaluated at 3,5 million tons, while the real catching output amounts to only 130 thousand tons. Last year after a long break a Russian vessel participated to the krill catching.
Oceanic squids in the high seas are under-used by Russia. One of the most prospective area to catch Illex squid is the South-West Atlantic, out of Argentina economic zone.
Another ardent problem of Russia is the purchasing of the oceanic big tonnage fleet. The acting vessels are physically and morally obsolete, those less deteriorated undergo the modification which last their use by 5-7 years. Thus, by 2015 there will end the era of the Russian high seas fishery. It will happen if there isn’t support by the State.
In order not to loose the traditional for Russia fishing grounds, it should be expediently to purchase a small number of vessels (8-10 units), transferring them to the state either to joint corporations.
Another ardent issue is the problem of the commanding cadres. It should be legislatively solved the problem of the preparation of commanding cadres for the fishery industry of Russia after their work of not less than 3-5 years after graduation. Another way is the purchase of the new generation fishery vessels, which effectiveness would permit to sharply raise the salaries up the level of developed countries.
Technology can overcome the crisis
For the last ten years the engineering company «Technologicheskoye Oborudovaniye (Technological Equipment)» has been characterized by unique own developments, reasonable technological solutions and the highest level of service support. Paul Mokrushin, the commercial director tells about the company’s possibilities in supplying freezing devices and machines for fish secondary processing. The company is actively cooperating with foreign partners. All the equipment produced by the company is supplied with the sanitary certificates and certified in the GOST system.
Technical director of the company, Michael Gotshalk tells about the newest «know-how», the device for the cold preparation of brine. There is being used the method of brine’s cold filtration, the preparation process is fully automatic, the device is a compact one and can be installed close to the fish and caviar salting shop, its capacity may vary from 200 to 1,400 liters an hour, depending upon the number of filters. Another device now at trials is the joint project with the «TINRO-Center» scientists, it is meant to process the fish wastes by bio-fermenting method. The product obtained after processing is safe for the environment, it can be either discarded or used as a raw material for feeds used in agriculture and aquaculture, being much cheaper than the common fish mill.
Fishering Service: Geographic expansion is our main ideology now
The world economic crisis made the imported goods less competitive at the Russian market and the Russian export – more competitive at the world market. Director of the «Fishering Service» company, Andrey Fedorov tells about the results of 2008 and the plans for 2009.
First of all there should be mentioned the successful début of the «Atlantika» trawls at the international market. It was developed as a response to growing fuel prices, as it permits to economize the fuel due to the lower hydro-dynamic resistance. We received a huge order for «Atlantika-3» and «Atlantika-5» trawls from Spain. Also we terminated the modernization of the «Super shkwal» trawl.
In the beginning of the year we became the winner of the international tender to supply fishing gears to the Namibian «Namsov» company for five years.
In October of 2008 we participated to the Reykjavik exhibition «Icefish», where we generally recognized. A special interest to us was explained by the fact we used to be the first Russian company ever to participate to the «Icefish». Later, in the beginning of November we took part in the Busan exhibition. Our participation to the Korean exhibition resulted in a substantial promotion of our products to the Far East market.
One of the new directions for our company is the production of trawls for small-sized vessels. We’ve already received orders for «Atlantika» type trawls from Morocco, Tunisia, Italy. We are eager to expand our interests to the zone of Chile, Argentina, South Africa and the South-East Asia. Geographic expansion is our main ideology now.
We are getting ready for new possibilities
Within the period of October 19 to 22 on the territory of the Exhibition Center «Crokus Center» there will be held the International Fishery Exhibition «InterFISH».
Catching, processing companies and representatives of aquaculture, products and packing developers, research companies, wholesale and retail companies, representatives of super-markets and specialized restaurants’ nets, importers and exporters, distributors and experts – all are welcome to the specialized «InterFISH» event. A fishery event of the scale will be in the capital of Russia for the first time. And the organizers of the event now are the Federal Fishery Agency and the international exhibition operator
The head of the project, Olga Dvinyaninova tells: the event will be held with main aim to exchange with new technologies in various spheres of the fishery industry and to optimize the market expenses. Especially for the purpose there will be organized a «round table» to high-light the aspects of the state regulation of the normative-legislative base for crediting the fishery complex companies and the organization of the state logistic company. The work will be organized as for sections: catching, fish protection, reproduction and ecology, fleet, safety of sailing, expedition and logistics, foreign economic activity, import and export, fish exchanges, science, fishery surveys, cadres, etc.
A specialty of the event there should become the contest «Modern fishery product», the participants of which there could become all the willing exponents. The general information partner of the exhibition is the Russian information agency Fishnews.ru.
