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Weekly Overview: Calls for EU to Start Helping Fishing Industry Affected by Russian Import Ban

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ANALYSIS - The EU has been accused of doing little to help fishery and aquaculture producers, who have been affected Russia's import ban, which will cause losses of over 153.8 million to the sector, writes Lucy Towers, TheFishSite Editor.

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The agriculture sector has received help from the Directorate-General for Agriculture, who reacted rapidly by requesting a potential impact analysis and approved measures to assist farmers, yet the Directorate-General for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs has taken no direct action or offered any display of support for the fisheries industry.

In a call for action, Europêche, along with other organisations, sent a letter to the EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki, calling for a Task Force to be created to support the appropriate management of this issue.

In the US, Alaskan senators have written to President Obama asking for the government to persuade Russia to end its ban on fish imports. If the ban is not reversed, the Senators have suggested that the US places a ban on seafood coming from Russia.

However, the Russian import ban has also caused problems for its own fish processing industry, which is now struggling to find raw material.

Some fish processing companies in North-west Russia are struggling to find replacements for Norwegian Atlantic salmon and Finnish herring and sprats as replacements are different in texture and size, meaning changes are needed to operations.

Helping to supply Russia with fish, Ecuador has announced that it has 25 fish companies that are now ready and prepared to export fish, fish oil and meal and aquaculture products to Russia, once it gets approval from the Russian ministry.

Also in the news, two leading salmon and trout egg producers have collaborated to increase their market share.

Scottish company Landcatch, which supplies Atlantic salmon eggs and smolts, as well as cutting-edge genetic services to the international aquaculture industry, has signed a MoU to become a 45 per cent shareholder in the US company Troutlodge, Inc, which is the world’s largest rainbow trout egg producer.

It will mean Landcatch diversifying into a new species for the first time, a strengthening of the Hendrix Genetics aquaculture operations, as well as enhanced support and growth for Troutlodge, with all three companies enthusiastic about the opportunities that will come from greater positioning in world aquaculture.