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Fish rules

Vasily Sokolov: "Normative base as a whole is accepted, now it is necessary to work with it"

The federal law “On aquaculture (fish farming) ...” appeared in Russia in July 2013 of the year, but only two years later we can talk about what he really earned. In the regions of the commission in full swing form fish plots. Territorial administrations of Rosrybolovstvo collect applications from users and renew old contracts. The state allocated the first funds to subsidize part of the interest on loans for aquaculture farms. How is the integration of enterprises in the industry in the new legal field and what priority issues are in the focus of attention of the federal agency, in an interview with Fishnews said the deputy head of the Federal Agency for Fishery Vasily Sokolov.

Fish rules

- Vasily Igorevich, the adoption of regulatory and legal acts necessary to implement the federal law on aquaculture, stretched for more than two years. Is this work completed? What documents were issued?

- In the development of the law on aquaculture, five government decrees were issued, including amendments to the regulation on the Federal Agency for Fishery, 20 Ministry of Agriculture orders and one order of the Federal Agency for Fishery. Now one order is at the exit from the Ministry of Justice, all the rest are accepted, registered and entered into force. One more order, not the most key one — this is a reference book — will be ready literally the other day. Thus, we can say that the entire regulatory framework, which was assumed in the development of the law, has been adopted.

Of course, there are a number of points on which we continue to work. They relate to amending both the law on aquaculture itself and some by-laws, including government decrees. Of course, the techniques approved by the orders of the Ministry of Agriculture are being finalized. Therefore, work continues, but the backbone is already fully done.

- Normative and legal acts to develop the law on aquaculture appeared relatively recently, but already had time to raise questions from the business community. So, we have repeatedly written about the fears experienced by owners of salmon hatcheries on Sakhalin in connection with the approved rules for organizing trades to secure fish farms. Tell us, please, what are the problem points in the sphere of regulatory and legal regulation of aquaculture you see? How is it planned to solve the issue with hatchery plots for the existing LRZ?

- Actually there are enough problems. You touched on only one topic - these are Sakhalin plants. Now we are drafting a bill to take into account the nuances not only of Sakhalin enterprises - there are other factories in the Far East, which also engaged in artificial reproduction. They formed a large, expensive infrastructure, which, unfortunately, fell out of the legal field. Therefore, the relevant changes in the legislation have been prepared.

Although law enforcement practice as such has not yet developed, many complex situations arise because the very law on aquaculture almost all consists of referential norms. A number of points, which, by the way, was offered by Rosrybolovstvo in due time, was not taken into account in the process of finalizing this law. Now it is necessary, we can say, in manual mode to work it out.

Most of the issues are related to two issues: the distribution of fish farms and the re-registration of those plots that existed before the entry into force of the law. Here everything is very difficult, because in addition to fishing areas for fish farming there were a variety of forms of farms. For example, lacustrine commodity farms and other activities in water bodies that were organized outside the framework of, say, the law on fishing, or were not timely re-issued after the entry into force of the relevant standards in 2009. They again fall out of the legal field, and now we are looking for ways to take this into account.

The practice of bidding for the first time introduced lots will also become new, I will remind you that earlier they were distributed according to the competition, but now there will be auctions. It is assumed that the auction will be exhibited not just a certain area within certain boundaries, but an agreement for a long period of use of a water body for aquaculture purposes with obligations to carry out this activity, where specific volumes of cultivation will be specified. By analogy with the law on fishing: grow more - it's wonderful, grow less than two years in a row - the contract is terminated. Although here, too, not everything is smooth. In particular, one of the essential conditions of the contract is a list of aquaculture facilities that can be grown on this site. Now we are preparing the changes so that the user can expand the list himself. In addition, in many reservoirs, science simply does not have data and estimates about how many species can be grown there.

In general, there are a lot of work, and there are already enough problems, but they are not critical yet.

- I would like to clarify the problem of salmon plants: why it was necessary to amend the federal law? Was it not possible to do with an act of a lower level, for example, by a government decree?

- Yes, this option was also. And we still a year and a half ago, when the Ministry of Agriculture was preparing a draft government decree on trading, developed it as one of the working versions. In that project, the peculiarities of enterprises engaged in artificial reproduction were taken into account in the act of the Government. However, in the opinion of the legal experts, it is necessary to introduce changes into the law.

