Russia's Fishery Agencies drafting Amendments for current Fishery and Aquaculture Legislation

August 13, 2012 16:55

Russia's Federal Fishery Agencies is drafting a number of amendments to the current Fishery Law as well as a number of separate laws, the need for changes arising from problems encountered by the industry both from the point of view of the players and the government bodies, reports with reference to Rybatskaya Gazeta.

In particular, apart from Aquaculture Law and the inshore fishery regulations, the Agency is drafting a Law on Poaching. The Poaching Law is to toughen penalties for violations of the norms of fishery and conservation of aquatic biological resources.

The Agency has also expressed support for the Draft Law lifting catch size restrictions for ethnic minorities and similar as regards private consumption of the aborigines. The unlimited harvest is subject to fishing by traditional gear and methods. If the fishery is to be conducted at an allocated commercial site the aborigines should notify the site's operator in good time.

However, as incorporated legal entities, the communities of ethnic minorities will remain subject to limitations laid down for any other fishing corporation. The draft provides for a transitional period to switch to new routines.

The next amendments being worked at have to do with removal from the existing Law on Fishery of clause of introduction of mandatory sale of fish at exchanges. This right is already included in the Russian Legislation and it would be wrong to make this opportunity into a binding regulation, the agency believes.

Inshore fishery

The two main problems in the inshore fishery have to do with prohibition of onboard processing and transshipment under the current law which demands that the catch be processed on land.

To remove the stumbling block, the agency has drafted legislation allowing the inshore fishermen to process products onboard except for thermal treatment (freezing and chilling exclusive) submitting the draft to the Ministry of Agriculture for intermediate approval.

Permission of transshipment in the inshore operations is also part of the draft.  

At the same time deputies of Duma (Lower House of Parliament) are making their draft drawn along similar lines, the agency explained. It is not yet clear which of the two will be made into Law.

Quota shares and mortgage

The Agency is also looking into an amendment regarding possible prolongation of assignment of quota shares from the current 10 years to up to 20 years. Though the fishermen have voted in favour of such a decision the agency is cautious saying they must investigate the issue in its whole complexity of all possible consequences for the industry.

Yet another controversial moment has to do with the use of quota shares as security for the bank credit.

The current legislation in fact has the necessary provisions for such mortgage but the quota shares as security are not attractive for the banks because the Fishery Law has imposed a number of conditions for their economic turnover (historic principal, Russian companies only, possible recall of the rights due to listed violations, prequalification of the users contending for the rights).

As a result, contradiction is arising between the above requirements and market turnover of quota shares. To move forward the agency is discussing the issue with Russia's giant Sberbank which has expressed interest in solving the problem.

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