Advantages of fish processing at sea
The Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation conducted research and development for comparing the financial and economic models of walleye pollock processing at factories of processing-trawlers and onshore plants.
The research notes that there are advantages of fish products production on vessels, for instance, product quality and sale revenue: Russian pollock fillets of offshore processing were 25% more expensive than Chinese products of onshore processing in 2018–2020.
With fish processing on board vessel, annual GDP contribution is 86.6 thousand rubles per ton, which is 16.7% more than when producing fish products on shore. Tax payments are 6.3 thousand rubles per ton, which is 50% more than with onshore processing.
Labor indicators are also higher when producing on processing-trawlers: the wage of a factory worker on a vessel is 150–250 thousand rubles against 50–70 thousand rubles on shore, according to the analysis. Offshore processing provides only 140 jobs on a large-capacity vessel compared to 400 at an onshore plant with three vessels shipping fresh-caught fish.
Among the strong points of onshore processing, the research notes less volume of investment, shorter payback period of the project, shorter construction period than in shipbuilding; the ability to increase processing volumes in a short time, to produce a wide range of products, to ensure employment growth. At the same time, a list of "gaps" is given: the quality and value of secondary freezing products, lower labor productivity (four times less than at sea) and wage level.
The Association proposes, taking into account the efficiency of offshore processing, to preserve in the sectoral legislation the priority of fixing quotas for investment purposes for the construction of new processing-vessels (factory vessels).
FSA advocates the establishment of a quota allocation mechanism, which designed to fully load the investee. Now this volume is limited up to half of the investee capacity.