Fishery Head gives High Marks to Leadership of Fishery Sector and calls for Regulation from Sea to Plate

September 3, 2012 17:42

Russia's fishery head Andrei Krainy has called for extension of powers of his office from fisheries proper to the whole product chain from sea to plate while praising his subordinate fishery industry as ready for WTO, reports

In a video interview he has pointed out that the industry has learned the skills of harvesting fish and regulating the fisheries but for further development it is necessary to regulate the whole chain from the fishing vessel to fish counter in the shop as the fisherman's economy has always been determined on shore.


Meanwhile, according to Krainy, Russia's fishery industry is one of the most prepared sectors to operate under WTO conditions.

The industry is nearly fully private with the last government-owned combine Arkhangelsk to be sold this year in accordance with the current privatization program. The role of the government has mostly been limited to regulation and establishment of rules.

The few support measures in place cover such issues as part-subsidies for interest rates when borrowing to build or modernize vessels as well as the same measure to help build or modernize onshore fish processing infrastructure.

The successful operation of the fishery sector has relied on a number of measures undertaken by the government. They include 10-year quota shares, mandatory custom clearance of catch from the Russian EEZ in Russian ports, delisting a number of less popular species from regulation by TAC and removal of administrative barriers.

The 10-year quotas have been enforced in combination with the provision to revoke the rights should a quota holder fail to harvest 50% of the limit for two years running. According to fishery head, the provision has helped weed the industry of the rentiers while the true fishermen have been able to expand their quota shares buying more rights at the auctions.

On the other hand, the budget coffers have been receiving an increasing income from severing quota share assignment contracts with the users failing to cover their quotas at the agreed rate.

To give and example, if the auction proceeds in 2009 and 2010 amounted to RR21.1 million and 1.6 million accordingly, in 2011 they grew to RR168 million jumping to RR517 million in the first half of 2012.

As regards the effect from the other measures, taking underexploited species off TAC has led to increased catch of grenadiers, flatfishes, capelin, skates, see weeds and others. Besides, new entrants have got an opening for joining the fisheries business.

Online regulation of wild salmon fisheries has helped boost the harvest in the Russian Far East to historic records of 350-546 k tonnes unheard of even under the Soviets, said Krainy.

Thanks to timely issue of the necessary orders, the new season every next year has been starting strictly at the outset as opposed to the practice of long delays in the past when fishery would often start in February and even in March-April in some areas.

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