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Igor Bystrov: "There is no fisherman without shore"

On the problems of the fishing industry and how they are solved in Sakhalin in an interview with the agency "East Russia", said Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Sakhalin Region Igor Bystrov, in charge of the fishing industry of the region

The problems and prospects of the country's fishing industry were discussed at the end of last week in Moscow at a meeting of the Presidium of the State Council of the Russian Federation, chaired by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The agenda, a key report with proposals for solving the problems of the industry was prepared by a working group headed by Oleg Kozhemyako, Governor of the Sakhalin Region. The fishing circles of the Far Eastern regions, including Sakhalin, took an active part in this work.

Igor Bystrov:
- Igor Mikhailovich, this whole dispute is a historical way of allocating quotas, not a historical one, leaving 20% ​​of the catch for state needs. Is this proposed to be done in the interests of the regions or is it primarily necessary for the development of the industry?

- In 2008, our state decided that we choose the best of the best, those who know how to catch, those who have a fleet and some other things, and signed contracts with them. That is, it established a share of quotas for them with a validity period of 10 years. And in 2017 this expires 10-year-old contract and we need to summarize.

And the problem that has arisen now, when they talk about why the fishermen have not updated the fleet over the years, or something else. But excuse me, no one spoke about this at the conclusion of the contract. We have been creating, in general, an economically efficient business for 10 years. And we created it.

The interests of the territory are the second question.

For example, our North Kuril region receives 50% of its own income from fishing activities. The main return for the territory comes when we process fish on the shore. This is the first moment.

The second point: not all fish can and should be passed through onshore processing. We extract 2,5 million tons of aquatic biological resources (WBR) in the Far East. Onshore processing enterprises are the most powerful and developed from Sakhalin to Kamchatka, they process somewhere around half a million tons. These are all onshore facilities! Well, maybe 350 thousand tons are still in the Primorsky Territory. But that's all.

- Where does the rest of the catch go?

- And the rest is processed on ships. Among other things, there are enterprises whose fleet is based, repaired and unloaded somewhere in Busan or Dalian, and caught in our economic zone, without touching the coast.

- Have you received and exported fish according to our quotas? Even if legal, legal.

- Legal. But the question is: why didn't we set these restrictions when it was necessary?

In fact, after all, the issues of fish processing at our onshore enterprises when establishing the volume of catch are not provided for anywhere, with the exception of once in a lifetime when signing an agreement for the use of a fishing site. There the advantage is enjoyed by those whose fish processing is closer to the fishing area. That's all.

For many years in our country we have been talking about fish processing, but there is no fish processing. In accordance with Art. 2 of the Fisheries Law, the volumes for enterprises are set taking into account processing. That is, there is such a word in the federal law on fisheries, but there is no by-law mechanism, an entry in contracts or somewhere else that this should be fulfilled.

- That is, all this needs to be adjusted in the interests of the regions in the law on fishing?

- Sure.

We have invested money in the Kuril program, built piers, schools, hospitals, airplanes, roads. Spent billions of rubles of budgetary funds. Because the fishermen and their families live there. That is, this is what, first of all, natural resources should be tied to. We must not take fish and seafood production away from coastal infrastructure! There is no fisherman without a shore.

One fishing job creates 7 to 12 jobs. That is why coastal port cities in Japan, South Korea, and China developed so rapidly. We brought the fish there, and this one job in the Russian fishery created another 7 12 jobs they have. This is what we are talking about now - refining, exchange, shipbuilding. Main components. It is also about education and ensuring the safety of navigation - that is, whole complexes. And the task is how to wrap the fish to our shore. Even if the fisherman unloaded the catch on our shore, he goes to Busan for service, ship repair and everything else. Why? But because we do not have shipbuilding and ship repair.

If we want to become a world power, I mean in terms of leadership positions in fisheries, we need to create shipbuilding and ship repair, infrastructure for the circulation of fish and seafood in the country.

- Salmon fishing has failed in your region this year. Is there still hope for the late chum, or is everything already clear?

- Putin's failure is a very serious event. If it had not happened, we would not have understood many things.

The economic entities that fish for chum salmon can be counted on the fingers, and the absence of pink salmon with chum salmon cannot be covered. The mass harvesting of pink salmon creates the bulk of jobs in the Sakhalin Region. Pink salmon gives everyone the opportunity to live.

