Russian pollock industry group re-elects chief for fifth time

'No alternative' to him -- members recognize German Zverev's role in the industry.

The Russian Pollock Catchers Association (PCA) unanimously re-elected German Zverev to his position as head of the organization for the fifth time in a row at its general assembly on Oct. 6.

Zverev has been leading PCA since May 2008, which is unheard of in the Russian fishing sector.

Since January 2017, he also heads the All-Russia Association of Fisheries Enterprises, Entrepreneurs and Exporters (VARPE).

According to Russian industry experts, the re-election of Zverev as the president of PCA happened for several reasons.

He has managed to build a conflict-free working relationship between all the major players involved in fishing in Russia’s Far East.

These include major pollock catching companies such as Norebo Group, Russian Fishery Company, Okeanrybflot, Gidrostroy Group, Preobrazhenskaya Base of Trawling Fleet and Nakhodka Active Marine Fishery Base.

There are also concerns Zverev’s removal from the post could provoke an internal conflict in the PCA, a struggle for the post of a leader and thereby weaken its potential.

No-one wants this, especially since the Russian trawl pollock fishery in the Sea of Okhotsk this year embarked on the process of getting Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) re-certified.

Instead, PCA members are hoping Zverev will repeat the success of 2013, when, despite the strong counteraction from the At-Sea Processors Association (APA), the Sea of Okhotsk pollock fishery passed MSC certification.

"In fact, there is no alternative to him today," Alexey Bulanov, assistant director at Norebo, told IntraFish. "His experience and ability to build relationships have made PCA an influential organization not only in Russian fisheries but also on the international stage.

"This will obviously facilitate international recognition of the Russian pollock fisheries as sustainable and eco-friendly," Bulanov said.

PCA is the largest public association in the Russian fishing industry, which includes 33 pollock catchers with a total harvest amounting to more than 40 percent of the global pollock catch, more than 70 percent of the country’s overall pollock harvest and around 50 percent of the total Russian herring catch.

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