New legislation to give big boost to Russian fishery industry
In 2008 Russia's Federal Fisheries Agency, which was reformed from the State Fisheries Committee in the same year, has moved forward in building up a comprehensive legislative basis for the fishery industry. As per the beginning of 2009, the legislative basis has been formed at 95%, reports www.fishnet-russia.com (www.fishnet.ru) with reference to a report delivered by Russia's fishery head Andrey Krainy.
More specifically, in 2008 several dozens of the Government's orders and the Agency's regulatory acts were published thanks to which the industry has stepped into the year 2009 with the new "rules of play", said Krainy in his report.
Positive changes in the industry were also encouraged by the State Council's meeting in Astrakhan in August 2007 and consequent approval of the Federal Law No.333-FZ dated 6 December 2007 "FISHERY AND CONSERVATION OF AQUATIC BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES" along with a number of amendments aimed at creating conditions to form stable and flexible system of management of the fishery industry and overcome negative trends in the sector.
As one of the most important developments of the legislation, for the first time in the industry's history the capture quota shares (namely 6500 shares) have been assigned to the users for a period of 10 years.
Along with the above, agreements for transfer of 1100 salmon fishing sites into concessions for even a longer period of up to twenty years have been made in the year under analysis.
The number of commercial species regulated by the TACs has been considerably reduced to 112, while for 230 species the fishery may be carried out subject to approved applications, thus enabling new users interested in underexploited species to enter the business.
In 2008 all the nation's fishery basins received new Fishery Regulations for the first time since 1964.
The provinces have been allowed to form special commissions to regulate capture of anadromous species, which will be able to approve the volumes and time periods for capture of Pacific salmons.
Principal decisions have also been made in the legislation defining the economic policy of the industry.
The new variant of the Fishery Industry Concept to 2020 approved in 2008 provides for innovation type of the industry development in the long-term outlook.
In the end of the year 2008 Russia's President signed a federal law according to which the bulk of the fishermen obtained the right to switch to the single agricultural tax in order to decrease the tax burden and make use of the money for modernization of the production assets.
The same law also gives complete exemption from import duties and taxes for the Russian fishing vessels which have been earlier exported for repair and modernization at foreign yards.
The Government has also approved an order for allocating 1.1 billion RUB from the budget to subsidize interest rates for investment and current credits in the fishery sector.
Besides, in 2008 the industry has also received key financial guidelines in form of the federal target program "Raising efficiency of exploitation and development of resource potential of fishery industry in 2009-2013". The total investment value of the program exceeds 60 billion RUB, of which 32 billion RUB will be sourced from the federal budget and 29 billion RUB will be taken from non-budget funds. Thanks to attracted non-budget sources it is supposed to considerably improve the structure of production and technologies in the industry.
In the year 2009 it is planned to finance establishment of necessary state infrastructure, including reconstruction of hatcheries at a total value of 928 million RUB, construction of research and production aqua and mariculture centers at 136 million RUB, a fleet for the state needs at 675 million RUB and port facilities at 152 million RUB.
Unluckily due to the current financial crisis the budget appropriations for the implementation of the federal target program have been cut in 2009 by 30% to a little more than 2 billion RUB this year.
The mechanisms of international cooperation within the framework of current fishery agreements have been improving, as Russia has been actively participating in the current and reorganized international fisheries establishments aimed at regulation of the fishery operations in this or that area of the World Ocean.
In the year 2008 Russia has focused on obtaining larger quotas in the foreign EEZs. As a result, the Russian fishermen have received quotas exceeding the previous year allocations by 250,000 tonnes.
The Federal Fisheries Agency of Russia has signed agreements with Venezuela, Cuba, Nikaragua and the EU. Cooperation within the framework of existing fisheries commissions is mutually profitable for both sides and meets Russia's interests both in terms of economics and politics, said Krainy.