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Senegal fish companies seek access to Customs Union market amid Russian trawler incident

January 10, 2014, 17:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Pelagic fish such as mackerel, horse mackerel, bonito and others will be supplied to Russia from Africa

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MOSCOW, January 10. /ITAR-TASS/. Veterinary services of Senegal (where the Russian trawler “Oleg Naidenov” was detained) and other African countries, particularly Uganda, have asked the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) to get access for fish processing plants to the Customs Union (Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan) market, aide to the Rosselkhoznadzor head Alexei Alexeyenko told Itar-Tass.

The Russian service is ready to discuss the issue with the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), Alexeyenko said.

“We’ll conduct an inspection because we need fish. Normal business-like relations will facilitate the improvement of the situation in fish capture areas,” the aide said.

He said such step would make it possible to improve the situation on the fish market and reduce monopoly pressure from certain countries, particularly from Norway.

At present, Norway has considerably increased supplies to Russia. However, veterinary services do not allow Russia to inspect the existing facilities.

In 2013, Russia ranks first among the countries, which import Norwegian fish. Export of Norwegian fish to Russia increased by 10% and reached $1.06 billion. Since January 1, 2014 Rosselkhoznadzor has imposed the ban on import of Norwegian fish, besides salmon, to Russia for security reasons.

Pelagic fish such as mackerel, horse mackerel, bonito and others will be supplied to Russia from Africa. However, there are no data on the volume of import.

Earlier, head of the Federal Fisheries Agency Andrei Krainiy said processing plants in Kaliningrad worked on Africa’s raw material.

Meanwhile, Alexeyenko said Russia lacked its own resources. “We depend on import much,” he said.

The trawler Oleg Naidenov was detained off Guinea Bissau on January 4 for suspected illegal fishing, Lieutenant-Colonel Adama Diop, from the public relations office at the Senegalese Army, said last week.

There were 82 persons aboard the ship — 62 Russians and 20 citizens of Guinea Bissau. The trawler was procuring fish off that African country under an inter-governmental agreement, which requires Russian sailors to take locals aboard for training and work.

The trawler belongs to the closed joint stock company Feniks registered in Murmansk, northern Russia. The company said every idle day of the ship in Dakar would cost it one million rubles. “This is an approximate amount and it may increase depending on the time and terms of demurrage,” Parshev, told Itar-Tass.

“The trawler has been operating in this region for a long time and took on a new Russian crew in Dakar on December 22 — 62 Russian citizens, mainly residents of the Murmansk Region. The ship entered and left the port unhindered,” he said.

Parshev noted, however, that the Senegalese authorities had repeatedly accused Russian ships of breaching fishing rules and imposed fines upon them, including the Oleg Naidenov.

Its owner, senior officials of the Federal Fisheries Agency, the Russian Foreign Ministry, Defense Ministry, Emergencies Ministry and other relevant organizations have been notified about the incident.

The Oleg Naidenov is a large factory trawler, 120 meters long. It was built in Germany in 1989 and received its current name in 2005 in honor of Murmansk’s first mayor. Prior to that, its name was Leonid Galchenko.

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