- But in the legal department of the president they pointed out the lack of law enforcement practice as an obstacle to amendments to the law?

- This is the position not only of the legal management of the president - it's a common position, if the law has not really begun to act, and it is already being changed. But in this case, it is changed due to the fact that an obvious gap is revealed: at the preparatory stage, a very important point was not taken into account. Therefore, we do not see here a serious contradiction with the position of the president's legal management. We believe that the bill is in a high degree of readiness, now it is being reconciled again and will soon be submitted to the Government, where, we hope, will be supported and sent to the State Duma.

- Enterprises are concerned ...

- We know. Moreover, in connection with this situation, a lot of rogues have appeared, who are trying, relatively speaking, to jump on the bandwagon of the departing train. They urgently begin to form some kind of reporting on the issues, they are trying to conclude artificial reproduction contracts with a view to getting the right to this river even without infrastructure. Unfortunately, this is also there, we have very creative people.

- Does the federal agency monitor the process of setting up commissions to determine the boundaries of hatchery plots? Is this work completed in all regions?

- The commissions are created at all territorial administrations of the Federal Fishery Agency, but not in all regions. For different reasons. Some subjects said that they do not have suitable reservoirs, and in principle they do not see the prospects for the development of aquaculture. Others, like the Magadan Region, showed no interest, meaningfully pointing to the harsh conditions of the region. Although the law generally prescribes the creation of such commissions in all regions of the Federation.

In general, the commission was created everywhere, where there was interest and the desire of local authorities. They work on an ongoing basis - both commissions under directorates, and commissions in the subjects, which account for the main blow in the part of freshwater reservoirs. There is an active reception of applications, these applications are considered. For example, I can tell you such figures: before the entry into force of the law in the territory of the Russian Federation, there were 1956 fishing areas for commercial fish farming, they are now being reissued. Over the past six months, more than 500 applications for plots have been accepted and considered, that is, growth by almost 25%.

Moreover, tentatively at the end of September - October are outlined on the basis of the consideration of applications and the first bidding, which will be held by our offices. This work will continue, because, as we believe, business interest in commercial fish farming will grow and, accordingly, the number of applications will grow. For our part, we also try to stimulate this process. For example, according to our assignment, territorial administrations prepared lists of reservoirs suitable for aquaculture, in any case, they collected this information to the maximum. It is posted in the public domain.

Now we together with the Ministry of Regional Development plan to make interactive maps in the Far Eastern region, where existing hatchery plots will be displayed together with the objects that are divorced, and those plots that are planned for further bidding. Later this experience can be extended to the whole country.

-You mentioned interactive maps. In Minvostokrazvitiya noted that in this way they want to achieve maximum transparency in the process of distribution of fish-breeding areas.

- I can say that here is the maximum transparency - there will be no contests for new sites. Contests are provided only for sites already involved in aquaculture, for which the terms of contracts expire. And for all newly introduced sites there will be an open auction. What is opaque here? We do not see any closeness here.

Maps are needed primarily for convenience, so that people can see where there is an opportunity to obtain plots and that they can be planted. The fact is that Minvostokrazvitiya has its own work on interactive maps in the part of investment projects, so we agreed that one of the layers will be, in particular, in the fish-breeding areas.

In fact, it will be a joint project. Minvostokrazvitiya for the sovereign money ordered and developed this program, so they are ready to give it to us for free. We are accordingly ready to fill it with content. An interactive map will appear on the websites of the two agencies, and we will also think about how to connect our authorities there so that they can directly update the information.

In the near future, we are planning to sign an agreement on information exchange between the Minsk region and Rosrybolovstvo, and we are now preparing the basic parameters for applications. And then we'll bring in the existing sites. I hope that this will be a successful and useful project.

- You said that before the law came out, almost 2 thousand lots operated in the country. How is the process of re-registration of these contracts going? All the same already the second half-year, all will have time to be reformed?

- We urge everyone, because there are certain deadlines after the entry into force of the law. We hope that everyone will have time. Initially, the activity was very low, there were single enterprises, now there is a flow. Since less than half has been reissued, according to our forecasts, the remaining three months will have the main burden in this part. But we bring the information that we need to come to business entities so as not to repeat the experience of 2009 of the year, when many did not go to renew contracts and, accordingly, dropped out of the legal field.