- What is the reason for the pink salmon situation? Where has our science been?

- There are several factors, most likely. Maybe something happened in the water. Well, the previous authorities systematically did everything to minimize or reduce the amount and efficiency of natural spawning. Fish counting barriers (RUZ) have done their job.

Sakhalin had a unique situation until some time. We have artificial and natural reproduction worked together. They filled in natural spawning grounds and, in addition, received the fish that was laid in fish hatcheries. Technologies have been developed, the efficiency of fish farms has increased, and returns of fish grown in these factories have begun to increase. Plus, nature helped a lot: the survival rate of juvenile salmon increased. This explains the fruitful fishing season of recent years. But somewhere in 2008, we began to massively regulate the filling of spawning grounds with the help of RUZs. Someone calculated that 2 pieces of salmon per 1 sq. m - the maximum rate, the third individual harms spawning grounds. Slyness, of course, and even so it turned out that no one knows the area of ​​the spawning grounds themselves, and, consequently, how many fish eventually need to be launched in order to fill them.

- But for this there are institutions?

- In fact, there are also powers that are assigned to SakhNIRO, Sakhalinrybvod and the Sakhalin-Kuril Territorial Administration of the Federal Agency for Fishery. This is the state monitoring of the filling of spawning grounds. And this is very important! But it is not.

- No money, no people? What is the reason? Why isn't it?

- And the same story as with the delivery of fish for processing to the Russian coast, which I told you about. There is a word, but there is no monitoring.

- You said in one of your interviews that only 8 rivers are monitored. And there are 65 thousand rivers in the region!

- In fact, monitoring is carried out in 4 rivers. I had stale data.

- Is monitoring a federal authority?

- Yes. Federal powers, only regional responsibility. The situation is absurd. Everyone is in business, everyone has medals, but no fish.

It is necessary to understand that the spawning grounds are empty, most of the salmon hatcheries were left without laying on pink salmon. We can already predict the results of Putin 2017.

Therefore, unlike science, the regional authorities do not have time to build up. Now a program for the development of the fishery complex is being formed. Within the framework of which, measures will be implemented to restore stocks undermined by fishing. It's not just salmonids. Oyster banks of the Busse lagoon, the potential of the coastal waters of Western Sakhalin, the Kunashir and Shikotan bays, restoration of the recreational potential of regional protected areas.

The next area is fish protection. Obviously, even the little that we let on spawning grounds is often cut out by poachers. Ten years ago, powers for the protection of aquatic biological resources of inland water bodies were transferred to the subjects of the federation. In the Sakhalin Oblast, these powers, in fact, have not yet been transferred. We plan, in the shortest possible time, to organize the execution of the delegated powers on the basis of the forestry and hunting farms of the region. The first steps in this direction have been made. This year, thanks to the joint efforts of the regional government and the leadership of the Internal Affairs Directorate, to fight poachers on Sakhalin, it was possible to attract OMON fighters from other regions of the country.

- What happened to you with Putin, affected Kamchatka and other regions? Or is it a purely Sakhalin story? Experts say that red caviar will cost 3 rubles per kg. This is true? Even in Moscow, on New Year's Eve sandwiches with red caviar are traditionally on the table in every second house.

- This situation is only on Sakhalin, we have not collected more than 100 thousand tons of red fish in total. In other regions, Putin went well. But the salmon markets in our country are determined by two regions. About 90% of the total red fish catch is Kamchatka and Sakhalin. And the fact that Sakhalin caught only a third of what it should have caught, and more than 100 thousand tons did not go to the market, of course, causes an increase in prices for this fish and caviar.

The main type of caviar on our New Year's tables is pink salmon, which did not come to Sakhalin this year. Therefore, prices for caviar are rising.

- Kamchatka will not level the situation with caviar prices? Did she have normal catches?

- No. We received half the usual caviar this year, and there is a clear shortage in the market. The supply decreased by 2 times, while the demand increased. But caviar is not a socially significant food product. Although our selling price for caviar today is about 1 thousand rubles per 1 kg, and you are talking about 3 thousand rubles. That is, the difference is 3 times. Where does the price of 3 thousand rubles come from? There are a lot of intermediaries in this chain - from the producer to the consumer. There are also expensive transportation costs. Fish on ships sail to Vladivostok and then are delivered by rail.

