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Fish in the law

The profile working group at the Ministry of Agriculture and fishermen discussed the amended draft amendments to the law on fisheries

Fish in the law

At the moment, the preparation of a draft law to improve the regulation of fishing is coming to a final stage: the document assumes an increase in the efficiency of the development of national aquatic bioresources and the introduction of preferences for fishermen delivering catches to the Russian coast. However, the fishermen themselves are quite critical to some changes. Coastal fishing again became a stumbling block.

Without changing principles

Amendments to the sectoral legislation (the Federal Law "On Fisheries and the Conservation of Aquatic Biological Resources") were discussed during the 2014-2015-ies at various venues, including regional ones. Recently, a revised version of the document was presented at the meeting in the Ministry of Agriculture, taking into account earlier comments from the fishing community.

“It is important that we have retained the historical principle of the distribution of quota shares and at the same time increased the period of their consolidation by 25 years - this is a big breakthrough,” said Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation - Head of the Federal Agency for Fishery Ilya Shestakov, opening the working group session.

Together with the increase in the term for fixing quota shares up to 25 years, it is proposed to introduce incentive measures aimed at updating the fishing fleet and production facilities. In particular, it is planned to raise the threshold for the development of quotas from 50% to 70% to increase the efficiency of extraction of aquatic biological resources. At the same time, in order to eliminate "quota rentiers", a norm is introduced that obliges users to master at least 70% of the volume of the quota received on their own fishing vessels or on ships purchased under a leasing agreement. To ensure the work of fishing holdings, it is possible to use ships within one group of persons.

Major innovations have touched upon the principles of separation of coastal and industrial fisheries. In 2018, industrial and coastal quotas in their present form will cease to exist. There will be a single quota fixed for 25 years, on which the shares will be calculated. In addition, it also means moving to a single fishing area.

Previously, the concept of "coastal" regulation was proposed through the technical characteristics of fishing vessels.

"In the current project, we return to the formulation of the 2004 year, where it was clearly stated that coastal fishing is aimed at providing both on-shore processing facilities and fresh and chilled consumption. This message is also preserved in the proposed bill, "said Vasily Sokolov, deputy head of the Federal Fishery Agency (FAS).

Coastal quotas will be determined annually and only for the objects on which the generally allowable catch (TAC) is established. Users will have the right to submit an application of intent to conduct coastal fishing - within the limits of their quota. An increment factor of 1,2 will be applied to the declared quantity. The main limitation is that catches must be delivered fresh and chilled to the shore, overloads and production on ships are prohibited.

After the approval of the coastal quota, the balance will be distributed according to the share principle for industrial fishing. Thus, as emphasized in Rosrybolovstvo, the user himself chooses whether to take on additional obligations.

Unquotable objects can be extracted only in the mode of industrial fishing. In order to stimulate their development, it is proposed to simplify as much as possible access to and remove all barriers for fishermen, including allowing unloading not only in ports, but also in other places established by the subject of the Federation.

The bill contains a mechanism for calculating shares in the transition to a single quota. According to the developers of the bill, as a result, the size of each user's share may change, but in tons the volume will remain the same. The fishery under international agreements also provides for a different principle of consolidation of shares and a special procedure for concluding contracts.

Coast stumbling

Fishermen in general support the concept of the bill, believing that the proposed legislative conditions will improve the investment climate in the industry. At the same time, they categorically disagree with the proposed principle of coastal fishing, although they acknowledge that the current administration of coastal waters also needs to be changed.

"The existing regime of coastal fishing is dissatisfied with everything - both mining organizations and processors on the shore, except perhaps supervisory bodies. Therefore, it is necessary to make changes to the law, but the business would like to see the detailed justification of the proposed amendments in the explanatory note to the bill, "said the president of the Association of Pollack Makers Herman Zverev.

Fishermen pay attention that it is very problematic to monitor the fulfillment of obligations of companies to deliver products to the territory of the subject of the Russian Federation. This can lead to the use of an incremental factor as a mechanism for the unfair redistribution of resources, they say.

Experts also add that such a principle can lead to excessive administrative pressure on fishermen, increasing the corruption component.

"The existing law minimized the participation of officials in the distribution of the resource. Now it turns out that the user again every year must come to the agency. We have already passed it, I would not like to return to the old times, "says Alexander Fomin, president of the All-Russian Association of Fisheries Enterprises, Entrepreneurs and Exporters.

It is also controversial to remove the leadership of the regions from regulating coastal fishing. "This fishery is called upon to solve first of all the social tasks for the rehabilitation of remote areas and the retention of the population on them, and to whom the regional authorities are more obvious, understandable and easier to solve these issues," said the chairman of the Association of the Association of the Union of Fishing Collective Farms and Enterprises of the Sakhalin Region Sergey Senko.

"The fact that the issuance of quotas are going to be transferred to the federal level is completely contrary to the logic of development of any region. It is not right. Coastal quotas should be assigned to the entity, and only those enterprises should receive a share of quotas that are registered in this entity. Otherwise, there is no responsibility, no foreseeable prospects and development, "believes the chairman of the Khabarovsk Krai fishery committee Sergei Ryabchenko. Khabarovsk residents are worried that coastal fishing will oblige delivery of fresh and chilled catches and does not allow processing on ships, transshipment of ships. According to Sergei Ryabchenko, this puts the fishing industry of the region in a "stalemate" situation. For example, the Khabarovsk Territory will be forced to abandon the harvest of herring, which today is extracted precisely according to the scheme "forbidden" by the new document. Meanwhile, now on the edge it is necessary 98% of extraction of this fish.

In the Kamchatka Krai, the opinion of colleagues as a whole is supported. "The region's coastal enterprises must be loaded with fish. And business should work quietly, having a perspective. A single quota may lead to the fact that large ships will enter the internal waters and we remember the negative experience of the 1990-ies. Pribrezhke will end for objective reasons - a large-tonnage fleet will "clean up" the fodder base and we will simply have to stop fishing. We plan on writing comments and proposals from the association to change the proposed principle, "said Igor Redkin, chairman of the supervisory board of Vityaz-Avto (Kamchatka Krai).

In general, experts recognize that the document must still work. And it is important to maintain the balance and positive dynamics of the industry development. "There is a lot of confusion in the proposed bill. We must carefully consider whether it is not too high a price to pay for the same extension of the quota fixing period? If we completely redo the law, we must clearly understand that we will eventually receive. Will we be able to keep at least the current indicators. Yes, the existing law is not perfect. It requires refinement. But it has already shown its effectiveness. We steadily extract 4,2 million tons per year - this is an indicator. We must think very carefully before adopting the amendments, "concluded Georgy Martynov, head of the Association of Primorye Fishery Enterprises.

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In Rosrybolovstvo they listen to criticism of representatives of the fishing industry. "It is clear that any innovations, even if they are for the benefit of the entire industry, can cause some discontent. Moreover, if they provide for additional obligations. But it has long been necessary to develop mechanisms for the modernization of the fleet, improve the efficiency of development of aquatic biological resources and the development of fish delivery to coastal processing. Moreover, all these measures are aimed at ensuring the country's food security, "commented the amendments to the EastRussia bill in the department. The press service also stressed that "these proposals are being developed jointly with fishermen, regional authorities, there are ongoing wide discussions and consultations," and they are all aimed at "improving the efficiency of water bioresources development and the functioning of the industry as a whole, increasing the supply of fish products On the Russian coast. "

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