Alaska Pollock’s Impact on Russia’s Seafood Prices

Alaska pollock

The Russian seafood market is experiencing a significant shift due to a surge in Alaska Pollock and Pacific herring catches within the Far East region, leading to a dramatic downturn in domestic prices. This unexpected boon in catches has not only disrupted local market prices but also posed new challenges and opportunities for stakeholders in the seafood industry.

Analyzing the Drop in Seafood Prices

Detailed Look at Current Market Prices

The price of Alaska Pollock in the Far East region has seen a considerable decline, falling to 87 rubles ($0.94 USD) per kilogram, which represents a 22.2% decrease since the year’s start. Similarly, Pacific herring prices have dropped to 85 rubles ($0.92 USD) per kilogram, showing a 4.4% decrease. The central region of Russia has not been immune to these price adjustments, with Alaska Pollock prices decreasing by 11.9% to 118 rubles ($1.27 USD) per kilogram. These significant reductions highlight the direct impact of increased catches on market dynamics.

Regional Impact and Price Fluctuations

The disparities in price fluctuations between the Far East and central regions of Russia reflect the broader market’s response to the upsurge in supply. The price variance underscores the logistical and distribution challenges that come with transporting seafood from the catch sites to markets across the vast expanse of Russia. Additionally, these fluctuations indicate the elasticity of seafood prices to changes in supply levels, demonstrating a classic economic response to an increase in product availability.

The Role of Increased Catch Volumes

Insights into Fishing Yields

Rosrybolovstvo’s data reveals a notable increase in the catch volumes of Alaska Pollock and Pacific herring since the beginning of 2024, with fishing predominantly occurring in the Okhotsk and Bering Seas. As of March 27th, the catch of Russian cod reached 904,000 tons, marking a year-on-year increase of 5.4%. Pacific herring catches surged to 138,000 tons, up by 28%. These significant yield increases contribute to the supply-demand dynamics, influencing the overall market prices for these key seafood products.

TAC Adjustments and Implications

The Total Allowable Catch (TAC) settings play a crucial role in sustainable fisheries management. For 2024, the TAC for Alaska Pollock in the Western Bering Sea region is set at 700,000 tons, while cod in the North Sea of Okhotsk has a TAC of 342,500 tons. Russian scientists have proposed a noteworthy increase in the TAC of Alaska Pollock in the Far East region to 2.55 million tons by 2025, up from 2.29 million tons this season. Such adjustments aim not only to reflect the healthy biomass of these species but also to manage the fisheries sustainably while considering market impacts.

The surge in Alaska Pollock and Pacific herring catches in Russia’s Far East region has precipitated a ‘price storm’ in the domestic seafood market, prompting significant price reductions. This development, coupled with the proposed increases in TAC, signals a period of adjustment for the industry, with potential long-term benefits for sustainability and market stability. Navigating these changes will require strategic responses from processors, wholesalers, and retailers alike, as they adjust to the evolving market dynamics. The outcome of these adjustments holds the promise of a more balanced and sustainable future for Russia’s seafood industry, ensuring the continued prosperity of its fishing communities and the health of its marine ecosystems.

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