Russia rakes in $408 million at crab quota auction

A total quota of 4,780 tons was doled out for the next 10 years.

Rosrybolovstvo, Russia's federal fisheries agency, held an auction for crab quotas in the Far Eastern fishery basin on May 18-19, fetching the country's treasury a record amount of RUB 23.08 billion (€362.8 million/$407.7 million).

The auctioned quotas accounted for harvesting rights for nearly a 10-year period, running until Dec.31, 2026.

There were 24 crab lots at the auction for a total of 4,780 metric tons of crab, starting at a value of more than RUB 1.5 million (€25.4 million/$26.8 million),  Rosrybolovstvo said.

The quotas covered all major crab species, including three lots for red king crab, three lots for blue king crab, six lots for opilio snow crab and three lots for hairy crab in the Primorye subarea.

In addition, three lots of brown king crab in the South-Kuril zone were auctioned off, three lots of bairdi crab in the Petropavlovsk-Commander subzone and three lots of hairy crab in the Kamchatka-Kuril subzone.

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In total, more than 40 organizations took part in the auction, including fishing companies such as Nakhodka Active Marine Fishery Base, Turnif, Real Development, Crab Marine, Phenix and others.

Last year, four lots of opilio snow crab in the Barents Sea and three lots of opilio snow crab in the East Sakhalin subarea were sold at the country’s crab quota auction.

They fetched Russia’s treasury at total RUB 6.4 billion (€83.1 million/$94.1 million) for 2,945 metric tons.

In Russia’s Far East there are around 60 domestic companies involved in crab harvesting. In 2016, total catch amounted to 57,000 metric tons.

In 2017, total allowable catch for crab harvesting in Russia’s Far East is set at 73,500 metric tons.

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