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Russian Fishery plans Japan expansion through new surimi production

The growth plan also includes a sharp increase in pollock fillet output for the European market.

Russian Fishery Company, one of the Russia's largest producers of wild whitefish, is looking to leverage its growing value-added production capabilities to break into Japan's surimi market.

“We are revising our production plans with a focus on the value-added products on the construction of new trawler factories," Fedor Kirsanov, CEO of the company told IntraFish on sidelines of the III Global Fishery Forum, ongoing in St. Petersburg.

“A lot will depend on the market demand. However, it is obvious, we will look at the value-added production to expand into the European pollock market, as well as to start production of pollock surimi for Japan," he told IntraFish.

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Russian Fishery is intensively involved in upgrading of its fishing fleet and the construction of onshore fish processing facilities of its own.

At present, the company has 11 deals signed with Russia’s federal agency, Rosrybolovstvo, for the construction of 11 pollock trawlers with capacity to produce value-added products.

Four vessels are currently under construction, with the first one scheduled for delivery next year.

The total amount of investments in the new builds exceeds $1 billion (€892.3 million), according to Kirsanov.

In addition, the company is planning to launch an onshore cod and haddock processing plant in the Murmansk region in two months, with another plant of this kind to open in 2020.

Construction of a new onshore pollock processing facility in the Far East is also underway.

“The company’s new fishing and processing assets will allow us to process the total pollock catches into the value-added product," Kirsanov said.

Russian Fishery is among the country’s top three fishing quota holders, with 308,700 metric tons for 2019.

Pollock quota amounts for 270,200 metric tons. In 2018, the company produced around 100,000 metric tons of headed and gutted (H&G) pollock, while value-added pollock output, mainly fillets, accounted for 25,000 metric tons, Kirsanov said.

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