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Regulators and sectoral specialists disagree on the assessment of the adopted amendments to the law on fisheries
Discussions are continuing on the amendments to the federal law "On Fisheries and the Conservation of Aquatic Biological Resources" adopted in the spring session of the parliament and already signed by the president. At a recent press conference, the head of Rosrybolovstvo, Ilya Shestakov, tried to convince journalists that all the threats that fishermen have noted are mostly contrived.
It should be reminded that the document developed by Rosrybolovstvo and the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia in pursuance of the instructions of the Presidium of the State Council on the development of the fishery complex, which was held in October 2015 under the chairmanship of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, provides for changes in the allocation of quotas for catching fish and other aquatic biological resources. The bill, in particular, provides for an increase in the timeframe for fixing fish quotas on the basis of the "historical principle" to 15 years from the current 10 years (in 2008, quota shares were fixed for 10 years), allocation of 20% quotas for investment purposes, Aquatic bioresources for two consecutive years from 50% to 70% of the volume of allocated quotas.
It is expected that an increase in the degree of necessary development of the allocated quotas, subject to the production of at least 70% of them on their own vessels, will lead both to an increase in catch volumes and to the exclusion of so-called quota rentiers - inefficient users who do not have their own fleet. In addition, the amendments imply allocating up to 20% of quotas for the extraction of aquatic biological resources for investment purposes: the purchase of new fishing fleet vessels built at Russian shipyards and the construction of processing facilities for aquatic biological resources.
In order to eliminate unnecessary administrative barriers, the draft law envisages the introduction of a single fishing space and the conclusion of a single agreement on fixing the shares of the production quota permitting industrial and coastal fishing. Fishermen will be able to independently choose for themselves the conditions of fishing - coastal or industrial fishing. It is planned to provide an economic stimulus for the development of coastal fishing and coastal processing. In particular, with the allocation of quotas for coastal fishing, an incremental coefficient of 1,2 will be applied, and the catch of coastal fishery will be delivered to the territory of Russia in live or chilled form.
To date, the main discussions on the law have flared up around the fact that it, in fact, removes the line between industrial and coastal fishing and introduces the concept of a single fishing space. And also around the fact that the law limits the delivery to shore of frozen coastal fish. Such an approach, perhaps, will create significant difficulties for small and medium-sized businesses operating in the fisheries sector. Such claims to the law are put forward not only by the fishermen, but also by the expert community and authorities of some regions.
According to the head of the Federal Agency for Fisheries Ilya Shestakov, "It should be clearly understood that what is now called coastal fishing in fact as such is not. The only difference between industrial and coastal fishing now is only that within the first one the company must deliver its products to the port, then decorate it and deliver it to the consumer, and within the second - deliver it to the port, for some time unload , Then load back and then in the same way someone put it. "
The head of the Federal Agency for Fishery believes that currently the same industrial fishing is being carried out under the guise of coastal fishing. But at the same time there are no additional obligations for "coastal" companies. Moreover, in recent years, they were given a number of opportunities - for example, freezing fish, processing it on ships, allowed to go beyond the 12-milny zone. At the same time, the quotas between industrial and coastal fishermen are artificially separated - on the basis of a certain historical principle, the meaning of which is completely incomprehensible. And, which already seems completely irrational, the volume of quotas allocated is subject to constant changes - it can change annually depending on one or another decision of scientific institutions while the fishermen carry out their work in a single way, thereby making possible the occurrence of large corruption risks, - said Ilya Shestakov.
In turn, the amendment to the Federal Law "On Fisheries and the Conservation of Aquatic Biological Resources", an innovation that introduces the concept of a single fishing space and recognizes within it all companies that are now industrial and coastal, industrial, according to him, on In fact, only will favorably affect today's small and medium businesses. Since all those fishing companies that, thanks to the amendments to the law, will be recognized as industrial, will be, for the most part, none other than small enterprises with small vessels. That is, this innovation is not something that is not a threat, but rather a measure of support for small and medium-sized businesses in the amount of allocating 20% of the catch quotas.
"The same companies that are now engaged in so-called" coastal "fisheries, and precisely what is just called, as a result of the introduced amendments will simply acquire the relying status of industrial. As for the delivery of coastal frozen fish, we do not impose any ban on it. We are only create an incentive for the delivery of coastal fish in fresh and chilled, "- said Ilya Shestakov.
