Upgraded RFC fleet delivering more pollock, value-added items, pivoting sales to Asia

The Mekhanik Maslak.

Russian Fishery Company launched its newest supertrawler, the Mekhanik Maslak, from the Admiralty Shipyard in Saint Petersburg, Russia in February 2023.

The freezer-trawler, which is being deployed to perform pollock and herring pelagic trawling in the Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk, as well as in adjacent waters of the East Coast of Russia, is one of the most advanced fishing vessels in the world. It joined its sister ships, the Vladimir Limanov and the Kapitan Vdovichenko, which have both exceeded production figures since their own launches. And Admiralty Shipyards will be delivering the next two vessels in the 10-vessel RFC order, the Mekhanik Sizov and Kapitan Martynov, soon.

At the official launch event, RFC General Director Olga Naumova, who was appointed in January 2022, said the progress shows her company’s continued focus on modernizing its fishing fleet and focusing value-added products such as surimi.

“The completion of the construction of the supertrawler Mekhanik Maslak is another significant step in the execution of our fleet upgrade strategy that will help us strengthen the vector aimed at high value-added production,” she said. “The new supertrawlers that we are building and have already built are the contribution of the RFC in the modification of work conditions, in advanced, efficient, comfortable and safe workplaces. Our new vessels demonstrate their effectiveness, they are already the leaders in harvest and performance.”

RFC upped its total companywide harvest to 309,000 metric tons (MT) in 2022, up 4,300 MT from 2021. Included in that total was 283,000 MT of pollock, up 6 percent year-over-year; and the company’s production of value-added products, including fillets, mince, and surimi, rose to 48,500 MT, up 57 percent from 2021.

RFC also managed to increase its sales 22 percent by volume compared to 2021, and 54 percent by value, primarily due to shifting its product mix toward more high value-added pollock products, it said.

Despite sanctions imposed by numerous countries, including the United States and the European Union, RFC upped its exports by 30 percent, reaching nearly 40,000 MT. It did so by …

Photo courtesy of Russian Fishery Company

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