Capture quota fish auctions to be conducted in early winter 2009
For the first time in the recent five years in early December 2009 Russia's Federal Fisheries Agency will conduct capture quota fish auctions aimed at distributing 10-year shares of capture quotas for a number of species in the North and Far East Fisheries Basins, reports www.fishnet-russia.com (www.fishnet.ru) with reference to RIA Novosti.
More specifically, this time the quotas will be distributed at auctions versus to the historic principle introduced instead of actions in November 2003. The quotas to be auctioned will cover those fish resources for which no agreements have been made due to this or that reason, said the Agency's PR head Andrey Savelyev.
This December the auction will offer two lots each amounting to 38.7% of the sea scallops quota in the Barents Sea with the starting price of RUB871,000 per each lot and nine lots of the capelin quota (from 0.24% to 0.33% of the quota) with the starting price ranging from RUB7300 to RUB10,000 per lot. Quota shares of 0.3% for snow crab operations in the Sea of Okhotsk have been initially priced at RUB1.5 million, a 5% share of ocean perch quotas in the North Kurile zone have been priced at RUB183,500, pollock and cod quotas will be auctioned at the starting price of RUB17,500 and RUB47,500 correspondingly.
The Agency is planning to conduct another auction on quotas of black halibut the fishery of which is resumed in the North Fisheries Basin under the recent Russian-Norwegian agreement (for more information please see article "Black halibut fishery moratorium finally lifted").
Last time fish auctions were held in Russia in 2003. After that the fishery industry authorities decided to switch to the historic principle and distribute quotas between fishing companies which earlier purchased the quotas at auctions. However, already in 2004 the Calculating Chamber of Russia recorded a decrease of seafood production output under the new quota distribution regime.
Head of the nation's Federal Fisheries Agency Andrey Krainy has also repeatedly noted that many companies do not exhaust their quotas thus resulting into continuous underexploitation of the TACs. In particular, in 2008 the TACs' take-up amounted to 68.6% only.
Starting from the last year 2008 the capture quota shares have been fixed to fishing companies for the period of 10 years. On the one hand, the measure should raise the industry's attractiveness, enable long-term planning and guarantee profitability of investments into the purchase and refurbishment of the fleet. On the other hand, it creates extra risks associated with the quotas' underexploitation.
According to the current legislation, the Federal Fisheries Agency have the right to confiscate the quota shares from fishing entities only if they are covered at less than 50% two years running. Probably such quotas will also be sold at auctions.