But despite this description of the current state of affairs in Russian fisheries and statements about the positive consequences of the introduction of amendments to the Federal Law "On Fisheries and the Conservation of Aquatic Biological Resources", fishing companies still hold their own.
"The decision of VARPE - not to support this set of amendments - was adopted unanimously by the general meeting of its members," the president of the All-Russian Association of Fishery Enterprises told EastRussia Alexander Fomin. “At the same time, our association, like all other industry associations, was fundamentally opposed to the proposed selection of quotas from bona fide users, which could be 40%, of which 20% is for investment quotas, and 20% is for stimulating coastal fishing."
According to Alexander Fomin, the association also opposed a single fishing area and a single contract for industrial and coastal fishing, and in this case "this position coincided with the opinion of the majority of leaders of coastal Russian regions."
"Unfortunately, we have not been able to fully defend these positions," the president of the WWARP said. - Nevertheless, we still achieved that investment quotas can be obtained only for the constructed investment object. At present, domestic shipyards are loaded with government orders for construction of ships under the outfit, and in this connection mass construction of fishing vessels is possible only through 2-3. Another 2-3 year will be required to build ships, total 5-6 years, which fishermen win - during which they can safely work on their quotas. With regard to coastal fisheries, the enacted law provides that incentives with an 1,2 ratio are applied to enterprises that supply fresh and cooled fish to the shore. Here it is also obvious for us, as a result of this measure, most of the companies will refuse to implement coastal fishing and will go into the industrial one, so that the volumes of coastal fishing will decrease by several times. "
At the same time, the expert noted that positive aspects are characteristic of the introduced code of amendments. For example, in his opinion, such is the increase in the term for assigning a share of production quota to a user to 15 years However, as Alexander Fomin told EastRussia correspondent, initially, when drafting amendments, VARPE received a proposal to extend this period to 25 years. As examples of other positive aspects of the set of amendments, he cited the imposition by them of the obligation of enterprises to choose more than 70% of the allocated quotas and yields of the 70% of the quota on their own or chartered vessels for two years.
"Recognition of all fishing companies as leading industrial fisheries seems appropriate, since this means that all of them will be presented with uniform working conditions, and the fact that today both the so-called coastal fishermen and industrial fishermen should be equal before the law - there is no doubt , - commented to the EastRussia correspondent of the innovations envisaged by the new amendments, the associate professor of the Department of Economic and Social Geography of Russia of the Moscow State University named after MV Lomonosov Alexander Danshin. - Stimulating the delivery of coastal fish, envisaged by the new corpus of amendments, seems less straightforward - only the need to deliver coastal fish to the shore, but not the type of delivery to the shore, should be stimulated by law. It should be stimulated only by the law of the market and nothing more. As for the fact that the state went on increasing the term for fixing the share of production quotas to 15 years, and not 25 years for the user, it still seems to be a significant measure of support for fishing companies, because as a result of it, their catch volumes anyway will increase. The duties imposed by the amendments on more than 70% of the allocated quotas within two years, and on the 70% catch on own or chartered vessels are undoubtedly a good step by the state, but at the moment it’s impossible to provide such indicators by Russian fishing companies. In the future, it is possible, but only with appropriate efforts on the part of companies and additional support from the state. ”
For its part, the co-developer of the code of amendments - the Ministry of Eastern Development - as a whole positively assesses both the law and its prospects, but rather calmly - soberly assessing the current state of affairs in shipbuilding and fish processing, it was responsible for developing the mechanism of investment quotas.
"Yes, we should not hide the fact that at present there is no general experience in building fishing vessels in Russia, and the existing shipyards are very heavily loaded with orders," the director of the Department for Ensuring the Implementation of Investment Projects of the Ministry for the Development of the Far East informed the EastRussia correspondent. Alexander Krutikov. - But, according to the information provided to the agency by the management of the United Shipbuilding Corporation, there are some free capacities for building fishing vessels at Russian shipyards. Their construction is a complex and slow process. The creation of a ship at the shipyard takes at least 2 years. But when developing the mechanism of investment quotas, the ministry was well aware that the process of creating the Russian fishing fleet would require full state support, including participation in risk insurance. "
“As for the implementation of the law as a whole, its effectiveness is possible due to the fact that the law is transparent in the full sense of the word. That is, it ensures the transparency of many procedures in the fishing industry,” said Alexander Krutikov.