Fish industry focusing on Asia, Africa, Ukraine and rebranding
Hard hit by the Russian food import ban, Estonia's fish industry has found success elsewhere, recently sending 40 containers worth of fish to Japan.
Ilja Gorohhov, head of a fishing company with a 10-million-euro annual turnover, said they used to export 80 percent of the catch to Russia, but now send a third to Ukraine, despite the political and economic turmoil.
The company also cut back on fishing, but a part of its end product, namely heavily seasoned fish, is still exported to Russia. Not as a fish product but as a spice.
Head of the Estonian Association of Fisheries, Valdur Noormägi, said that demand for Estonian fish in Japan is high, as is the price. He said the only problem is logistics.
Noormägi said the association has worked for three years to break into the Japanese fish market.
There are problems, such as with frozen Baltic herring. The Ministry of Agriculture is sending companies to participate in food expos, and said it will pay for storage costs for frozen fish. But time is running out as the new fishing season approaches.