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The State Council: priorities are placed?

Oleg Bratukhin, Director General of the Russian Pelagic Research Company, member of the working group for the development of the fish industry under Vice-Premier Y.P., answered questions of the EastRussia correspondent about the recent Presidium of the State Council on the development of the fish industry. Trutnev

A member of the expert council on the construction of fishing vessels at the Russian shipyards of the Federal Agency for Fishery and an expert in the field of industrial fishing and shipbuilding, Oleg Bratukhin quite critically approached the figures of the main report presented at the State Council.

The State Council: priorities are placed?
- How do you assess the results of the past State Council, taking into account the long and sharp discussion that unfolded in its run-up to the end. Whose position eventually won - fishermen, experts, shipbuilders, Rosrybolovstva, Minvostokrazvitiya?

The most important thing is that, finally, the state's position on the distribution of national bioresources was clearly expressed - national resources should be used for the benefit of the whole society.

Our President gave a very accurate and extremely frank assessment of the state and state of affairs in the industry.

The President stressed that it was the state that created the conditions for such a highly profitable type of activity as industrial fishing. It was as a result of the state’s efforts that the fishing sector gained considerable weight. But, quote: "The problem is that these achievements have had little impact on strengthening the country's food security, the development of coastal areas and related industries."

The President recalled that during the previous State Council in 2007, the state went to meet the fishermen and confirmed the historical principle of allocating quotas 10 years and a number of benefits for our fish industry, including 85 interest on payment of the rate for collecting bioresources and other preferences.

In exchange, the fishermen promised to essentially revive the industry - and to update the fleet and provide the country with cheap fish. Business was taken to the word, and of course none of this happened - this is the nature of business.

And the President said very figuratively: "... I remember how they told me then that we need to switch to the historical way of issuing quotas and how we all will rejoice after that, as everyone will be happy." Indeed, there are such people who are very well. distribute this "very well" to the entire population of the country. "

That is, business at the expense of the state (and this not only conditions, national resources, but tens of billions of rubles of state subsidies) made a profit, but did not fulfill the obligations under which these conditions, quotas and subsidies were given.

In general, criticism from the President sounded very tough. And it certainly can not be called a victory of the fish lobby.

But this is also an annihilating criticism of the long-standing previous activities of Rosrybolovstvo, as the body responsible for the development of the industry, which did nothing to ensure that the President's instructions were fulfilled. And the point here is certainly not a lack of authority. Only with the appearance of the new head of the agency did they start talking about the state interests in the industry, because before that Rosrybolovstvo defended only the interests of those same users whom, as the President said, was "very good" at the state expense.

For me, such accurate assessments of the President were quite unexpected.

- Why?

Because the main document - a report to the State Council, was prepared by a working group consisting mainly of large business and it gave a completely different picture - full well-being in the industry. The objective picture, problems and disproportions that prevailed in the industry, not to mention their analysis, were absent.

In order to create such a picture, not objective information was provided, in some cases it was intended to be distorted, some of the most important issues were hushed up, that is, it was such a clumsy attempt to show that everything is good in the industry, it is successfully developing, there is nothing to change, euphoria extend for the next 25 years. At the same time, no measures were envisaged aimed at the actual development of the fishery complex in the generally accepted understanding.

The authors of the report proposed to increase the budgetary financing of the fishery complex even more in almost all directions, thus increasing the state sectoral losses that existed throughout the last period by many times. And, accordingly, the conversion of increased government spending into one's own pocket.

In fact, it was proposed to "develop" along the path of sectoral technical and technological backwardness, the lack of development of related sectors of the national economy and coastal areas, the loss of millions of tons of "historically Russian" resources of the open ocean, that is, turning the industry into an outsider and a financial bankrupt.

- Could it be more detailed about this?

Please, I will give only a few examples from the draft report.

In terms of ensuring food security, the assertion that while keeping the catch at around 4 million tons, the RF fisheries are able to fully ensure domestic consumption in accordance with the recommended standards (22-23 kg / person / year) is not true. If we take into account the range of products produced today in the fishing fleet, it can be shown that the yield of the edible part of the total catch is no more than 50%, and then this catch can provide per capita consumption of only about 14 kg / person per year.

The most important function of industrial fishery for the production of technical products (fish meal and fish oil) as the basis for high protein feed for the development of livestock, poultry, aquaculture (without the production of own feeds, industrial aquaculture can not develop at all, since on imported feeds there is nothing to compete at a price) is omitted. Probably because it's quite unfortunate - during the period of market reform the domestic production of fishmeal decreased by 8 times (to the level of 75-80 thousand tons), and fish oil more than 50 times. While the Ministry of Agriculture estimates that the need for agriculture in fishmeal and its analogs is about 500 thousand tons. The lack of domestic products is offset by imports only partially, the specific weight of imports 50-70%. Although this task has a solution: due to the introduction of the norm on waste-free production in the economic zone of the Russian Federation for large and medium-tonnage vessels (now most of the waste is thrown into the sea), the production of fish meal and fish oil can be increased by 2-3 times. Due to resources of the open ocean in 5-7 times.

