The largest operator in the Russian Far East crab sector, the Russian Crab Company’s fleet of 19 vessels has delivered more than 2000 tonnes of crab so far this year, accounting for 21% of the region’s total 9500 tonne 2020 catches.
The company has 12,970 tonnes of crab quota at its disposal, making it the largest operator in the sector, as well as the only Russian supplier of live Hair crab to the Japanese market and a major supplier to Chinese crab processors.
Russian Crab has declared that so far this year its vessels have caught their entire quotas for opilio crab in the West Bering Sea and Karaginsky subzone, golden king crab in West Kamchatka subzone, blue king crab in the West Kamchatka and West Bering Sea subzones as well as opilio crab in Karaginsky subzone. In addition, 80% of its Hair crab in the Primorsky subzone has been taken and the company’s fleet is now operating on opilio crab in the northern Sea of Okhotsk.
In a drive to modernise its fleet, seven new fishing vessels designed to catch and transport live crab are on order from the Onega Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Plant for the Russian Crab Company Group, as part of the Russian government’s investment quotas programme.
The yard began cutting steel last month for these modern vessels, each of which is expected to replace two of the company’s current fishing vessels, with the first of these scheduled to be delivered in 2022.
The 57 metre vessels are being built to a design developed by Damen Engineering Saint Petersburg and are designed to be able to each carry up to 120 tonnes of live crab in vivier storage systems, and the new crabbers for the Russian Crab Company will also be fitted with an innovative system for discharging live catches in low temperature conditions.
According to the yard, working and accommodation spaces on board will be fitted out to the highest European standards.
‘The construction of the first of a series of crab catchers has started according to the contract schedule. I’m sure that this will allow us to systematically replace the existing fleet with modern vessels, increase the efficiency of utilising quotas and improving working conditions for crews,‘ said Russian Crab Company’s general director Dmitry Trubnikov.