RUSSIA PLEDGES TO MAKES ITS FISHERIES MOST EFFICIENT IN THE WORLD
Russia pledges to makes its fisheries most modern and efficient in the world. On April 23, in the city of Svetlogorsk in the Kaliningrad Region of Russia, an expanded meeting of the Board of the Federal Agency for Fisheries was held, dedicated to summing up the results of the work of the fishery complex in 2020 and tasks for 2021.
Opening the meeting, the head of the agency, Ilya Shestakov, noted that despite the problems faced by the fishery industry in the previous year, fishermen and aquaculture enterprises managed to quickly restructure their activities and efficiently harvest aquatic biological resources and raise marketable fish.
In 2020, the catch by Russian fishermen of aquatic biological resources amounted to 4 million 971 thousand tons, which is practically the same as in 2019 (4 million 983 thousand tons). The increase in pelagic fish species amounted to 178.4% (398 thousand tons). The increase in the Western Basin was 6%, in the Volga-Caspian – 10%. At the end of 2020, the Western Fisheries Basin took the third place in terms of catch.
Speaking about the results of the salmon fishing season in 2020, the head of the Federal Agency for Fishery noted that the low result (299.8 thousand tons instead of the predicted 384 thousand tons) required a serious analysis and a change in approaches to scientific forecasting. “We have decided to increase funding for salmon resource research in 2021 and are now discussing a comprehensive research program until 2025. I hope that these measures will increase the accuracy of forecasts starting from this year so that fishermen would calculate their production forces in advance, ” the head of the Federal Agency for Fishery emphasised.
Ilya Shestakov cited a number of other important indicators of the industry’s performance in 2020 in his report.
In 2020, the volume of production of fish products increased by 0.4% compared to 2019 and amounted to 4 million 257 thousand tons, 70% of which were products with a relatively low added value. According to the head of the department, a qualitative change in the situation is expected as the program for the renewal of the fleet and production capacities is carried out within the framework of the investment quotas programme.
In 2020, the turnover of organisations in the industry increased by 5.8% compared to 2019 and amounted to 390.6 billion rubles, for the type of activity “fish processing” increased by 11.5% compared to 2019 and amounted to 304.4 billion rubles …
The total turnover of organisations in two types of activities in 2020 amounted to 695 billion rubles.
Ilya Shestakov noted that the coronavirus pandemic had a significant impact on the activities of Russian fishing companies, led to additional costs for providing anti-epidemiological measures, downtime and unplanned transfers of fishing vessels, financial losses in the sale of fish products. In 2020, the profit of fishing organisations decreased by 14.4% compared to 2019 and amounted to 116.5 billion rubles, and the balanced financial result of fishing organisations in 2020 amounted to 112.2 billion rubles, which is 16.4% lower than the level of 2019 of the year.
At the same time, in 2020, the total amount of tax revenues and insurance premiums from fishing and fish farming enterprises in the industry increased by 3.9% and amounted to 61.9 billion rubles (compared to 2019).
By the end of 2020, the production of commercial aquaculture, one of the most powerful drivers of the industry’s development, increased to 328.6 thousand tons, showing a 14 percent growth by 2019. The total production of commercial aquaculture products has more than doubled over the past 10 years. At the same time, the volume of salmon aquaculture production since 2013 has grown almost 3 times and exceeded 116 thousand tons in 2020, which approximately corresponds to the volume of salmon imports from Norway, which was imported by Russia before the imposition of sanctions.
Ilya Shestakov noted that for the further successful development of the aquaculture sector, it is necessary to solve the problem of meeting the needs of fish farms in fish feed and fish planting material of domestic production. For this purpose, last year in Karelia the construction of a selection and breeding farm for trout was started. The plans include the construction of 2 more centres that will help provide fish farmers with planting material for promising objects, and will remove the problem of import dependence.
In 2020, the implementation of the investment quota mechanism continued, providing support for the construction of fishing vessels and fish processing enterprises. As of April 2021, 79 contracts were concluded for securing investment quotas with a total volume of attracted investments of 195 billion rubles, 3 new applications for investment projects for the construction of fishing vessels for the Northern Fishery Basin and 6 applications for vessels for the Far Eastern Fisheries Basin were considered and approved. 5 vessels have already been built and handed over to the customer.
Ilya Shestakov noted the importance of conducting fisheries research and thanked the Government of the Russian Federation for allocating additional funds for this work in 2021. “The allocated funds will allow not only preserving, but also increasing the volume of scientific research in some areas compared to 2020,” Shestakov emphasised.
Within the framework of the research fleet renewal programme, the preparatory stage for the construction of 2 medium-tonnage research vessels has already begun; keel laying is planned for October this year. In 2022, it is planned to start construction of the first large-tonnage ship.
In terms of the implementation of control and supervisory activities, the territorial departments of Rosrybolovstvo carried out 104,367 control and supervisory measures in 2020, which is 2.6% more than in 2019. The amount of claims brought against violators amounted to almost 250 million rubles, an increase of 31% compared to 2019. Seized about 213 tons of illegally obtained aquatic biological resources, 167,351 units of fishing gear and 11,391 units of vehicles.
Artificial reproduction measures in 2020 are 99.2% completed. The production indicator is mostly provided by the state order – 86% of the total volume (7,784.8 million pieces). In total, over 9 billion juveniles of aquatic biological resources were released in 2020, including 78.2 million juveniles of sturgeon (12.7% more than last year).
The work of the branch educational complex in 2020 was carried out taking into account the restrictions associated with the coronavirus infection pandemic. At the same time, training of students and cadets was organised using distance learning forms using information and educational resources of universities.
In 2020, educational organisations of the Federal Agency for Fishery accepted 7.8 thousand people for training, of which 5.2 thousand people – for training at the expense of the federal budget. The total number of students was 36.9 thousand people, of which 19.8 thousand people studied at the expense of the federal budget.
At the end of the report, Ilya Shestakov drew the attention of the meeting participants to the main tasks of 2021. “In 2021, it is necessary to adopt legislation that will launch the second stage of the investment quotas programme for the Far Eastern Basin,” the head of the department said. “The issues of diversifying markets, moving away from a raw material orientation require us to create capacities that will allow us to manufacture deeply processed products, get away from dependence on supplies to the export market, and expand the range of products supplied to the domestic market. Here it is very important to take into account the experience of the first stage, to clearly define the priorities and objects, the construction of which will be supported within the framework of this mechanism, to discuss proposals with the business community and choose the best path, ”continued the head of the department. “Our main task is to make the country’s fishery complex the most modern, high-tech and efficient in the world. For this we have both a raw material base and qualified specialists, and most importantly – the desire and potential, ”concluded the head of the Federal Agency for Fishery.