27 Feb 2018 09:36

Russian exports of fish products top 2 mln tonnes in 2017

MOSCOW. Feb 27 (Interfax) - Russian exports of fish products exceeded 2 million tonnes in 2017, and the share of high value added product in these exports has been growing in recent years.

"The fishing industry remains an export oriented sector to a significant degree. In 2017, exports exceeded 2 million tonnes, which is almost equal to 50% of the volume of produced product," Deputy Agriculture Minister and head of the Federal Fisheries Agency, Ilya Shestakov said at the fourth congress of fishing industry workers.

He said the average value of exports amounted to about $2 per kilogram and exports are dominated by products that have undergone little processing.

"However, in 2016 and 2017 there was a considerable shift toward production of export products with high added value, particularly Alaska pollock fillet," Shestakov said.

"The past five years have become a basis for the modernization of the fishing sector for the next long-term period. The main foundations were laid: amendments were passed to the main industry law that provide for preserving the historical principle for the next 15 years, mechanisms were introduced to stimulate investment, and a decision was made to develop coastal fishing and create a unified fishing space," Shestakov said.

"All this, along with systematic current work made it possible to already achieve noticeable results now. Key industry indicators demonstrate this. Of course, the main thing is the volume of marine bioresources caught. In 2017, according to preliminary data, it amounted to 4.9 million tonnes. Note that this amount is a record for the past 25 years," Shestakov said.

The fish catch has grown by an average of 3% annually in the past five years, he said.

Aquaculture production totalled 220,000 tonnes in 2017. Production of fish products reached 4.2 million tonnes, about 75% of which were frozen products. Average annual growth in production was generally in line with the growth of the catch.