12 Sep 2023 10:33

Russia aims to increase Pacific fish catch by 200,000 t in next 3-5 years - Federal Fisheries Agency

VLADIVOSTOK. Sept 12 (Interfax) - Russian fishers plan to more actively develop the biological resources of the Pacific Ocean and should increase the fish catch in the ocean by 200,000 tonnes in the next three to five years, Federal Fisheries Agency head Ilya Shestakov said at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF).

"Many companies are exploring the possibility of entering the Pacific Ocean. For various reasons. We need to work on this. Understandably, the current situation has slowed the program to enter the Pacific Ocean. But our objective for the near future, three to five years, is to increase the catch in the Pacific Ocean by at least 200,000 tonnes. I think that we have such capabilities. We will determine with businesses what support measures are needed, both regulatory and financial," Shestakov said.

He said the difficulties that the fishing sector has faced recently could lead to a decline in the industry's profitability. "This is understandable, because new costs will arise. But nonetheless it will still be possible to work effectively," Shestakov said.

It is "very important to look beyond the Russian economic zone," he said. "We have companies that have long worked outside the economic zone, specifically in the waters of the African continent, though primarily in West Africa. But we need to also look at East Africa," Shestakov said.

"Right now a list of instructions is being prepared on the results of the Russia-Africa summit. We propose to include an instruction in it to carry out two research expeditions, to East and West Africa, so that we understand what resources exist there. Yes, this is a complicated region, it's not quite clear what the port infrastructure situation is like there, it has its own nuances. But we see that there is great potential here," Shestakov said.

He also said there are companies that are intent on working in the Antarctic.

The fight for the resources of the Pacific Ocean will only intensify, he said. "Through pseudo-ecological, scientifically unfounded programs they are trying to restrict our fishing in convention areas. But it's very important that we consistently defend our interests. There will always be opportunities to catch fish," Shestakov said.