Experts recognize that over the past three years, fish production has slowed down

26 september 2014

The roundtable on “Evaluating the efficiency of additional burdens when issuing quotas for aquatic biological resources fishing” was held at the Analytical Center, where experts discussed the need and possible mechanisms for the implementation of burdensome measures, as well as the evaluation of their impact on the fishing industry.

At the moment, the analysis of the possibilities and implications of additional burdens on fishing quotas holders is one of the most important issues in the field of fisheries and fish processing. Following the instructions of the Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, the Federal Fisheries Agency (Rosrybolovstvo) has developed a set of requirements that will be applied to the fishing companies for quota shares in 2018. Among the possible burdens are the expansion of production, the construction of the mining fleet, the development of fish processing, raising the threshold of the required harvesting level for each quota and others.

“There are different approaches to the use of quotas. For example, the United States has a rather strict regulation, all is quoted there, and there are countries with a less strict control, - said the Deputy Head of the Department for Expert Analytics of the Analytical Center Elena Razumova. - However, additional measures that would complicate the activity of fisheries, we have not found”. The expert noted that rapid changes always have a negative effect, which makes it necessary to correctly understand and measure the importance of these additional burdens.

“We do not have goals set by the state. The government has no clear goals regarding the fishing industry, - considers the President of the Russian National Association of Fishery Companies, Entrepreneurs and Exporters Alexander Fomin. - Therefore, we do not understand elementary questions: how much fish it is necessary to catch, do we need to export. There are proposals according to which it is necessary to satiate the domestic market, and there are also the opposite proposals, that call to increase the export efficiency”. According to him, the fishermen have enough burdens. “We have a lot of commitments, while we pay taxes, have a social burden, - said Mr. Fomin. - And if we violate the rules of fishing, we do not just bear administrative and criminal liability, but also lose the entire business as our quotas get taken away”. The expert added that the fishermen have illegal burdens – “boundary” and “veterinary” administrative barriers.

Most of the participants have a negatively attitude towards the introduction of additional burdens when issuing quotas to aquatic biological resources harvesting. “Now there is an absolutely transparent automated system for quota shares distribution, and it excludes the human influence, - noted the General Director of PCF “South Kuril fish factory” (OJSC) Konstantin Korokov. - The existing mechanism has proved its efficiency and balance, so it should be left in the form in which it exists now”.

However, not all experts share such a position. Head of the Department for Fisheries Management at the Federal Fisheries Agency Andrey Gornichnykh believes that within the current regulatory framework the potential of the fishing industry is almost exhausted. According to him, the fish harvest in 2013 had amounted to 4,297 million tons. “Since 2004, the capture was increased by 33%, the average annual growth rate - 3.3%, - he said. - But for the last 3 years the growth in fish production has slowed down significantly: from 2011 to 2013, it has increased by only 0.75%”. The official also mentioned that this proposal exists at a theoretical level; there is no  draft law yet, so this issue needs further consideration.

The roundtable was attended by representatives of the largest Russian fish production companies and the professional fishery associations.