Moreover, we once a month collect all the management of the selector with the invitation of administrations and business representatives. We find out all the moments of law enforcement, what difficulties arise on the ground, how the re-registration is going, how the work of the commissions is progressing. Theoretically, problems may arise, for example, with the imposition of the boundaries of plots in the territorial sea and inland waters, since the powers of both commissions overlap there.

The task of the management agencies is to monitor that no such cases occur, and close contact with the subjects is very important here. The main thing is that officials of Rosrybolovstvo entered the subject commissions, and representatives of the regions - in ours, just to exclude such moments. By the way, the creation of interactive maps will also help to remove this problem.

Another reason for delaying the process of re-registration, it seems, may be that some users who have won sites in the contest for certain parameters understand that they really can not stand it. At re-registration the tender documentation will be raised, and everything that they stated in their business plan will be loaded into the contract. They will have to deal with aquaculture on the site. If you do not want to do it, then in two years you can free up space for another.

- In the spring, plans were announced for the enlargement of the basin fisheries administrations and the conservation of aquatic biological resources. How is the work on reforming the fish-breeding system going? What results are planned to be achieved by this?

-Really, such work is underway. It's no secret that we regularly receive budget sequesters, which, among other things, are reflected in the existence of our subordinate fish breeders. Therefore, the question of optimizing their activities is acute. Money is brought less and less, prices are rising, and it is nevertheless necessary to restore the reserves of FBG, so it was decided to optimize the activity of fish.

So far, as an experiment, we took the Southern Federal District - Rostov and Krasnodar, as well as the Kaliningrad region. In Kaliningrad, a small area where our fish farm and our institute work. And the fish breeder rents from the institute and the capacity, and the area. Since we have a good practice in CaspNIRKh, when the institute is successfully engaged in the reproduction of sturgeon, we adopted a reorganization plan for these facilities. The main goal is to improve the efficiency of our institutions.

The reorganization should be completed before 1 January 2016, so we will get the first experience next year. Next year we will form a government assignment cluster for these experimental complexes.

- It's about uniting institutions?

"Not just about unification." On the one hand, I would call it profile clustering - fish farms are combined with plants, a group of spawning-vigorous farms is singled out. On the other hand, the institutes are given monitoring work. We concentrate both human resources and technical means on the profile.

To date, there is not entirely rational use of public money. For example, Tsentrrybvod and Mosrybvod - what is the difference between them? Only that one has factories, but the other does not? Often, the funds are sprayed on things that do not have any effect, and meanwhile there are a lot of objects that require serious attention and a lot of money injections specifically for the reproduction of stocks. This applies to sturgeon, whitefish, and Baikal omul. The output is sharply reduced.

Or the monitoring work of a number of FGBU, which clearly requires a serious reorganization. We in fact knowingly pass all monitoring from fish farms to institutes. In fact, this is the performance of the same work. Institutions have monitored before, moreover, they have all the powers and opportunities to do this, and they have very limited capacity for fish, they are not allowed to even fish that is necessary for research. The institutions have it all. Therefore, we transfer not only authority and money, but also specialists and equipment. It turns out, we just optimize the activities of our subordinate institutions and fish farmers and remove duplication of work.

- What, in your opinion, is the main task now facing Rosrybolovstvo in the field of aquaculture development?

- The most important thing is for this direction to work and work effectively. That the business began to become more active in this sphere, meeting as few problems as possible. So far, unfortunately, there are enough problems. Far from everything is regulated by the legislation, a lot is worked out manually.

No, for example, in the law of fish breeding and biological justification, although this is a traditional thing that fish farmers always had. Accordingly, we can not introduce it into any bylaws. The role of science, problems with the fish farmer's ownership of farmed fish is very poorly considered, until it is removed from the water, there are questions with law enforcement, with the same channel ponds - a lot of unsettled moments ...

From the good I can say that after all the money was allocated to the subsidy, the rules were accepted, the applications were collected and are currently being considered by the commission established for this purpose in Rosrybolovstvo. Work began on science. Our universities have actively joined the training of specialists in the field of aquaculture, because the staff is not enough. Now in the educational institutions there are chairs and separate directions on fish farming, they recruit teachers, develop experience in the exchange of students with foreign countries, first of all with Norway and China.

Therefore, there are positive moments. The main thing is that the regulatory framework is generally accepted. Now we need to work with it and after some time, if necessary, make changes.

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