Russian agency denies CNN report on Russian pollock in US
WASHINGTON, Feb 11 (PRIME) Ц A report by U.S. television channel CNN that Russia-produced pollock occupied a significant share of the U.S. market of frozen fish hurting Alaskan fisheries is incorrect, Oleg Rykov, a representative of the Russian Federal Fisheries Agency in the U.S., told PRIME on February 10.
On February 9, CNN reported that cheap Russian pollock gained a $200 million frozen fish market, Уto the point that by 2017, about half the fish sticks served in the U.S. school cafeterias were made from fish caught in Russia and pumped with additives in China, according to the Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers.Ф
УBoth we and Americans catch the fish, freeze it, and send to the neighboring China. Americans send about 90% of their pollock to China for processing, and we send a significant portion of our fish to the country as well. There it is mixed into one bulk of fish, and it is impossible to distinguish whose fish is that,Ф Rykov said.
УWe sell this pollock to China. We donТt sell it directly to the U.S., as our direct supplies to the U.S. amounted to only 400 tonnes worth half a million of U.S. dollars in the first 11 months of 2018. We supply that exclusively for the Russian communities in the U.S., for the stores of diasporas.Ф
The $200 million figure is incorrect, as it is the whole amount of pollock sales at the U.S. market. China sent $60 million worth of processed pollock products to the U.S. in the first 11 months of 2018. It is not even half of the market,Ф he said.
Data of CNN may be tied with interests of the association of Alaskan pollock producers, which is the main competitor of Russia in the U.S., and with the previous head of the association, Pat Shanahan, who led a campaign against Russia over the past several years by promoting anti-Russian initiatives in the Congress, he said.
If the CNN report prompts the Congress to introduce duties on Russian pollock, it will only hurt the U.S. $500,000 of direct exports, which Russia would be able to redirect to Europe or China, he added.