Draft law on aquaculture published for consultation with the industry

October 18, 2007 12:40

The Committee on wild stocks and nature management working under the State Duma (Lower House) has recommended to approve in the first reading the draft law "On Aquaculture" introduced by a group of deputies, including the committee's chairman Natalia Komarova, according to Sever-Press.

The draft law covers relations connected with artificial reproduction and farming of fish, other aquatic animals and seaweed under human's partial and complete control.

According to the expert estimates, the biological potential of the inland waters and inshore marine waters of the Russian Federation, fit for breeding, can sustain a production of 3 million metric tons which is approximately equal to Russia's current harvest in the seas and oceans. Despite that, aquaculture development in Russia with its huge natural, climatic and intellectual potential is at the extremely low level now. More specifically, the industry's share in the nation's production of finfish, non-finfish aquatic species and seaweed does not exceed 5%.

One of the most important reasons behind the above is that legal relationships in the agricultural sector securing the nation's food, medical and technical safety as well as retaining the biological variety in the nation's waters are poorly regulated by the existing legislative acts.

The Law on Aquaculture is supposed to eliminate the legislation holes preventing fluent development of the sector.

The draft law is aimed at strengthening the state policy towards the sector's development by means of stimulating private initiatives, balancing state and private interests and adequate distribution of powers of federal, regional and municipal executive bodies.

Besides, the draft law provides for establishment of financial and legislative protection of interests of juridical and physical persons who own the farms.

The draft law is supposed to create normative legislation towards better efficiency of the state policy in the sphere of aquaculture and attraction of investments to increase the nation's output of food fish products and strengthen its food and economic safety. Simultaneously it will encourage increase of employment of able-bodied citizens and improvement of social conditions in the regions.

According to the scientific and project developments, subject to favorable conditions stipulated by the law, by the year 2020 Russia's output of freshwater and marine farmed fish will reach at least 800,000 metric tons worth RUB60-65 billion. For comparison, the current output amounts to 115,000 metric tons worth RUB6.7 billion.

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