Minister of the Fish Industry
Aleksandr Ishkov (pronounced ish-KOFF) has been a leading administrator of the Soviet fishing industry since 1939. He has held ministerial rank or its equivalent for over 30 years. He was named Minister of the Fish Industry for the third time in his career in October 1965. Ishkov has survived periods of severe public criticism, and he continues to head an industry that now employs some 700,000 people and uses 18,000 ships. He has been a nonvoting member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) Central Committee since 1956.
During the past decade, the Soviet fishing industry has steadily expanded the scope of its operations. This expansion has been accomplished in part through agreements with many less-developed countries, by which Moscow provides credits and grants in exchange for concessions for its shipping fleet and repair facilities. Such measures have allowed the USSR to explore new waters, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere, at a time when 200-mile economic zones and conservation agreements are beginning to restrict Soviet activities in more traditional fishing areas.
Aleksandr Akimovich Ishkov was born on 30 August 1905 in Stavropol, located between the Black and Caspian Seas. At the age of 14 he served as an apprentice in an electrical shop where he later became assistant foreman. During 1924-30 Ishkov served as scretary of the agitation and propaganda department of Social Party committee and as secretary of a Komsomol committee.
Fishing for a Career
Detailed information on Ishkov during his early career is lacking, but all Soviet biographies agree thatn in 1930, at age 25, he forsook any interest he may have had in Party work and began his long career in the fish industry. It is not known how he developed an interest in that field; perhaps his early party and Komsomal responsibilities were in a region adjacent to the sea. At any rate, during thte 1930's he worked in local and union organizations of the