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The fish will not sail to the East

The reform of the law on fishing is designed to solve the problems of the industry

The Russian Far East has huge marine biological resources. On Kamchatka alone, about 20% of all Russian fish is mined. However, the catch does not fall not only in the central regions of the country, but also on the shelves of coastal subjects. Almost all the fish caught is exported. Change the current situation should urgent measures taken by the authorities.

The fish will not sail to the East

Rostislav Turovsky

Doctor of Political Sciences, Professor of HSE, Scientific Editor East Russia

The Far East provides about 82% of fish production in Russia, but the industry has recently accumulated a lot of problems that require a quick solution. The fact is that the Far East is in many respects only a raw material base, moreover - mainly for foreign countries, whereas in the macroregion itself there are not enough facilities for fish processing. According to official statistics, about 90% of all fish produced is exported, mainly to Asian countries. For example, for seven months 2016 year, only 352 thousand tons of fish from 1 863,6 thousand tons caught in the internal regions of the country were sent, which means that the remainder was exported from the country.

The federal and regional authorities are seriously concerned about the current situation, and the last year marked significant changes in the development of the fishing industry. Lack of investment, depreciation of existing funds, shortage of capacity for processing and storage, export orientation to the detriment of the domestic market — initiatives that are currently being implemented should help solve all these problems.

Of fundamental importance for the industry were amendments to the Federal Law “On Fisheries and the Conservation of Aquatic Biological Resources”, which were adopted in the spring of 2016. They aim to attract investment and the exclusion of the quota "rentier" from the industry. The principle of long-term resource securing was introduced, which assumes that quota shares will be fixed not on 10 years, as was done from the 2008 year, but on 15 years. In addition, the threshold for the development of aquatic bioresources has been raised for two consecutive years from 50% to 70% of the volume of allocated quotas. This measure is intended to fight quota "rentiers" - enterprises that do not have their own fleet, are not engaged in catching fish, but receive and resell quotas for its catch.


Do you want to catch - build

After long discussions, a legislative norm was adopted on investment quotas - the so-called " "Quotas under the keel", which is designed to stimulate the construction of vessels of the fishing fleet, as well as - onshore enterprises for processing aquatic biological resources. It is planned to allocate 20% of quotas for investment purposes, which may include the purchase of new fishing vessels built at Russian shipyards, as well as the creation of domestic fish processing facilities. This initiative is designed to solve the problem of serious depreciation of the Far Eastern fishing fleet, which is up to 80%, and also to load Russian shipyards. At the same time, there is a risk that the redistribution of quotas will hit small fishermen who can not invest in ships because of their high cost and may lose their quotas. In addition, large domestic shipbuilding enterprises currently do not have free capacities, the operating shipyards are loaded with orders for several years ahead. Nevertheless, there are good options for the development of shipbuilding and directly in the Far East (one of the latest initiatives appeared on Sakhalin - in the city of Nevelsk), and in other regions of the country (at the enterprises of the industry leader - the United Shipbuilding Corporation), but in the interests of the Far East.

The law also proposes to establish that the fishing space is unified, and the choice between industrial and coastal fishing is carried out by the user independently. However, within the limits of coastal fishing ashore must deliver exclusively cooled fish - it is prohibited to deliver frozen coastal fish, which usually goes not to the domestic market, but is exported abroad for processing. The opinions of experts on this initiative diverge. It is alleged that it will negatively affect coastal fishing. At the same time, these measures will allow changing the status of coastal fishermen, who in fact were engaged in sending frozen fish abroad. Now they are forced to go into industrial fishing, and the regions of the Far East will be able to access more available chilled fish. On the one hand, the consequences of adopting the law can indeed be painful for some players in the fish market, but on the other hand, without these steps, a qualitative change in the fishing industry is impossible.

The problem of lack of investment can be solved by cooperation with foreign companies, primarily Japanese and Korean ones. In particular, in exchange for fishing quotas, Asian partners are invited to build fish processing facilities in the Far East, or to invest in the acquisition of Russian vessels. At the moment, the idea is being actively discussed by the Russian and Japanese sides. The criticism of this approach is that it does not solve the problem of providing the domestic market with fish, since the resulting products are likely to be exported. At the same time, it can be effective in attracting investments and solve the problem of the production of fish products with high added value, will bring additional income to the industry.

The fish will be returned to the country

In order to increase the availability of fish products for the population and reduce its cost, important steps are also taken. Among the latest innovations is the creation of an electronic fish exchange in the Sakhalin region, which allows consumers participating in auctions to obtain fish products directly from suppliers. As a result, the fishery companies managed to sell 420 tons of aquatic biological resources for the sum of 230 million rubles, which is generally considered a positive result. The full-scale activity of the exchange should be launched by the year of 2020 after the modernization of the Korsakov port - a large logistics complex will be created there. It is worth noting that the positive example of Sakhalin wants to extend to other fishing regions of the country.

