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Pincers reach for crab dollars

How the whole 2018 year was hotly debated about the crab market of the Far East

On the eve of the New Year, on the main Russian TV channels, there were plots that the crab mining industry in the Far East is corrupt, and the Investigation Committee withdrew the criminal case 10-year-old from its Sakhalin Administration, which for some time was a well-known Far Eastern entrepreneur Kan. In the first days of January, television plots were called “telekillerism” at the Federation Council’s site, stating that they were initiated to support the redistribution of the market and the introduction of crab auctions, the initiative of the Federal Agency for Fishery, which was criticized by the industry last year. There is something to fight for: only the official customs value of exporting crab from the Far East - under 50 billion rubles. in year. EastRussia, summing up the 2018 of the year, cannot pass by the crab theme.

Pincers reach for crab dollars
Photo: Yuri Smithyuk / TASS; NTV


In December 2018, three Russian TV channels at once: “First”, “Russia” and NTV - unexpectedly turned to the topic of the fish market of the Far East. Kirill Kleimenov, a presenter of the First Channel, set the key, saying: “There are branches of the economy that are nationally controlled by organized crime. Well, or let's say softer - shadow players. In Italy - it is common knowledge - the garbage business. Do we know which one? I'm afraid not. You do not know ... The catch of crab in the Far East. " The eight-minute story ended with the words that the historical principle of distribution of quotas (according to which companies that are already engaged in mining confirm their right to take catch every few years) can be replaced by auction ones. 

Next, the TV channel "Russia" showed the watch "Investigation of Eduard Petrov" called "Crab trap-2". The transfer begins with a text characterizing the entire fishing industry from the not very good side: “For more than 10 years in the Far East, there has been a war for quotas between competing structures that work in the fishing industry. The current monopolists of this shadow market are working only on their own pockets. Of the large 12 fishermen, eight are resident abroad. Their ships fly the flags of foreign countries. Fish and valuable seafood are sold in foreign ports, and profits are settled in foreign accounts by tycoons of the criminal business. The quota is a screen for entering the hunt for Russian bioresources. The barbarous poacher fleet exterminates salmon, Kamchatka crab, sea urchin, scallop and sea cucumber. ” 

Further in the program it is stated that the crab-catchers of the Far East, choosing small officially received quotas, then catch the crab completely uncontrollably. The program reports that in 2017, the authorities officially allowed 70 thousand tons of crab to be caught in the Sea of ​​Okhotsk, that at an average cost of one kilogram of export product in South Korea $ 32 gives the industry 145 billion rubles. annual turnover. “According to expert estimates, illegal extraction of a crab in the Sea of ​​Okhotsk is two to four times more,” the investigation of Eduard Petrov notes. 

Note that the official statistics gives more modest estimates of the scale of the crab business, but they are also impressive. Although the customs data for the entire 2018 year is not yet available, but for 11 months of last year, according to the statistics of the DVTU, the subjects of the Far Eastern Federal District exported 50,8 thousand tons of crab with a total customs value of $ 702,7 million (at an average dollar exchange rate of 62,7 rubles this is more than 44 billion rub.). All exported seafood is estimated at $ 3,04 billion, that is, the crab gives a quarter of the official dollar revenue of Far Eastern exporters. 


Finally, December 28 NTV showed another 20-minute transmission “PE. Investigation "- Fish Owners. The story lists the “crab kings” of the Far East. As such, named, in particular, Dmitry Dremlyuga, which, according to NTV, controls eight companies in three regions of the Far Eastern Federal District, and lives in Miami. Also mentioned are Valery Shegnagayev, Valery Ponomarev, Gennady Mirgorodsky (the beneficiary, according to the market, the North-West Fisheries Consortium. - EastRussia), Igor Evtushok, Mikhail Kotov, Oleg Kan (according to media reports - Sakhalin's “crab king.” - EastRussia). 

“Of the 12 of the largest fish producers in the Far East, eight are for permanent residence abroad. The Russian seafood market has long been divided between major players. The business is incredibly profitable: almost all the owners of fishing enterprises are on the list of dollar millionaires. And strangers are not the place. Quotas for the extraction of fish and seafood delicacies of the last 10 years are received by the same people, ”the NTV story says. 

At the same time, fish producers are accused of not investing in fleet renewal, as promised in the 2008 year, when quotas began to be distributed, and processing enterprises "breathe their last." "We need to get a normal, fair profit, and not to manage the old pelvis, to finish off the remaining infrastructure, but to earn money normally," said Andrei Tsarikovsky, deputy head of the FAS, in the program. The solution is supposedly one thing - to return the system of fish auctions, which will lead the industry to "new participants who want to fish not to sink, but to take the flagships", the conclusion is made in the NTV plot. 


