Consumption of fish and production of fish on the Russian market has been growing steadily over recent years, according to Alla Barinova, Moscow Office Manager for Bord Bia – Irish Food Board.
At retail level the market share of fish increased by 12 per cent in 2010 as government initiatives aimed at promoting fish consumption, improving legislation and providing direct support to producers.
Despite the rise in consumption, Russia stills lags behind European and American per capita consumption levels.
In 2010 consumption of fish and processed fish per capita in Russia was 19 kg compared to 21kg and 26kg in Europe and the respectively.
However, the long-term forecast remains positive and it is expected that fish consumption in Russia will reach the level of big fish-consuming countries like Japan.
The volume of the Russian seafood market is estimated at up to 4.0 million tonnes with imports accounting for 20 per cent of the total. Frozen fish is the main product being imported with herring, salmon and trout being the most popular species.
According to Mr T.G. Mitupov, counselor of the Federal Agency for Fisheries, even though Russia plans to increase aquaculture production and to reduce imports by 2020, they will still need to import key fish species such as mackerel, salmon, herring, Alaska pollack and cod.
Bord Bia Moscow participated at Round table «Fish and Seafood» at World Food Exhibition, which took place in Moscow on the 13 September 2011.
Some of the main topics discussed included: Harmonisation of Russian veterinary legislation with international rules. Reforming the accreditation system for foreign fish processing companies. Challenges relating to quality monitoring of imported fish products.