To promote the provision of the population with chilled fish at low prices should also already mentioned coastal fishing, the development of which is one of the priorities of federal and regional authorities. Sakhalin has become a pilot region, where from the summer of this came into force the new rules for regulating fisheries in the coastal zone. First, a simplified diagram of the catch report was introduced. According to the changes, fishermen registered in the Sakhalin region, who conduct coastal fishing only in the six-mile zone of Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands on vessels up to 24 meters in length, can now fill the fishing log already on the shore, at the landings designated by the regional government. Secondly, in order to develop a multi-species fishery for small-size fleets, the so-called by-catch increase was increased. (For which a total allowable catch is established) from 2% to 10% (except for mammals, crabs of all species and shrimp), and restrictions on the by-catch of unintentional species have been removed. In addition, since 2019, fishermen engaged in coastal fishing can claim state support in the form of additional quotas.

Among the positive changes is the ban on drift-net fishing introduced from 1 January 2016 year-fishing for nets in the upper layers of the water. Drift in the Russian waters was actively used by Japanese and Korean fishing companies, which intercepted a significant part of the salmon from Russian coastal enterprises. In addition, because of this variant of fishing, it was not possible to go to spawning, which threatened the complete destruction of the spawning grounds, and hence the cessation of fishing. The result of the restrictions is already visible. As a result of the ban increased the approach of pink salmon in the Sea of ​​Okhotsk, and Magadan fishermen received a catch quota of 2,3 times the original. As a result, the fishing for this type of fish increased by 2014% to 145 thousand tons compared to 60,6.

The driver of the development of the Far East fishing industry complex should be a fish cluster, the creation of which in 2013 was initiated by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Initially, the idea of ​​localizing the entire cluster in the Primorye Territory in Sukhodol Bay was developed, but this idea had to be abandoned. In the winter of 2016, Rosrybolovstvo presented a new concept of a fish cluster, which will include four divisions in the Primorsky Territory, the Sakhalin Region (and as a separate zone - the Kuril Islands), the Kamchatka Territory. At the same time, the leading role is still assigned to the Primorsky Krai, where five major investment projects are planned to be implemented: the Vladivostok wholesale distribution center, which will solve the acute problem of congestion of refrigeration capacities; Flagship factory for producing pollock fillets; Enterprise for the production of frozen fish semi-finished products; Multipurpose fish processing complex for small enterprises within the framework of TOP "Nadezhdinskaya"; An innovation-scientific park with a business incubator and a venture fund. According to preliminary estimates of the Federal Agency for Fisheries, the project will provide an inflow of private investments in the amount of 17 billion rubles, an annual contribution to the GDP will be 4 billion rubles, tax revenues - 1,6 billion rubles. In addition, 1300 new jobs will be opened.

The development of the fishing industry complex and attraction of investments are also connected with the mechanisms of TOP - by the end of the year, a TOP "Kuriles", having fishing specialization, can be created on Sakhalin. In addition, the Khabarovsk Krai authorities sent an application for the creation of the "Nikolaevsk" TOR, in which residents will be engaged in fish processing, shipbuilding and logistics. It should be noted that over the past year, two fish processing enterprises have opened in the Nikolaevsky district of the Khabarovsk Territory, one of which is the largest in the Far East (investments amounted to 1 billion rubles), which contributed to the emergence of the initiative to create a new territory for advanced development. Separate projects in the field of fish processing will be implemented in the framework of other TOP.

In addition, four residents of the newly created free port of Vladivostok will be engaged in "fish" projects for a total investment of about 3 billion rubles, which will create about 866 jobs. For example, the company Khoral ”will create a high-tech production for the processing of fish (sardines and mackerel), the company“ Corporation Prim Hunchun ”will create a complex for the processing and storage of marine products; Vladivostok Fish Terminal envisages the construction of a specialized refrigeration complex for the storage and transshipment of fish products, Sealife will build a plant for the cultivation of the Far Eastern trepang, scallop and mussels. Thus, new development institutions created in the Far East are largely focused on the development of the fishing industry and create tax and other preferences for enterprises.

Increasing own fish processing facilities through the construction and modernization of enterprises instead of sending raw materials to other countries, as well as providing the domestic market with products at moderate prices are the main priorities for the development of the fishery industry in the Far East. Over the past year, a number of legislative initiatives have been adopted, which significantly and for the better changed the regulation of the industry, and also created incentives for attracting private investments in the implementation of various investment projects. However, it takes a lot of time and effort to implement radical changes and obtain concrete results. 

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