Possessing of a net of regional and foreign representations, the «Staraya Krepost» company limited invites to participate only the «needed» audience, forming the circle of interested clients from the professionals.
Thus, if you pretend to take your place in the vanguard –welcome to the International Fishery Exhibition «InterFISH»!
Social partnership is the key to the education quality
The Government of Russia and namely the first Prime-minister Viktor Zubkov pays attention to the issue of cadres in the fishery industry. Director of the Vladivostok maritime fishery industry college (VMRK), Eugeniy Dubovik tells about.
- We realize educational programs of the basic level of medium professional education for 12 professions. Also the college offers the programs of additional professional education. In order to better realize the educational programs we elaborated the program of marketing surveys to find out the real necessity of fishery companies in specialists. We interrogated 70 companies of the Primorsky territory, i.e. 37% of those listed in the Register, and we found out that in 2009 there will be required 699 and in 2010 – 690 specialists.
At present the situation in fishery companies is improving, the fishery industry development plan is being realized, huge funds are allocated to modernize the fleet and ashore facilities, to solve social problems. At the moment practically all the ship-owners feel the deficit in qualified cadres, but not all of them demonstrate their interest to cooperate with the educational institutions. In this relation I can affirm, that the social partnership in this issue is the key to the education quality.
Testing by the Port
Up to 80% of the Far East fish is passing through the «DalRybPort», the largest in Russia specialized terminal connected with the Transsiberian railway. General director of the «DalRybPort» company limited, Lyudmila Talabaeva answered the «Fishnews» magazine questions.
As of today the company is managing some 60% of all the cold storage facilities in the fishing ports of the Primorsky territory, their total capacity amounts to 56.5 thousand tons. In 2008 through the facilities controlled by the «DalRybPort» there were transshipped more than 400 thousand tons (to compare with Kaliningrad port – 100 thousand tons, Murmansk – 200 thousand tons). We are engaged in constant modernization: the technical one was started in 2005, alongside with that we optimize the management system.
Besides there are some more participants of the Far East fish ports market, i.e. Nakhodka fish port possessing with piers, a cold storage and railways. Regretfully today the Nakhodka port, which sometime ago processed some 700 thousand tons, is leaving. The new owners are engaged into the reconstruction with the aim to leave alone the fish.
There is a small cold storage with the railways access in the Zarubino base of fleet. As of today the Zarubino fish port is starting to revive. It means we’ll be able to cope with the forthcoming salmon season.
There are also cold storage facilities on the territory of the Vladivostok fish processing complex. Certain capacities are available at the KMTS and the «Bagram» port terminals.
I think that today, in order to meet the requirements to accept and to storage the fish products we must firstly to foresee the construction of new cold storage facilities capable of 10 to 25 thousands tons each, of a general capacity of up to 700 thousand tons.
Until the fishermen problems not solved we cannot earn. We don’t need any help, it’s not necessary to build cold storages at the account of the State. It’s necessary to act in a way for fishermen to be profitable to deliver the fish home. A soon as the fish comes home we’ll be able to erect cold storages, to repair piers, to make bottom deepening works, etc.
Saury – an important specie of the Japanese fishery
As of late the Saury catching output by Russian Far East fishermen has grown substantially. Saury products are in great request at the home market and the resources of this specie permit to increase it much more. However certain legal, organization and technical reasons object to it.
Pacific Saury is being caught by not only the Russian fishermen, but by those of Japan, Republic of Korea, DPRK and China. Japanese fishermen got the greatest success in Saury catching. Their share amounts to 75-90% of the total catching output, either some 150-300 thousand tons.
Saury catching is regulated in Japan at the State level by determining the TAC leveling accordance with the Law on preservation and control of marine living resources to start from 1987. In order to regulate the Saury fishery at the production level the fishery companies enter into agreement between themselves to observe the fishing rules and the use of the TAC. Another measure is the introduction of the so-called «cargo limitation», i.e. the establishment of a maximum volume of catching off-load in correspondence with the vessel’s size.
The home food consumption of Saury in Japan amounts to 200-230 thousand tons. However the excess in catching stimulates the export: in 2007 the frozen Saury in the amount of 33 thousand tons was exported to 26 countries. The export revenue amounted to some Yen 3.0 billion, in 2008 the volume of exported Saury has even grown.
One of the main problem for Japanese fishery businessmen is the «price gap». The All-Japan Association of Saury catchers believes the price of Saury delivered in a port should near to some 100 Yen/kg, however in the height of the Saury season the delivery prices drop to 30-20 Yen/kg. In such conditions the profitable work is impossible. Japanese businessmen believe the price gap should be liquidated by Government subsidies, taking into account the high social-economic significance of the Saury fishery. If so – the Saury catching output could grow.