The report gives a generally distorted picture of the development of a potentially accessible raw material base. In particular, it is asserted that the level of development of the available raw material base of domestic fisheries is 70%. At the same time proceed from the fact that all available raw materials base of domestic fishing in the open sea is 360 thousand tons. (about 4% of the total Russian catch when developing 45-50%).

These are incorrect figures, which are understated by dozens of times: only the "historical share" of catch of Antarctic krill, inherited from the USSR, allows us to potentially catch 52% of its TACs, and this is 4,5 million tons, which exceed all the Russian catch. Thus, the level of development of the generally available raw material base of domestic fisheries, instead of those specified in the report 70%, does not reach 40%.

For obvious reasons, there is no aspect in the report related to the very helpless position of business in the open ocean - there is no data on competition between countries for the bioresources of the open ocean, to which we are looking at the richest history and historical catch rights from the side, then there are actually give up millions of tons of "food and oil" of our future generations to our competitors. After all, in conditions of a shortage of raw materials and intense competition for access to them, the developed fishing countries are actively undertaking scientific, diplomatic and economic actions to restrict competitors' access to the bioresources of the World Ocean and to consolidate their national rights to them. But the President did not accidentally say that three quarters of domestic marine fisheries are based on Russian bioresources, that is, our fishing has skimmed to the size of our economic zone.

The lack of interest of users of quotas to the resources of the open ocean in the report is justified by the need for state funding for the creation of a large-capacity fleet for expeditionary fishing.

Such a view is an obsolete remnant of the past, since subsidized expeditions are the last century of world fishery.

Highly efficient, autonomous fishing has been proven in practice at the most distant resources spread over vast areas of the open ocean - Antarctic krill and Chilean horse mackerel, where our competitors in the autonomous operation of single vessels derive huge profits from “our historical” resources.

The key is new technologies of extraction and processing, new solutions and the most advanced technology. In order for them to be in demand by our fishermen and they returned to remote areas of the open ocean, having secured resources for the country and our future generations, while such an opportunity still exists, stimulating measures are needed.

There may be some blunders of the draft report, such as the statement that the lack of fleet renewal, there is a global tendency - quote from the report: "In the economic crisis, shipowners of developed fishing nations (Iceland, Norway, the EU and others) have largely reoriented themselves to modernizing available ships instead of building new ones. " And this is stated against the backdrop of the fact that never in the history of Norway has such a large number of large-capacity trawlers (9 units from the beginning of 2013 and before the beginning of 2014) been put into operation at the same time with such significant dimensions.

- Rosrybolovstvo proposes to use 20% of quotas "under the keel" for the renewal of the fishing fleet and the head of the department even announced that due to this it is possible to build up to 35 large-tonnage vessels and 50 small-tonnage vessels, what will this give the industry?

Nothing significant, except for the partial redistribution of quotas.

To achieve the goal, which sets our President on filling the Russian market with high-quality and affordable fish, such measures will not work.

First, as follows from the sounded proposals for 20%, this quota is not only for the renewal of the fleet, but also for the development of coastal processing. Well, even if it's all 20% "under the keel."

The big question for the figure is: why is 20%, and why not 30% and not 50%? This figure is not justified. Although it is quite clear where it came from: the smaller this number is, the more current users who are “very good” will be good. And to offer the head of state 5 or 10% - it really would not be decent.

But there was no logic in the speech of the Head of Fisheries at the State Council. When he speaks, it is difficult not to agree with this, "that our fleet as a whole does not meet modern requirements neither in terms of efficiency nor accident-free operation" and immediately propose to update only one-fifth of this inefficient and unsafe fleet.

That is, 80% of the fleet will continue to inefficiently use national resources and fishermen will risk their lives for 15 more years?

After all, it is clear that only the transition of our fleet to a qualitatively new level can be the basis for accomplishing the tasks that the President has set, that is, you need its complete renewal.

Regarding the number of vessels that can be built under these 20% quotas, let's calculate.

Where a large-tonnage fleet is needed - on the most massive resources that provide large daily catches - and this is pollock and herring. Without taking into account the coast, it is about 1,5 million tons of resources, 20% of this amount is 300tys. Ton. And for catching such a volume it is enough 6-ty really modern, large-capacity 90 trawler-processors. And for 35 such large-capacity vessels and all 1,5 million tons is not enough. If only these 35 ships will not be new, but antediluvian, and I, knowing the competence of the Ministry of Trade and the USC, are very worried that this can happen.

In this matter, you need an accurate understanding that now all large companies will line up for these additional quotas. This means only one thing - that they are ready to update the fleet.

And once ready, you need to create the conditions so that they update it without any redistribution in the industry. The mechanisms are known. Together with securing quotas for the new period, it must be said that they should be developed in the interests of the state in the most cost-effective and rational way - with the exclusion of any emissions, using the most effective system of direct accounting of the catch while constantly monitoring the catch.