- In Moscow, near many metro stations, shops have appeared, they are called "Sakhalin Fish". Sellers say that this is Sakhalin caviar and fish, but it is made in Vladivostok. Do you know about this network?

- We still have many companies in Sakhalin that buy fish: I ordered canned food from your fish, you make them for me, but the tag on the canned food will be mine. So you get in stores products that seem to be Sakhalin, but not quite.

- Tell us about the "Affordable Fish" program that Oleg Nikolaevich Kozhemyako launched in the region?

- The cheapest fish is the fish that I caught myself. The next lowest price fish can only be where there is minimal wrap on it: I caught it myself and sold it to you. This is a fair, markets. In the same Busan in South Korea, in the port cities of Japan, there are small markets where you can buy anything from fish and seafood.

We now organize fairs in our cities once a week. The affordable fish that we sell on Sakhalin in chain stores are pollock, greenling, herring. Prices for pink salmon are higher because of the failed fishing season, since it is impossible to make cheaper what is not there. Therefore, we will introduce squid and some other fish species in retail chains at lower prices to replace salmon. The situation with affordable prices is under our control, the names of all stores, along with affordable prices, are posted on the website of the regional Ministry of Agriculture.

- It turns out that such prices with a minimum mark-up are still profitable for retail chains?

- Yes. It turns out like this - under a direct agreement, without intermediaries, the fishermen gave pollock at 50 rubles per 1 kg, in retail chains they made a minimum mark-up of 19 rubles per 1 kg. Before the “Affordable Fish” program, this price for pollock reached 160 rubles per 1 kg in stores in the region, uncut pollock with head cost about 115 rubles per 1 kg, and ready-made fillet - more than 200 rubles per 1 kg. Why did retail chains come to us? We started dumping, began to export more good quality fish to fairs and people went for fish mainly there. Therefore, the nets thought about it and decided to be friends with the fishermen. The most remarkable thing that happened with the decline in the price of fish is that the consumption of this type of food product has increased in the region this year.

- How much?

- About 20% per month over the past six months. And this is despite the fact that salmon fishing was not a success.

In general, the consumption of aquatic biological resources by the population of the Sakhalin Oblast, according to official statistics, averages 18 thousand tons per year, but with poultices and welds, we consume about 30 thousand tons. Of this volume, the third part in the official and unofficial circulation is salmon. But the salmon was not successful this year, we replaced it with other fish species.

The Affordable Fish project consists of segments. There is also cooking. Fishermen are also now supplying their catches to culinary businesses under direct contracts, which is why prices for culinary products are also dropping. And these enterprises produce products of very good quality, which are in demand among the local population. I would like to note that under this regional program we sell only high-quality and fresh fish.

Without Oleg Nikolaevich, the "Affordable Fish" program would not have worked. Since we are implementing it in a very vague legal framework. When we are told that according to such and such a subordinate legal act of such and such a controlling structure, this cannot be done, then Oleg Nikolaevich has to tell the same prosecutor's office that the regional authorities have a task to feed the population, despite legal conflicts. As for the quality of products: the governor himself goes shopping, talks with buyers, the same pensioners, and if there are complaints or questions, he personally asks them to sellers and enterprises.

- Will the fishing companies be severely affected by Putin's failure? Could some companies go bankrupt?

- Yes, someone will go broke.

The fact that the fish did not come is a problem, but not a problem. The trouble is that all the fish are contracted. You are talking about unknown firms that have created a chain of stores in Moscow and sell red caviar. Why are they selling? Because in circulation they have already bought up all the red fish before the beginning of the season. But the fish did not come.

- And what to do with this failed Putin in a year or two?

- The biggest problem in Russia is that we have a mono-species fishery in Russia. Two-thirds of the Far Eastern catch is pollock and salmon. We add herring, a little green grass, cod and the whole catch is obtained. We can’t catch anything else. Therefore, it turns out that the salmon did not come and what should we do, there is nothing to replace it with.

- What does it mean we don't know how to catch?

- We have practically no fleet left. There is almost no small fleet. In addition, the objects that could be fished by this small fleet are outside the generally acceptable catches (TAC). Here is the same question about salmon fishing with scientific support. We are moving away from expeditionary scientific support.

- Why?

No funding available.

- Why does the Federal Agency for Fishery not fight for this line of funding and does not say that if we ruin science, there will be no fish in the next 15 years?

