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2018 November 9

Fish deliveries by NSR

Rosrybolovstvo, Rosatom and fishing businesses are working over an issue of arranging a regular shipping line to deliver fish from the Far East by the Northern Sea Route. According to preliminary estimations, logistic cost in this case will be almost 30% less as compared with deliveries by railway.

The fish remains there still

Rosrybolovstvo (Russian Federal Fisheries Agency), Rosatom Corporation and fishing organizations are going to set up a working group for arranging a shipping line for transportation of fish products from the Far East to European part of Russia by the Northern Sea Route.

As Rosrybolovstvo told IAA PortNews, the project parameters have not been determined yet. Atomflot also said they would be elaborated by the working group and withheld further comment.

IAA PortNews also learned from Rosrybolovstvo that delivery of fish from Vladivostok to Moscow by railway in high season of 2018 costed RUB 15.5 per kilogram. The cost of delivery by the Northern Sea Route was RUB 11 per kilogram, which is almost 30% less.

Positive experience of fish delivery from the Far East by the Northern Sea Route has been obtained this year when fish was delivered by Dobroflot and Norebo.

When speaking at the dedicated meeting, Atomflot head Vyacheslav Ruksha told about the prospects of using the Northern Sea Route for fish deliveries from the Far East.

“Nuclear-powered lighter-container ship "Sevmorput" able to carry more than 1,300 containers can break through 1.5-meter thick ice. If we are supported by our colleagues, several voyages can be arranged in the season of 2019 according to a schedule”, he said.

Shipments are expected from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Vladivostok and Severo-Kurilsk to Murmansk or Arkhangelsk.

Among key issues are loading of container carriers for their returning voyages, availability of port infrastructure for refrigerated containers, arrangement of regular voyages.  A record high amount of Pacific salmon was caught in Russia in 2018 – more than 670,000 tonnes with the bulk (500,000 tonnes) caught in Kamchatka. Though this level cannot be guaranteed for the coming years, investments into infrastructure are to be made right now.

When commenting for IAA PortNews, As Oleg Kreslavsky, Managing Director of Murmansk Sea Fishing Port JSC, said that the port was positive about the prospects of such shipping but he was surprised at the port representatives being not invited to dedicated meetings. According to him, the port is not sure that regular shipping is guaranteed amid the necessity to invest in development of a special container yard.

MSFP says it welcomed a ship of the Far Eastern company Dobroflot with 3,000 tonnes of salmon in May 2015. In May 2017, representatives of the stevedoring company addressed Rosrybolovstvo with a proposal to think together about loading of ships for their returning voyages but the issue has seen no progress since then.

“We should understand what is required. If it is about unloading of fish from refrigerated ships we have a fleet of handling equipment and refrigerated facilities for 37,000 tonnes of product while our railway facilities will help deliver fish to Murmansk from any point of European Russia. If it is about fish delivered in refrigerated containers, a special yard is to be created and special equipment is to be acquired. The port is ready to invest its own resources in this project but we should see its economic efficiency: volumes of cargo and period of delivery. The key question is how serious this project is”, says Oleg Kreslavsky adding that the port has been recently asked by Rosrybolovstvo if it can accommodate vessels with certain draft. MSFP emphasized that the berths had been handed over to Natsrybresurs with all infrastructure on them owned by the fishing port, which can have a negative impact on the project implementation.

Vitaly Chernov