All last year, the industry has vigorously discussed the proposed auction of Rosrybolovstvo auctions for the extraction of crab instead of respecting the historical principle. The latter is that companies get the same share of the generally accepted catch, the ODE, which they successfully caught earlier. The system was built by the team of the former head of the Federal Agency for Fishery, Andrei Krainy, who continues to uphold her justice

The new management of the department proposed to put up for sale 50% of ODU for the crab - for the sake of replenishing the budget and increasing the transparency of the industry. Given the pace of the crab market, the desire of the state to withdraw at least part of super-profits from it is understandable. The first experience of crab auctions, by the way, turned out to be quite pleasant for the budget: in 2017, when quotas for catching crab were distributed in some regions newly opened to fishing, 24 lot went beyond 23,1 billion rubles. with a starting price of 1,5 billion. And the accusations against the fishermen of opacity that sounded on television in December were traditional: in 2016, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev himself stated that “in the Russian fishing industry, there are not always transparent economic relations, in a number of cases they are purely criminal. " 

Another argument in favor of the redistribution of the market is the depressing state of the fishing fleet in the Far East, the degree of depreciation of which, according to the Federal Fishery Agency, goes off scale by 80%. Another reason for discussing the problem, which stretches from the 90-s, was the tragedy with the crab-gunner Vostok in January of the 2018 year, which sank in the Sea of ​​Okhotsk. The experts then rememberedthat incidents with shabby krabolovami far from isolated, and the crab business is deadly for sailors. Can the arrival of new players drastically change something in this regard? Certainly not immediately, and this is obvious. 


The reaction of law enforcement to the television spots on the crab market followed surprisingly quickly. 25 December SU TFR for Sakhalin Region reportedthat “a film was broadcast on one of the federal channels about illegal fishing in the Far East of Russia and selling Kamchatka crab abroad”: “The material reports that the illegal business of illegal fishing of Kamchatka crab in the Sea of ​​Okhotsk and selling it in South Korea and Japan is organized, in particular, by Oleg Kan. " 

“It is alleged that in the investigation of the criminal case of the murder in 2010 of the businessman Pkhidenko (Valery Pkhidenko was shot dead in Vladivostok. - EastRussia), who also worked in this area, the investigative department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation in the Primorsky Territory brought D.S. Polyakov to criminal responsibility. the role of an accomplice. In 2011, the court sentenced him to 7 years in prison. With respect to Kahn, a ruling was ordered to prosecute as the accused, as the organizer of the murder, and he was wanted. However, after the materials of the criminal case were forwarded to the investigating authorities of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Sakhalin Region for further investigation, the officers of this department rejected the previous arguments and made a decision to stop the criminal prosecution of Kahn and suspend the preliminary investigation. ” 

The investigative body reported that the head of the TFR, Alexander Bastrykin, “ordered the criminal case materials to be removed from the investigating authorities of the Russian Investigative Committee for Sakhalin Region” “The divisions of the central office of the department will thoroughly study the legality of the procedural decisions made on it. Alexander Bastrykin also instructed to conduct an official inspection against officials of the investigative department of the Sakhalin region, who made these procedural decisions, "- said in a statement of the TU of the TFR. 


However, as EastRussia has already written more than once, the fishery industry is still against innovations in the crab market, and they found the stories on central television channels ordered - for the sake of redistribution. Representatives of the industry gave an opportunity to speak on the January 18 event at the Federation Council - member of the committee on constitutional legislation and state-building Elena Afanasyeva held a round table on the topic “The role of non-profit organizations in legislative support of industries (using the fish industry as an example)”. 

In view of the freshness and provocative sharpness of the television stories, the discussion at the round table turned not so much around legislative support as around the situation with the crab market as a whole. 

EastRussia recorded the most vivid statements expressing the position of Far Eastern fishermen who do not support the reform of the crab industry. 


Georgy Martynov, President of the Association of Primorye Fishery Enterprises

- What is the interest in the fishing industry? Due to the fact that the industry is developing dynamically (one of the few industries, by the way), or thanks to the words of the announcer and member of the board of directors of Channel One, Kirill Alexandrovich Kleimenov, who compared the fish industry of the Russian Federation to the garbage mafia of Italy? Are there any enemies here? 

I was a participant in the sensational pre-New Year plots of the central media: words were taken out of my context from 45 minutes of shooting and their meaning was changed. 

We, the public association of fisheries enterprises of Primorye, ask the first and second channels to explain their stories, which slandered both our border services and the regulator, the Federal Agency for Fishery and the customs authorities of neighboring countries. A shadow has been cast on our international relations with the Republic of Korea, with Japan and with China. 

It is a little about legislative maintenance and a role of public organizations in the Soviet and post-Soviet history. 

There are two very important milestones in the history of the fishing industry in our country: the middle of the 80-ies - the golden age of the fishing industry, when we reached a record catch in 11,8 million tons; 2004 year - the termination of fish auctions, against the background of the historical minimum of catches in 2,9 million tons (the bottom was reached, there was nowhere to fall further). 

Thanks to public organizations and the fishing community 20 December 2004, the Federal Law “On Fisheries and Conservation of Aquatic Biological Resources”, 166-FZ was adopted. There are rules of the game. 

We held the first congress of fishermen, and in 2004, President Vladimir Putin came to us. During the meeting on the fishing trawler "Archer" we told him about our problems. And after that a new stage of history in the development of the fishing industry actually began. 