- Yes, science needs to be supported. We are unique, we are the only country in the world where in commercial fishing it is possible to fish only what has undergone full-scale scientific research. And accordingly, we have about 1 million tons of WBR, which are spinning in the Russian market, but have fallen out of the state's influence.

It turned out that recreational fishing to some extent replaced commercial fishing. All smelt, all navaga, coastal crabs and other species of FBG have gone to this "gray" zone, where fishing is carried out under the guise of amateur fishing. All this fish is eaten on the territory of the Russian Federation, it does not go abroad. In the Sakhalin Region, we tried to separate recreational fishing from small-scale production. Oleg Nikolaevich Kozhemyako initiated this and we are now issuing vouchers for catching the same salmon for the population through the MFC. For himself, any person can catch 3 fish a day anywhere on this voucher. And for those objects of fishing that go into commerce and are sold, we have now made something of the patent system. At the first stage, we just need to separate them in different directions - commerce and recreational fishing.

- Are there parameters that determine this small-scale production?

- The state canceled these parameters, so amateur fishing and small-scale production were combined. Restrictions today are implemented only on fishing gear. In recreational fishing, you can, for example, fish with a rod, but not with a net. That is, the fishing load is limited, and this is not effective. It can be effective somewhere in a reservoir in the central part of Russia, where everything is happening before our very eyes. For the Far East, these things are unsuitable, since they are uncontrollable. I can catch as many fish as I want and sell around the corner, and no one will see how much I caught and what I caught - with a net or a fishing rod.

- The Fish Exchange, which was created on the site of Sberbank's AST and has already started working. Is the exchange working in the direction you intended? Is everything working out?

- When the bidding began, a whole series of questions were revealed that we would never have known about until we opened this “door”. The subject turned out to be much more complicated, interesting and promising.

- Are the proposals and the circle of the proposers growing?

- As of October 11, 16 sellers put up 85 lots of their goods on the exchange for a total of 126 million rubles.

When we talk about exchange trading, there is a certain complex for Sakhalin. The first part is virtual, it is an electronic trading platform. The second part is physical or commercial. Our port of Korsakov is a logistics center whose functions include the accumulation and display of goods in the virtual part.

- Why did you choose Korsakov?

“A large-capacity fleet has always been based there. In the water area of ​​the port, the depths allow receiving and handling large vessels, there are berths. A small reconstruction of the entire port complex is required.

- Is trading on the stock going up or down?

- Up. But there is a mechanism that we are now testing, and in the coming days the trades will go down.

- So there will be two options?

- There is a product that is currently on the rise. For example, red fish, which is in short supply on the market today. But there is a product that is not in great demand. We put it up, nobody takes it, we cut prices. Depending on the desire of the seller: he can reduce, he can raise prices, he can stop trading.

- You said that there will be several stages of the exchange project. You have started the first stage. When and where will it end? What will happen in the second stage?

The term "exchange" used in relation to the project of Sberbank and the Government of the Sakhalin Region is nothing more than a "figure of speech"

Designating the distribution network we create from fishing centers to consumption centers. Initially, we planned to limit ourselves to the Sberbank auction site and the logistics structure in Korsakov. However, the first weeks of the project showed that it was not even half the battle.

It turned out that the system of circulation of aquatic biological resources in our country is not administered. Nobody controls it. Hence, a large number of intermediaries. Moreover, of a criminal nature. One-day firms are eliminating VAT and laundering signs of counterfeit and IUU fishing. One more point, Asian and European markets are saturated with banking and products and government preferences. We have a clear lack of them.

- What does it mean?

This means that with an equal market price, the fisherman gets a lot of income there.

- Abroad it exists and works, but here?

- Of course it works. We just have no one tried to put this task in such a way. We have created a trading platform, it is progressively working with logistics and everything else. At one of the last meetings we discussed the first results and highlighted the great points that we are missing.

We have a lot of words, as I already gave an example with the law on fishing, but there is no subject behind these words.

Now a working group has been created, which is headed by the co-chairs: Sagaydak S.A. and Kozhemyako O.N. The main task of which is the development of incentive measures for fishermen and buyers.

In addition, it turned out that we had a whole bunch of middlemen who were reducing both the profitability and productivity of our companies and the margins of the same retail. One more point - we speak different languages ​​with retail representatives. For example, they tell us that they do not know what a trepang is, what a rasp is. There is a misunderstanding between retail and our manufacturers - who wants what and what.

