MOSCOW, August 19. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian fishing companies have voluntarily cut exports to increase domestic market supplies amid Russia’s ban on food imports from western countries, Federal Fisheries Agency head Ilya Shestakov said on Tuesday.
“Russian fishermen have showed consciousness as they have exported only 650 tons of red salmon out of 200,000 tons of their catches this fishing season. This means that fishermen have heard us,” Shestakov said in an interview with Rossiya 24 TV Channel.
Fishermen from the Russian Far East earlier supplied their fish catches to external markets. Russia’s Federal Fisheries Agency earlier reported that most of Russian fish catches were sold abroad and domestic fishing vessels were unloaded in Japan, China and other countries.
This practice was caused by logistic problems and the remoteness of the Russian Far Eastern region which accounts for over 80% of domestic fish catches, as well as by Russian ports’ underdeveloped infrastructure.
The Federal Fisheries Agency has initiated various programs in the past few years to stimulate Russian fishermen to supply their products to the domestic market. “Now, we’ll deal with the task of encouraging fishermen to re-direct their fish catches to the domestic market,” Shestakov said.
Specifically, the Federal Fisheries Agency has been instructed by Vice-Premier Arkady Dvorkovich to consider subsidizing expenses on the transportation of fish, first of all, Far Eastern salmon, to European Russia by rail.
In response to western sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree in early August to ban for one year the imports of agricultural, raw and food products from the countries that imposed sanctions against Russia over its stance on the developments in neighboring Ukraine.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev earlier announced that the Russian government had imposed a one-year ban on imports of beef, pork, poultry, fish, cheeses, fruit, vegetables and dairy products from Australia, Canada, the European Union, the United States and Norway.