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Jan 16, 2022
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Russia will be fed with seafood by the generous Faroe Islands

Russia will be fed with seafood by the generous Faroe Islands

Photo: Yuri Smityuk/TASS

Rosselkhoznadzor proudly reports on the success of domestic fisheries, or rather, exports – deliveries have increased significantly. Meanwhile, store shelves are becoming more and more empty, and prices are rising. There are interruptions with the simplest varieties of fish – everything was taken out!

“According to the information system of the FSIS Argus department, compared to 2020, exports to the states that are one of the main importers of Russian fish products, to the Republic of Korea and Japan, have increased. Thus, deliveries to Japan increased by 93% – from 41.7 thousand tons to 80.6 thousand tons. Shipments to the Republic of Korea increased by 49% – from 627,000 tons to 935,200 tons,” the ministry said in a statement.

Plus other figures: deliveries to Norway increased 2.5 times, to Germany – 2.7 times, to Poland – 2.2 times, to France – 2 times, to Portugal – also 2 times, to the UK – by 42%, to Nigeria – by 1.8 times. In the so-called “CIS countries” everything is also fine, imports have grown by 20-90%.

But for some reason, the Rosselkhoznadzor kept silent about its own failures, for example, about stopping the supply of Russian fish to China. In general, exports to this direction decreased by about 75%, as the PRC authorities introduced new labeling requirements for frozen food products.

But this is only de jure. And de facto, the Chinese are simply tired of our “businessmen” who use their infrastructure. The profit from this is small, but there is a lot of fuss.

“Russia needs to continue the negotiation process with the Chinese side and at the same time begin to modernize the coastal processing industry and turn it into a full-fledged industry. That is why VARPE proposes to allocate 10% of new investment quotas for pollock and herring in the Far East to the construction of coastal fish processing complexes with refrigerators and berths, and the other 10% to upgrade the fleet. This approach will significantly increase the profitability of exports without harming the domestic market and will reduce our dependence on foreign infrastructure,” said the President of the All-Russian Association of Fisheries (VARPE) German Zverev.

As you can see, there are words about damage to the domestic market. Yes, with fish on the shelves of Russian shops and markets it becomes somehow sad.

“We have fresh whole cod for about 6 euros per kilogram, skinless fillets – about 10-11 euros per kilogram. You can still find a freeze, it is cheaper, but somehow they don’t take it very much, that’s why it’s not available everywhere. To be honest, I haven’t seen it in a long time, but I guess I just haven’t looked. It makes no sense – the freshest fish is constantly brought from Norway, only from the sea, it didn’t even stand next to a frozen product, it tastes completely different, ”explains a resident of Dusseldorf,“ a Russian German ” Michael Weber.

Translated into our banknotes: just yesterday, cod caught in the sea – 500 rubles per kilogram, no less fresh fillet – 950 rubles each.

What do we have? And we are tough. Gutted cod “Every day” without a head (ice at least 40%) – 300 rubles per kilogram. In terms of fish, it turns out at least 500 rubles per kilo. It is the same, but on the market, without “ice glaze” – just 500 rubles and more.

Cod fillet without skin “Every day” – 452 rubles per 0.6 kg., That is, 754 rubles per kilo. The share of “ice glaze”, that is, water, is the same, in the end – more than 1000 rubles per kilogram. Actually, that’s how it is in the market. No one has been buying fish in stores for a long time, it is trite unprofitable, a complete scam.

But it’s all freezing. Meanwhile, in Germany, for the same money, real fresh fish is formed on the table. But there is simply no such thing in the Russian Federation. Anything sold as “chilled fish” is simply thawed produce. It tastes like cotton wool, as it is repeatedly frozen and thawed.

No, you can find it if you have money. In the type of “elite” outlets there are fresh Norwegian cod and fillets too. But the price tags…

If we count on our money, then the average salary “on hand” (after taxes) in Germany is 230 thousand rubles. So consider the availability of fish yourself – for us, and for them.

But what about our Murmansk, if we are talking about cod? No way – the local fish factory is in ruins, you can shoot horror films there. By the way, it was once the largest in the world! But exactly what it was.

“Those few trawlers that still remain under the Russian flag are carrying fish to Kirkenes, which is not far from here. There is an appropriate infrastructure, everyone speaks Russian, entire streets of establishments with signs in our language. Been there many times. Unlike the Russian Federation, there is no bureaucracy when accepting a catch, everything is simple and “transparent”. And I don’t even want to talk about what’s going on here, ”complains an employee of the Murmansk administration.

