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Officials and fishermen speak different languages

President of the WWARP Alexander Fomin - in an interview with EastRussia

Vladimir Putin, during the “straight line”, called for amendments to the Fisheries Act during the spring session, and also called a couple of concrete measures that, in his opinion, would drastically change the situation - for example, the requirement to bring fish to the shore fresh. What gave the fish industry a replica of the president - rather hope or rather fear - EastRussia finds out from the president the All-Russian Association of Fishery Enterprises, Entrepreneurs and Exporters (VARPE) Alexander Fomin.

Officials and fishermen speak different languages

- Alexander Vladimirovich, what gave the fish industry a replica of the president - rather hope or rather fear? Can you decipher what the specific measures that the president was talking about mean their pros and cons?

“Fishermen are worried more about how the task set by the head of state will be implemented. It is a question of prioritizing the delivery of fish to the beach in fresh and chilled form, and this question is too complicated, despite the apparent simplicity. The fact is that, historically and economically, a model has been developed in domestic fisheries aimed at processing fish into the sea on fishing vessels. Such a model of resource use allows, on the one hand, to significantly increase labor productivity and reduce the cost of production, and on the other, to ensure its high quality, which is due to the possibility of industrial processing of catches just removed from the natural environment. Onshore processing is a completely different economy and a different product quality, since the time of delivery of catches, especially from remote fishing areas, has a huge impact on the safety of raw materials. In the case of chilled fish, we can talk only about small amounts of catch of aquatic bioresources in coastal areas using small vessels. And this approach is not applicable to the overwhelming part of the objects of the craft, including the saire, which was shown on the video during the “straight line”. The main fishing is conducted in remote areas, and to deliver it fresh without loss of quality is very problematic.

- There is a multi-page document, amendments to the law "On Fishing". Judging by the public reaction, it is quite controversial. Do you think there is a common understanding of the need for changes in business and the state, and if not, what are the fundamental differences?

- The understanding of business and the Federal Agency for Fishery is really different. Fishery companies believe that the industry is developing dynamically even despite the crisis in other sectors of the economy. This is confirmed by both gross and financial and economic indicators of recent years. Fishermen increased their fish catch by more than 1 million tons, ensured per capita consumption in accordance with the recommended consumption rates of 22 kg / person per year, tripled the gross value added from 63 billion rubles in 2008 to 192,5 billion rubles in 2015 year. The average monthly salary increased 2,4 times and in 2015 it amounted to about 46 thousand rubles. In our opinion, the industry's exit from the protracted crisis of the 90s - early 2000s was facilitated by the adoption of government decisions on the long-term assignment of resources to traditional users. Rosrybolovstvo, in turn, believes that the industry is not developing effectively enough and it is necessary to introduce additional obligations for fishermen, for example, to oblige them to build ships at Russian shipyards. At the same time, it is proposed to take 20% of the quotas from all fishermen and allocate these quotas to those who have time to build ships at Russian shipyards earlier than others. The fishing industry does not agree with this, since in this case we are talking about the interests of individual companies, which does not comprehensively solve the issue of fleet renewal, which is really relevant for everyone. Enterprises are ready to build a fleet in Russia, even though we have never built a fleet (with the exception of small vessels), and have already submitted applications for the construction of 360 vessels. Obviously, the proposed scheme will not satisfy all applications and twenty ships will be built. The mechanism for selecting applicants for these quotas itself is not spelled out in detail, which creates corruption factors in the implementation of the proposed legislative norms. Most of the enterprises, about 800 organizations - medium and small enterprises, have one or two vessels. If 20% of their quotas are taken away from them, then for 2,5 months the vessels will stand idle, which will bring large losses to the fish industry, and many of them will simply go bankrupt. Instead of working together with fishing companies to work out mechanisms for the gradual commissioning of new vessels for everyone, amendments are being pushed to redistribute part of quotas in favor of individual organizations.

The second fundamental issue on which there are disagreements is the coastal fisheries management regime. Rosrybolovstvo proposes to combine industrial and coastal fisheries into one species, but at the same time wants to stimulate enterprises that deliver fresh fish to coastal enterprises, adding to them another 20% of quotas from industrial quotas. It is obvious to us that this measure will not work. Considering the huge number of administrative barriers on the coast, it will simply cease to be delivered to the coast, especially since the fish producers themselves will be determined in what mode they should work. The position of the VARPE is that the issue of regulation of coastal fisheries has different specificities in different regions, and it is necessary to regulate this locally with the participation of the authorities of the coastal subjects of the Russian Federation. In our opinion, only at the regional level can a balance be maintained between the interests of fishermen, processors and the population living on the territory of coastal entities. Despite the common position on this issue of the majority of fishermen and governors of coastal regions, this issue has not been resolved so far.

- There are some "proposals Minvostokrazvitiya" on the regulation of the fishing industry, which, according to the agency, were supported during the autumn State Council. In what status are they - are they integrated into the proposals of Rosrybolovstvo, or are they in conflict with them?

- Indeed, there are alternative proposals of the Minsk region, their approaches differ significantly, both in terms of the sources of formation of investment quotas, and in terms of the transparency of their subsequent distribution. For fishermen, these proposals are more attractive, since they do not presume the selection of quotas from bona fide users. While proposals Minvostokrazvitiya not integrated into the bill Rosrybolovstva. Moreover, as far as we know, the government has already decided to support the position of Rosrybolovstvo in principle. We will wait for the government bill and everything will be clear.

- Do you have your own recipe, as in a separate region (in our case - in the Far East) - to ensure intensive investment development of the industry so that everyone feels benefits: people received fresh seafood, the state - taxes, fishermen - profits?

- To begin with, it is necessary to put professionals at the head of the industry. Unfortunately, the situation today is that officials, fishermen and fish processors speak different languages. Fishermen are ready in a dialogue with the authorities to solve any problems aimed at developing the industry and providing the population with quality fish products, but, unfortunately, there is no such request today. Only one question is solved: how to take a part of the quotas from all and give those who need to be given. In these conditions, it is not necessary to say that the state, the population and the fishermen feel benefits. If the "scandalous" version of the draft law is adopted, we will see who will benefit.

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