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RABAT, May 10 /TASS/. Russian black caviar is no longer such a recognizable brand on the international market as in the times of the USSR, Russia’s Deputy Agriculture Minister and head of the Federal Agency for Fishery Ilya Shestakov told TASS.
Earlier this month, the Russian official took part in the 2nd Session of the Russian-Moroccan Commission on Fisheries, which was held in the Moroccan capital of Rabat.
"Unfortunately, now the world market of black caviar is associated with Russia only by intuition, we have to win back foreign markets. Of course, we export a small volume, but in general, Russian caviar is no longer such a recognizable brand on the international market as in the times of the USSR," he said.
Speaking of why it happened, Shestakov said that "Russia has not been engaged in promoting black caviar for a long time."
"At the same time, our colleagues from other countries began to produce aquaculture products. Iran, European countries are working intensively on the market of sturgeon caviar. There has been a big growth in production in China," the head of Russia’s Federal Agency for Fishery said.
"The volumes of Russian exports are not so huge: about 6.7 tonnes in the past year and in 2015. As for production in Russia, its volume is still growing: according to the results of 2016, the increase was 5%, Russian sturgeon farmers produced more than 44 tonnes of caviar. We do not consider this segment to be a priority, but in terms of branding, it is really interesting and should remain so," he said.
"Of course, we support, grant subsidies to factories that are involved in sturgeon farming. Another issue is that it is necessary to help legal producers by limiting the turnover of illegal products: caviar produced by legal fisheries and poachers are actually competing on the market. We expect the growth in domestic production to continue, but it is needless to say that this will be some kind of a driver for the fishing industry," Shestakov concluded.