There is complete chaos going on. When accepting a catch, officials strive to find fault with anything and fine it, in their documents, where you don’t spit, there are continuous violations. The prices for refrigerators in the port are simply prohibitive, and there are no alternatives and there will not be. Directly “mafia orders”.

“During the times of the USSR, the turnover of the MSCI was approximately 1.5-2 million tons of seafood per year, and now it is only 215 thousand per year. The high price of fish in Russian stores is due to the fact that fishermen sell 90% of cod and haddock abroad, ”said a representative of the Murmansk Sea Fishing Port at the end of 2020 Alexey Bakumenko.

Today it is no longer 215 thousand a year – much less. Actually, the figures of the Rosselkhoznadzor on the growth of deliveries to Norway by 2.5 times speak for themselves. Then our fish will come back, but with a surcharge. Such is the “strong” economy.

What is happening in the Far East is more or less known. There, in general, in fact, a separate fish state. Sovereign. Where “authorities” rule, officials also have a share.

In local stores, chum salmon, pink salmon and other “red fish” cost 90–100 rubles per kilogram, no one takes it. Expensive. All warehouses are filled with goods, but there are no large-scale deliveries to the central regions of the Russian Federation. Otherwise, the prices will fall.

The same “red fish” on the shelves of the capital’s shops and markets – 400-600 rubles per kilogram. This is if you consider the normal net weight, without the deceptive “icing”.

According to the fishretail portal, the ratio of exports and imports of seafood in the Russian Federation by weight is 75% to 25%. It seems like we are great. In terms of money, too – $ 4.4 billion against $ 1.7 billion. However, a detailed analysis of these statistics becomes very sad, as usual. Russia trades in raw materials and buys finished products.

90% of exports are frozen fish, the rest is seafood (crabs, shellfish, etc.), also in a “raw” form. A little fish fillet, just a little bit. The main buyer is South Korea.

Supplier No. 1 – Faroe Islands, a great state. Not all Russians know about this. However, 50% by weight and 60% by money. Where did the fish for the Russians come from in such quantities, I think everyone has already guessed. By the way, the islands are not among the countries importing seafood from the Russian Federation. This is the same “undeclared import” when our resources quietly go abroad.

Frozen fish and fillets are brought from the Faroe Islands to Russia. From China, Vietnam, Thailand, Turkey and other countries – finished products. All kinds of canned food, fish “straws” for beer, semi-finished products and other delicacies. Caught from Russian fish!

Belarusians are not lost either, with production in the country in full order – Old Man is on the alert, well done! – and we are being dragged with might and main to canned food, preserves, and other goods with high added value. They don’t have the sea, but they have hands and a head, 70% of Belarusian fish imports are just ready-to-eat products. Whereas they buy mainly raw materials from us. Everything as usual.

In the USSR, for every inhabitant of the country of the Soviets, there were 20.4 kilograms of fish per year (data for 1990), which is close to the recommended figure. The norms of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation of 2010 – 18-22 kg of fish and seafood. Nothing much has changed.

But how much fish we eat now is a secret. In the summer of 2021, the Federal Agency for Fisheries (with reference to Rosstat) stated that as much as 22.2 kg according to data for 2020. Just a little earlier, the head of the Information Agency for Fisheries (a former employee of the Federal Agency for Fishery!) Alexander Saveliev stated that the real consumption of fish in the Russian Federation, according to data for 2019, amounted to no more than 12.9 kg in marketable weight per person.

“We are catching more and more, but fish is a product of the global market, and accordingly, the price of fish is going up all over the world. And taking into account the dynamic weakening of the ruble and the fall in the level of incomes of the population, in the absence of protectionism measures, Russian fish and seafood are becoming less accessible to the mass Russian consumer. The buyer switches to cheaper types of protein,” says the Chairman of the Fish Union Alexander Panin.

According to retailers, fish consumption in the Russian Federation currently does not exceed 10 kg per person per year. How much does not exceed – a delicate question. There are regions where they practically do not buy fish, for nothing. Basically, statistics are made by big cities, where people can more or less afford this product.

Here it is worth remembering that in 2012 our “guarantor” gave instructions to raise the average per capita fish consumption to 28 kg in 2020. In the courtyard of 2022, our figure is three times lower. The authorities easily forget about such promises – there was no such thing.

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