Russia plans to run second round of investment-quota auctions this year

One of Norebo's planned vessels built under Russia's investment quotas program.

The Russian Federal Agency for Fisheries is planning to run a second stage of investment-quota auctions some time this year.

Russia introduced investment quotas in 2017, reserving 20 percent of the total catch of cod, halibut, herring, haddock, squid, and plaice in Russia’s Northern and Far Eastern Fishery Basin over a 15-year period for companies build new vessels at Russian shipyards or build fish-processing plants in Russia. In 2019, the government initiated auctions for crab quotas, which handed out 15-year fishing rights to 50 percent of Russia’s total allowable catch for crab – or around 46,000 metric tons (MT). The crab-quota auctions netted the Russian government RUB 142.4 billion (then USD 2.22 billion, EUR 2.01 billion) and resulted in the emergence of “The Crab King” as then-Russian Fishery Company owner Gleb Frank – who later sold his stake in the company after the U.S. imposed international sanctions on him in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – won more than one-third of the quotas up for auction. 

Subsequent rounds of investment-quota auctions have raised additional funds for the Russian government.

However, Russian companies have had difficulties meeting the obligations of the previous investment-quota program. Through the program, Russian shipbuilders were contracted to build 64 fishing and 41 crab vessels. But by February 2023, only 14 vessels have been handed over to customers – a pace that would leave many companies out of compliance with federally mandated deadlines.

Nevertheless, Russia is reportedly preparing for a second phase of crab quota and investment quota auctions, after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law changing the system for allocating quotas in December 2023. The new auctions will cover the ... 

Image courtesy of Norebo

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