12 Mar 2024 13:56

Russian fishermen return to Antarctic region after long time away - head of Rosrybolovstvo

MOSCOW. March 12 (Interfax) - Russian fishermen have resumed fishing in the Antarctic region after a long time away.

"One of our ships has now gone to work in Antarctica," Ilya Shestakov, head of Rosrybolovstvo, told reporters.

As reported, the Antarctic region is an important one for Russian fishermen, primarily because of its krill fishing potential. They have not fished in the CCAMLR Convention zone (Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources) since 1992, with the exception of some small volumes in 2008-2010.

Russian fisheries' project to resume Antarctic krill production and construct krill fisheries there is included in the strategy for the development of the fisheries industry through 2030. The planned catch by this date is 450,000 tonnes.

Currently, Norway, China, Chile, and South Korea actively fish krill in the Antarctic.

For the first time in 17 years, the Russian research vessel Atlantis explored krill stocks in Antarctica at the end of 2019. The biomass estimated by scientists there was higher than it was 17 years ago. Based on the results of this expedition, which ended on May 5, 2020, the preparation of recommendations for the resumption of krill fishing in Antarctica began.

The resumption and development of Russia's krill fishing industry is in line with the country's development strategy in Antarctica through 2030, and was approved by the government in August 2020. The document identifies krill as one of the most promising targets for Russia's ocean fisheries.

CCAMLR estimates that around 5 million tonnes of krill can be harvested in Antarctica per year.

Krill is in demand in Russia. Annual imports total about 700,000 tonnes.