The achievements of the fish industry in recent years thanks to public organizations are as follows. We have exceeded the production bar in 5 mln tonnes (the last time the catch was at the level of 5,3 mln tonnes was in 1993 year). Great assistance was provided by the Federal Border Service, which from 1998 of the year undertook the obligation to protect UBD. The regulator began to work in a new way, a working monitoring system was introduced. This year, for the first time, representatives of public organizations were present at the distribution of quotas and witnessed the “transparency” of the regulator’s work. 

Unfortunately, today representatives of public organizations are attracted only at the stage of coordination of documents, rules and laws issued. It is necessary to attract fishermen at the stage of their conceptual discussion. The fishery rules for the Far Eastern fisheries basin have been discussed for two years, but the final version is completely at odds with the ongoing discussions and approvals. 

Today, the rules of fishing, the document that should lie on the table of the captain of the vessel, which regulates how to fish in which areas constitute 150 pages. During the years of production of the 11,8 million tons, the rules were on the 20 pages, and there were no problems. The “regulatory guillotine” method, which was discussed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, has really matured. According to the analysis of the National Research University Higher School of Economics, in 55 regulatory legal acts, 550 of potential redundant, obsolete and duplicate requirements were identified. 

We have a good mechanism - the government commission of the Russian Federation on the development of the fisheries complex. We ask to involve a wider circle of public activists, including from representatives of the Far Eastern fisheries basin. 


Mikhail Kotov, President of the Magadan Association of Fishermen

- Invite fishermen to a government meeting. We have done research in the leading institutions of the country on the achievements of the fishing industry over the past 10 years. We have something to say and show what to be proud of. State structures that live off our taxes have humiliated us. Fishermen come up to us and offer: “Let's change. Let them go for us on Putin. " How to deal with lies on state television channels? They do not respond to official letters. 

There is no agreement, then there is competition. It's good. In order for a business to develop, there must be stability and perspective, a vision of business processes for 10-15 years. Then he will know that no one will take anything from him. Then the entrepreneur will invest in the development of the region and the country, will love his country, raise children and give them business. We have, unfortunately, the opposite. As soon as the fish industry became attractive, began to show excellent results, we were called the "mafia". 

About auctions: we already have an example of "rentier" - a company that has 150 thousand tons of pollock quotas, of which 70 thousand tons she just sells, without hesitation, via the Internet. There is no need to maintain ships and crews, there is no responsibility - this is what awaits us in the case of auctions. We have already passed. 

The initiator of the auction is the FAS, which does not see competition in the fishing industry. Today there are more than 3000 companies, in the last four years almost 80% of owners have changed. This is not a competition? 

Statistics show that in the last four months of last year, money was withdrawn from Russia four times more than in the previous two years. This is the answer of business policy of the state in the direction of business development in the country. 

Sugar prices have doubled, as has all major products, and the cost of fish has decreased. I do not understand, is it good or bad? In the morning, the Federal Agency for Fishery writes how many deliveries of fish products will be on the Russian coast, after lunch the Ministry of Agriculture asks to double the export of fish products. Good. 

Whatever you release, you have to sell it. The fish itself will not crawl for sale. Today 20 000 t herring is not sold in Russia, no one takes. We have no institutions that are all over the world. There is no normal economy. How can develop plants in the Magadan region, if the price of transportation (380 rubles per kg) exceeds the cost of fish? 


Maxim Kozlov, Chairman of the Board of the Association “Union of fishing collective farms and enterprises of the Sakhalin region”

- At the press conference held by fishing collective farms and enterprises of the Sakhalin region, all participants gave a clear assessment: “The statement by the media about poaching the FGG abroad is a lie.”

Doing business in fisheries is associated with great risks, and even a small concealment of the catch can lead to termination of the contractual relationship between fishermen and the state. All are aimed at long-term perspectives. In an uncomfortable position put the regulatory authorities. The created system of control and supervision, technical means of control, contractual relations between the Russian Federation and the countries of the Asia-Pacific community, signed agreements on IUU agreements do not allow today to export this resource to such an extent. Other countries without an appropriately endorsed certificate will not accept such cargo. 

A huge amount of investment funds, several tens of billions of rubles, have been invested in recent years in the development of the region: not only in the development of fisheries complexes (the Ostrovnoy fish factory is a wonderful example), but also in tourist complexes and sports infrastructure. 

Alexander Duplyakov, President of the Far East Crab

- All discussions take place behind the scenes in the interests of one company. We are not just not heard, but excluded from the discussion process. Publicity needed. We, representatives of public organizations, for our part, are ready for dialogue and ready to defend our interests and the good name of the industry. 

Vladimir Kruglov, Chairman of the Russian Fishery Workers' Union

- Do not pull the working system. Every effort must be made to preserve what we have achieved in recent years. Increased production is the result of fixed production quotas. 

We have worked perfectly 10 years. But one, known to all, the company is now swinging and interferes with the work of the entire industry. Quotas end, enemies and detractors are activated. We don’t want to go back to 90 and 2000, when we changed the 14 leading workers in the industry, people changed every three to six months. It is necessary to bristle up, defend their interests and dismiss any attempts to change the existing system. The best is hardly possible to come up with. 

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