Once again about hatcheries
At present there has been adopted the Federal Target Program «Raing the effectiveness of the use and development of the resource potential of the fishery complex in 2009-2013». Namely the program envisages the construction of 4 new hatcheries (LRZ), among them 1 in the Amur basin, 2 at Sakhalin rivers and 1 at Kamchatka. Now in the APEC area there are operational some 700 hatcheries, just a half of them are on the territory of Japan, some 300 are in the North America and 52 are situated on the territory of Russia. As of late the salmon hatcheries have been established on the territory on the territory of the Republic of Korea (12 hatcheries), China and South Korea have 4 hatcheries each.
Let’s regard the situation with the return of Salmons to their spawning place. In the total catching output its share is substantial: in Japan it reaches 90%, at Alaska it’s some 31%, in the Republic of Korea – 100%. In Russia the biggest input is made by Sakhalin hatcheries (mainly growing the Chum, while the Humpback amounts to 10-15%).
In the Primorye the two hatcheries maintain the volume of Chums in the rivers falling into the Amursky Gulf. More complicated situation is with the Magadan rivers – as a matter of fact their work results in the depression of the natural populations.
As for the Sakhalin hatcheries the situation isn’t a simple one: if the chum hatcheries produce the return, the humpback ones are not. A special situation is created with the Kamchatka hatcheries. The economic analysis showed that only Paratunskiy hatchery is working successfully, the other three incur only losses. Thus a thorough economic feasibility study should precede the construction of a hatchery. Khabarovsk region’s hatcheries either have a very low coefficient of return. Sure that at the Amur river there are required ardent measures to restore the former population of the autumn Chum.
It’s essential, that the hatcheries’ construction is purposeful only at those rivers, where the salmons’ populations are undermined either the natural spawning areas are too small.
Salmon problems are still there…
The industrial catching of the Cherry salmon in the Primorsky territory was finished in 1957, the Keta salmon – in 1997. As of today the industrial catching of salmon in the Primorsky territory is still closed. According to the fishery department of the Primorsky territory Administration, the fishery companies are permitted to catch just…11 tons of salmon. However for more than 20 years in the Primorsky territory there have been operational two hatcheries: Ryazanovsky (the first salmon roe incubation took place in 1986) and the Barabashevsky hatchery (first roe incubation in 1987).
Disputes about the effectiveness of those hatcheries are waged for a long time. Fish breeders believe the Primorsky hatcheries are needed, as the fish resources cannot restore without help, however the fishery companies do not see any advantage from the work of the hatcheries. Scientists do not foresee numerous approaches of salmons to the Primorsky shores. By the way, today the hatcheries’ specialists blame not the lack of financing, but seagulls and cormorants. Also the Roach, which also regales on salmon juveniles.
Possibly the private business could be of help to settle the salmons into the Primorsly rivers. By the way if it’s worth doing that if it’s possible to develop other directions like sea aquaculture, where there are much more possibilities and prospective.
It’s time to study the market theory
Issues of fishery infrastructure organization and functioning were discussed at a workshop held on the basis of «La Mare» trading company. The president of the company, Medi Duss was the first to take the floor. Then the participants, the authorities of the fishery industry and businessmen from Sakhalin, Primorsky territory and Murmansk region got acquainted with the storage facilities of the company. The workshop continued in the administrative building led by the Head of the Russian fishery industry, Andrey Krainiy. He told about a number of problems, facing the Russian fishery, while the most important one still remains the catching. Mr. Krainiy also mentioned that the aquaculture management functions would soon be transferred from the Ministry of agriculture to the Federal Fishery Agency. With that the Head of the Agency mentioned, that «the problem today isn’t the market capacity – it is the problem of not well developed logistic ties».
The main mechanism to determine the real prices for fish and sea products there should become the seafood exchanges. However Mr. Krainiy précised: it would become little bit later, neither Governmental decree, nor we are yet prepared for the purpose. At the same time it’s time to study other forms of work at the market. First of all the reestablishment of the «Okean» fish markets net is meant. Proposals on allocation of trade squares for the purpose are coming to the Agency from Astrakhan, Murmansk, Vladivostok, Arkhangelsk, etc.
The interest to promote home fish products was expressed by the Federation of restaurateurs and hoteliers, which President, Igor Bukharov declared many restaurateurs are ready to reject imported fish products if they can be substituted by home producers.
Sure, an integral part in promoting Russian fish products to the local market there must be an active propaganda. Andrey Krainiy announced that one of the important problems of the Agency now is to start the all-Russia social advertising campaign.