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Russia’s seafood production climbs 3% in first two months

The growth was boosted by canned, preserved and filleted seafood products, while frozen fish output dropped.

In the first two months of 2018, Russia’s overall seafood production reached 891,100 metric tons, up 3.4 percent compared with the same period a year ago, according to preliminary data from Russia’s Federal State Statistics Service, Rosstat.

The major growth came from mollusks -- frozen, dried, salted or in brine and smoked -- with overall production jumping by 77.7 percent to 3,500 metric tons.

Canned fish output climbed 53.2 percent and amounted to 15,700 metric tons.

The volume of preserved products from crustaceans, mollusks and other aquatic invertebrates also increased 28.5 percent to 5,400 metric tons.

Frozen fish fillets grew 20 percent over last year’s level and reached 38,300 metric tons.

However, production of frozen fish decreased 8.9 percent to 467,800 metric tons, making up a 52.5 percent share of the country’s seafood production.

Smoked fish output, including fillets also dived 6.9 percent to 8,000 metric tons.

Production of fish, dried, salted and unsalted or in brine decreased 5.9 percent to 15,700 metric tons.

Atlantic cod catches rise, pollock harvest lags behind

Meanwhile, according to Russia’s fishery agency Rosrybolovstvo, the country’s overall seafood harvest reached 1.16 million metric tons by March 20, up slightly - 0.6 percent - from last year’s figure.

The Russian Far East fishery basin provided the bulk of the overall catch of 835,400 metric tons, making up 72 percent of the total.

Harvest of the main fishing species, pollock, decreased 3 percent compared to the same period last year to 682,900 metric tons.

Catches in Russia’s second largest Northern fishery basin jumped 61.6 percent to 182,000 metric tons. The growth was driven by Atlantic cod catches amounting to 86,600 metric tons, up 24 percent from this time last year.

According to Murmansk-based Polar Research Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanography (PPINRO), good cod catches were due to a high density of fish accumulations, which in turn were caused by a high concentration of pre-spawn capelin -- the fodder base of cod.

However, haddock catches dropped 23.8 percent from last year’s level to 27,200 metric tons.

The overall seafood harvest in the country’s rest fishing areas, including West, Azov-Black and Volga-Caspian fishery basins, as well as in the waters of foreign states and in the open ocean areas, amounted to 142,600 metric tons, or just 12.3 percent of the total.

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