Why is there such a variety of products in the fish market in Japan, while we do not have it on Sakhalin? This variety of fish can only be provided by the population, not big business. In the system of our entrepreneurship, even the smallest, random, where everything is conditioned by the receipt of pieces of paper, I will not go to the market with a bucket of fish. Why? I haven't done anything, but I owe everyone. Therefore, we followed the path of the patent system with small-scale production.

- Is the patent expensive?

- While we do it for free. We call a patent a sale voucher. What the fishermen brought to the market in buckets is exclusive, you can do it in this small restaurant. Let people make money on it. The people came to the fish market and chose the fish products they needed. At the same time, we need to show this fish market on an electronic platform so that people can see online what we sell and what they would like to buy through electronic trading in exchange trading. That is, there will be electronic auctions and a fish market on Sakhalin.

- Can foreigners buy fish at electronic auctions?

- The auction site does not yet have the right to electronic signature for foreign participants. Therefore, at the first stage, we are negotiating the creation of brokerage services so that someone here on behalf of a foreign company can make transactions. We need to go through this stage, perhaps then we will come out with an initiative to introduce some initiatives into legislation.

So far, the current stage of our fish exchange is very voluminous. The word "Sakhalin" in this project, I think, will be mentioned for a long time. But as the project develops, Sakhalin will be presented as one of the regions, because we are not the first in the country in terms of fish catch and fish production.

- That is, Sakhalin does not claim the laurels of the championship. Let the fish exchange only work?

- The most important thing is that our fishermen really need this tool!

The Sakhalin Region is the initiator of the exchange floor, which we need. There is no need for everyone to be a pioneer, it is not expensive. We are working on a "pilot project". There is a stock exchange, but there is a "mirror" of the site, which can be made in Kamchatka, in Tatarstan and in other regions where it is necessary. We are open to everyone and on all island sites

- Have you tried using the “tracing paper” method to transfer the idea of ​​an exchange from Japan or South Korea? Or do you need to go this way yourself?

- The logistics that have been worked out in these countries - we do not have it. We do not have enough transportation volumes, storage volumes, moreover, a certain temperature - and much more. We need to create all this. That is why we say that the sphere of fish and seafood is still poorly administered in our country.

A bulletin board will soon appear on the exchange website, where any company can enter and see what and from whom it can buy or sell, at what price, how to deliver. There will also be a list of companies that are ready to provide delivery services, confirm the quality of products, and more. This is a large layer that now needs to be created, corrected, and completed.

- What do you think needs to be done to understand shipbuilding?

- It is impossible to catch the same pollock without the fleet. The state must make a decision. We need to understand the terminology. If we say that we want to raise shipbuilding at the expense of 20% of quotas for catching FBG, then this is absolutely unrealistic. These 20% quotas are an incentive for those who build ships and nothing more. But this money cannot be used to create a shipbuilding industry. And so no one asks the question. The question is about stimulating things. Attracting investments in the shipbuilding industry is a separate project.

We are now selling FBG to Korea, China, not only to buy ships there or to repair them there. We take her there also because we do not have the necessary infrastructure.

- What, in your opinion, needs to be done at the federal level to develop civil shipbuilding?

- The most important thing is to take the first step. And there a circle of people will emerge, a list of issues that need to be taken and solved. Constantly saying that we want to improve shipbuilding and do this-and-such - talk about nothing. We must take the first step.

- Some experts say that selling fish abroad and domestically is equally profitable. This is true? Or is it slyness?

- The country will not live if it does not have external influx. For the same sea urchin or crab, pollock in foreign markets pay more. We live in a market economy: buy - cheaper, sell - more expensive. Well, let our enterprises make money on this, if they give more expensive! If we have fulfilled the main industry task, we have provided our own population with affordable and high-quality products. Taking into account that it is more useful for the economy of coastal territories when the goods are sold on the territory of the country.

- How interesting is the advanced development territories (ASEZ) regime for the fishing industry?

- In my opinion, we need a fish TOP - a pilot project that needs to be tested. From my point of view, what we are currently doing on projects for the development of fisheries and aquaculture, "Affordable Fish", on the creation of logistics schemes, on the stock exchange can be fully implemented within the framework of such a "pilot". Minimal changes in by-laws are required. In this case, the economy is really considered.
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