RF Government approved guidelines for fishery industry development in 2009-2013

May 15, 2008 16:37

By its order No.681-r dated 7 May 2008 the Government of the Russian Federation has approved the concept of the Federal Target Program on Increasing Efficiency Of Exploitation And Development Of Fishery Industry Potential In 2009-2013, according to Prime-Tass.

The total volume of investments into the program is forecasted at about 62 billion RUB (ca.2.6 million USD), of which 32.4 billion RUB or 52.46% are to be sourced from the federal budget, 340 million RUB or 0.55% are to come from the involved provinces' budgets and 29.1 billion RUB or 46.98% are to be attracted from non-budget sources.

The newly reborn Federal Fisheries Agency is commissioned to be the state customer and the coordinator of the program. Besides, the Agency will develop the draft of the target program and the Ministry of Agriculture will forward it for consideration by the RF Government. Program's Directorate in the form of a federal state institution may be established specially for the purpose to control the program's implementation.

The idea of the program is to provide for sustainable development of the nation's fishery industry in order to satisfy the growing demand of the Russian population, while securing advanced growth of supply of Russian-made value-added seafood and making the country as much self-sufficient in seafood as possible.

The first scenario to meet the above mentioned targets provides for the measures aimed at improving legislative, material and administrative mechanisms to eliminate shadow economy practices and non-efficient or barbarian exploitation of aquatic biological resources. When challenging the above problems within the first scenario the program's authors should also bear in mind that in the situation of crisis various violations are the only possible way for many Russian fishery companies to gain sufficient profit.

That is why, simultaneously with fighting IUU practices, it is also important to provide conditions for the sector's positive development and for improving its efficiency and control. Otherwise a reduced scale of shadow economy resulting from the above measures may only disclose the real depths of the sector's economic crisis and will precondition withdrawal of many fish businesses from the industry, a decrease of the production output as well as negative social and economic consequences both for coastal regions and for the country as a whole.

Institutional risk factors in the above approach of solving the urgent fishery industry problems include the uncertainty regarding the deadlines for drawing up the respective elements of the legislative basis and a considerable resistance of the shadow economy informal institutions.

According to the first scenario, the state will finance a number of investment projects (one-shot measure serving particular interest of the industry) from federal budget. However, this variant may be ineffective due to the risk of protractions caused by the need to collect the Government consents for several projects thus giving rise to discrepancies in the deadlines of this or that measure, larger expenses and even failures in taking those measures due to insufficient budget funding. Besides, this variant does not allow concentrating adequate budget funds for complex problem solving.

The second scenario to develop the nation's fishery industry involves complex approach to be drafted in compliance with the strategic priorities of the sector's development specified by RF President.

The second variant is based on wide-scale renovation of the industry's material and technical basis implying the following tasks:

  • construction and reconstruction of fish reproduction facilities;
  • fundamental renewal of the nation's research fleet and stock reproduction fleet;
  • construction and reconstruction of berths and hydro engineering facilities in Russia's marine fish ports;
  • development of scientific base for reproduction of fish stocks by means of financing federal property objects by the federal budget.

The above measures of state support are to build up incentives for the private capital to renew fishing fleets and processing facilities as well as to create conditions for stepping up fishery in the international waters of the World Ocean. Along with the above, they are supposed to encourage boosting the output of products based on fish reproduced thanks to those measures.

Better research work will allow the industry to improve the nation's fishing and processing technologies which are now lagging well behind the foreign competitors.

A good measure to reduce the shadow trade practices and raise the efficiency of stocks exploitation is to pass a number of standard acts stipulating obligatory landings of fish catches and products made from them to the territory of the Russian Federation, simultaneously strengthening the material and technical basis of those state power bodies which are in charge of stocks protection.

The analysis of the aforesaid two variants shows that the second scenario is more efficient as it enables the industry to meet the targets at lower cost.

The Concept of the Program provides for the measures which can be broken into eight directions as follows:

  1. construction and reconstruction of fish reproduction facilities;
  2. construction and reconstruction of research centres engaged in developing aquaculture and mariculture technologies;
  3. construction of research vessels and those to be used for fish reproduction purposes;
  4. construction of vessels to be used for state control of fish stocks and their habitat;
  5. renewal of fish processing equipment;
  6. construction and refurbishment of fishing vessels;
  7. reconstruction of port buildings in marine fish harbors of the Russian Federation;
  8. scientific research and developments in the fishery industry.

The Concept of the Program provides for a rise of the nation's harvest to 4.7 million metric tons by the year 2013, the target exceeding the level of 2006 by 42.4%, as well as for a growth of food fish production to 3.4 million tonnes, 14.4% up on 2006. Those achievements are to result into a growing share of value added production both on the domestic and international markets thus making the nation's external trade more efficient. The average value of one tonne of food fish products to be sold on the overseas market is to grow by 11% on 2006 with a 63% rise of the export-import balance.

Meeting the above target will lead to satisfaction of the growing domestic demand for food fish with the share of home-made products also rising. More specifically, the average per capita seafood consumption is forecasted to come up to 16 kilos. The share of the Russian fish on the nation's market is expected to reach 80.1% thus providing for the nation's food fish security.

Growing efficiency of the state control in the sphere of stock protection will be geared up by higher legality of the nation's fishing operations. The share of legally harvested fish is to grow from 48% to 85% of the TACs, according to the Concept.

Larger product range and higher product quality, growing working efficiency especially in the fishing fleet, implemented incentives for financial recovery of fish businesses are to help raise profitability of the Russian fishery industry up to 12% on the average by 2013. That will also lead to growing tax disbursements and higher budget profits of the nation's coastal provinces.

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