Then, besides the fact that such a solution guarantees the competitive quality of the new fleet, there will be a mass order, which is a necessary condition for the influx of leading foreign companies into the country, carriers of shipbuilding technologies that are not available for us to build technically sophisticated civilian vessels and leading manufacturers as well equipment. And only then we will have a competitive sector of technically complex civil shipbuilding and mechanical engineering. This is not a hypothetical reasoning - this is the result of work already done with leading foreign companies.

- But at the recent X Congress of fishermen, you could repeatedly hear that our fishermen are doing well with efficiency and they are not so far behind their competitors.

You are right and this position was also reflected in the draft report to the State Council. However, this is either a blatant illiteracy or deliberate misrepresentation.

The draft report provides information that from an economic point of view, the production of pollock ice cream is more profitable than the production of deep processing products - fillets, because it allows you to extract more revenue from each ton. From which it is concluded that our business has already completed the task of the most efficient use of quotas, receiving the maximum benefit from each ton of catch, and if so, what are all the calls for the production of deep processing and in general for new equipment.

The head of the largest association of VARPE, Mr. Fomin concludes: "In the production of fillets, the loss from kg of products is 53 $ US c 1 tonnes of catch, but it is proposed to increase the production of pollock fillets." Simple calculations show that this will lead to a decrease in the incomes of enterprises carrying out pollock fishery in the amount of 3,4 billion rubles and, consequently, to reduce the payment of taxes to the RF budget. "

In fact, in the production of fillets there is no loss in 53 dol. from a ton of catch, but there is a significant additive in the amount of 870-940 dol./tones, because in addition to the fillet, compulsory accompanying products are also produced - fish minced meat and increased volume of fishmeal, because of the smaller rate of loading of holds, the time for fishing, d. But even this is not the most important thing.

The main thing is that in assessing economic efficiency, it is necessary to compare, of course, not the revenue part, but the financial result, that is, the profit per tonne of quotas: revenues minus expenses. And just in these expenses, that is, in the cost of production per unit of production, which in our 3-4 times higher because of the "quality" of our vessels, if compared in comparable conditions with the Americans is the key to this issue.

This question is directly related to the cost of fish products on our counter. Indeed, modern, high-performance equipment due to the lower cost of production can provide almost twice its lower cost while maintaining the level of profit that the business extracts today. And that is why, for the sake of the economically efficient use of national bioresources, it should be completely replaced by a truly modern one.

Speaking about the effectiveness, we can not help but mention the fact that fishing in the Far East is accompanied by a significant amount of fish emissions - juveniles, crushed, substandard fish, processing waste and overexpenditure of raw materials in the production process. If to base even on the information of TINRO and on the data of scientific research, then only in the pollock fishery, the fishermen illegally throw out almost one million tons of fish annually. That is, although the law is called "On Fisheries and the Conservation of Aquatic Biological Resources", we can not yet talk about any conservation of bioresources.

Scientific justification for the fact that emissions are taken into account in determining the TAC by introducing additional mortality and carrying out emissions fishermen are harming themselves by reducing the TAC for the next year - does not stand up to criticism. The fishermen are not harmed to themselves, but to the whole society. Does not anyone need an extra million tons of fish? And can this barbarism continue for the next 15 years? And the reason is still the same - the "quality" of our fleet. Of course, the state should not and will not tolerate this situation. And this problem can not be solved by updating only the fifth part of the fleet.

- With the renewal of the fleet, your proposals are clear with the need for efficient use of resources, too, what else is needed by the industry?

The problem of ensuring food security, and the President did not accidentally named this problem first, since this is the most important function of the fishing industry, it is impossible to solve without the resources of the world’s ocean and the need to assign them to the country. After all, our country has a gigantic advantage - the historical right to catch a huge amount of resources in the open ocean, which other developed countries do not have.

There must be some incentive to return the fishermen and business that has sucked into our economic zone into the open ocean.

- Since there is no money, it may be necessary to use part of the quotas in our economic zone.

After all, the allocation for these purposes of a relatively small 15-20% amount of resources in the economic zone of the Russian Federation, based, for example, on the proportion of 3 tonnes of catch in the ocean per 1 tonnes in the econom zone, would provide additional catch and fixation for the country 2-2,5 million tons of bio-resources, that is, more than half of the total Russian catch.

It is worthwhile and compare what will bring great benefit to the state when using 20% quotas - building even a dozen vessels for the economic zone or additional catch and securing the country 2,5 million tons of world ocean resources.

- But such proposals will also lead to the fact that there will be a queue of people who want to bite off a piece of expensive quotas in our zone?

I do not think that the line will be built, but if it is built, and if you are talking about projects aimed at securing the resources of the open ocean behind the country - then the real arrival of investment projects in the industry is exactly what the President calls for and what the country needs .

In any case, I would like to hope that the working group, which will work out final decisions in the direction set by the President and the State Council, would base them on a comprehensive, impartial analysis of not only industry problems and facts, but also necessarily take into account the peculiarities of various industries. After all, they are really very different in technology and in economy.

It is such a detailed study and should be the basis of the weighted proposals for changing the Law on Fisheries in the interests of the whole society, as the President demanded.
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