Results of fishing operations of Murmansk companies in January-September 2007
In January-September 2007 fishing companies based in Murmansk province (the main fishery region of the nation's North Basin also containing Arkhangelsk, Karelia and Nenets Autonomous District) harvested 422,800 tonnes of fish, 8.6% or 39,800 tonnes down from 462,700 tonnes in the same period of 2006, fishery sources in Murmansk told www.fishnet-russia.com (www.fishnet.ru).
The catch lag could be attributed mostly to reduced catches of blue whiting being 40,310 tonnes down on the corresponding figure last year. At the same time, in the first nine months of the year 2007 Murmansk-based fleets harvested more saithe (+2185 tonnes), cod (+820 tonnes), haddock (+7490 tonnes), black halibut (+190 tonnes) and herring (+11300 tonnes).
The province's quotas for the current year 2007 amount to 404,638.5 metric tons. Besides, the province's fishermen can harvest 136,500 tonnes of blue whiting out of the national quota in the open part of the NEAFC zone.
The main reasons behind the catch falls were as follows:
- Several highly productive large vessels were missing on the blue whiting grounds mostly due to their repair. The catch was behind also because of low purchasing prices for blue whiting and large cold storage inventories. Traditional users practically ceased active blue whiting fishery in the third quarter of the year and their vessels switched to fishery of more profitable herring.
- There was also a considerable decrease of red king crab catches, namely from 3100 tonnes last year to 890 tonnes in 2007 (2200 tonnes down), which could be attributed to the stock's weaker concentrations.
- Economic conditions of Russian fishing vessels' access to the Moroccan waters deteriorated. The large trawlers owned by Murmansk Trawl Fleet Consortium were operating on less efficient grounds.
- There was no efficient scheme of redistribution of non-exhausted quotas.
The fishermen say that there are a number of unsolved problems preventing development of the region's fishery industry:
- Encouraging shipowners to land catches for processing at Russian ports by means of introduction of soft resource fees;
- Transfer of all the powers of fishery management in the inshore waters and in the inland waters to the regions;
- Creation of optimum legislation in the sphere of the fishery industry regulation and sale of quota shares. Creation of mechanism of online redistribution of unsold quotas.
- Development of a leasing scheme of replenishment of the Russian fleets with efficient vessels.
- Complete exemption from customs duties and VAT of imported fishing vessels which have been built, refurbished or repaired abroad, as well as equipment and spare parts, which have no analogues in Russia or surpassing them in terms of quality, for construction, refurbishment and repair of fishing vessels.
- Speeding-up of development and approval of normative document on delivery and clearance of all the fish products originating from the Russian EEZ in the Russian ports.
- Creation of optimum competitive handling services for vessels calling at Murmansk Marine Fish Port, simplified legalization at frontier, customs, sanitary, veterinary and other control bodies in line with the world practice.