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State support quotas - as an incentive for development - EastRussia | Interview

Irkutsk
Ulan-Ude

Blagoveshchensk
Chita
Yakutsk

Birobidzhan
Vladivostok
Khabarovsk

Magadan
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk

Anadyr
Petropavlovsk-
Kamchatsky
Moscow

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Quotas of state support - as an incentive for development

Head of the Federal Agency for Fisheries Ilya Shestakov, in an interview with IA "EastRussia" shared his opinion on the prospects for the development of the domestic fisheries complex

- Ilya Vasilyevich, the participants of the All-Russian Coordination Meeting of heads of enterprises and associations of the fishing industry have asked Vladimir Putin not to allow the introduction of new types of quotas that destroy the "historical principle" of the distribution of catch quotas. After all the preliminary meetings and round tables, you presented the position of the Federal Fishery Agency at a meeting of the relevant Presidium of the State Council, which differs in some points from the position of a number of representatives of the fishing community. What exactly is causing the disagreement and is it possible to resolve it?

Quotas of state support - as an incentive for development
Firstly, we are not talking about a rejection of the "historical" principle. On the contrary, we want to preserve it and increase the time frame for assigning quota shares to users. The main innovations concern the increase of the threshold for the development of quota shares from 50% to 70%. At the same time, in order to eliminate quota-related rentiers, at least 70% of the volume of the quota received will have to be developed on own fishing vessels or on ships purchased under a leasing agreement. In addition, it is planned to create a single fishing area, within the single quota, fishermen will choose to carry out coastal or industrial fishing. Coastal fishing implies the mandatory delivery of the catch to the shore for processing, together with these obligations, fishermen receive an increase in quota. And one more important proposal is the subsidizing of a part of the costs of fish producers during the construction of ships in domestic shipyards by allocating a certain part of the quotas.

Secondly, we have no irreconcilable contradiction with the fishermen. When drafting the bill, we took into account the interests of the state, consumers, fishermen, and at the same time discussed all proposals with the professional community. It is clear that the interests of individual business structures do not always coincide with the interests of the industry as a whole. But I will remind you that aquatic biological resources are a national asset of Russia. We face state tasks to ensure food security, market saturation with high-quality and affordable Russian fish, for this we need to develop processing, improve the efficiency of the fishing fleet, and modernize the entire infrastructure. The fishing industry has a huge potential, and it needs to be realized.

At the same time, I want to emphasize that the dialogue is not closed, and when introducing any changes, we are guided primarily by the principle of “do no harm”.

- The Far Eastern basin is key in terms of catches. Fishermen of the Far East provide up to 80% of the all-Russian catch, harvesting more than 3 million tons of aquatic bioresources annually. Scientists of sectoral institutions are confident that in the near future this figure may grow significantly. Due to which, will the total amount of resources expected to be allocated for quota distribution be increased?

Far Eastern catch is still less - about 70% of the total production. The basis of the catch is pollock. If we bring up recent statistics, then from 2,3 million tons caught in the Far Eastern basin, pollock accounts for more than 1,4 million tons. Herring, saury, squids and flounders are among the main commercial sites of the Far East. However, scientists are talking about the underutilized potential of the Far Eastern Basin - one of the richest fishing areas in the oceans. We can increase the yield to 5 million tons only by developing aquatic bioresources in the area. Branch science speaks of three sources at the expense of which this can be done. First of all, this is an increase in the level of development of the allocated quotas, including changes in the law on fisheries, which I mentioned above, are aimed at this. In the second group there are objects that are difficult for fishing: bottom aquatic bioresources and deep-water, including crabs. This also includes the resources of the Arctic. In addition, scientists predict a restoration of stocks of ivy and sardine mackerel, and therefore make recommendations on the resumption of their fishery. The introduction of these objects can give up to 1 million tons of growth. But, unfortunately, after the cessation of fishing in 1990-e years, the entire infrastructure collapsed - specialized fleets with processing bases, technology also forgotten. Now we are discussing with the fishermen and science the steps to resume fishing and production.

- Quotas of state support are planned to be used for shipbuilding, development of coastal processing, for infrastructure projects, but it is not planned to give part of these quotas for TORs. Why? After all, a number of TORs would have been created for the processing of bioresources and this branch is extremely important in the Far East, and without waiting for such investment investment flows, it is rather difficult to wait for such flows.

There are no contradictions here. Quotas of state support we want to use as an incentive for the development of the fisheries complex as a whole, this is the level of federal support. Creation of TOP is also an incentive technology, but different. I would like to emphasize that the residents of the TORs will also be able to use the state subsidy in the form of a catch quota. However, if necessary, additional support measures can be considered within the framework of TOP.



- What, in your opinion, should be the role of Rosrybolovstvo in the technical modernization of the industry?

The role of the state is to create incentives and support. The development of the material and technical base should be done by the business to improve its efficiency and competitiveness. We can say that the bill is aimed at this. You renew the fleet - get an additional quota, load the coastal processing - get an additional quota. The opportunity to take advantage of the proposed state support will be for all enterprises that are interested in building modern vessels at Russian shipyards and delivering fish ashore.

In addition, the draft law envisages fixing the shares for the fishing industry for a long period, which will ensure stability and a long-term planning horizon for investment in development.

- Many exporters came with their products to the Russian consumer. But prices are rising. Recently, many media outlets reported an increase in the price of red caviar to 3000 per kg. What, in your opinion, are the reasons for the constantly growing final prices for the average consumer and can this increase be somehow affected?

Due to the fact that the Russian fish industry is export-oriented, domestic prices grew following the dollar exchange rate. And although today there are more volumes on the domestic market than before the introduction of counter-sankings by our country, the fishermen always have a choice - to take them where it is possible to sell more expensive or to show social responsibility and be sent inside the country. In favor of the first option, unfortunately, they tend to decline often because of the absence in our Far Eastern fishing ports of the infrastructure they need-repair, maintenance, sufficient modern cooling capacities, and so on. Therefore, it is necessary to create competitive conditions in Russian ports, we are developing such a mechanism of interaction with the owners of ports leasing the quay walls from the state, which would presuppose investing in the development of these territories.

Returning to the cost of fish, I can say that now the situation has stabilized, there are already examples of the declining dynamics of fish prices. As for your question about red caviar, an increase in the price may be noted on Sakhalin in connection with a not very successful salmon path. But in Kamchatka, the catch of salmon exceeded the 2013 indicator of the year by 42%, in the Khabarovsk Territory it was extracted by 66% more than in the previous year, in the Magadan Region - by 40% more. Major suppliers say they have already purchased for the New Year and New Year period, when demand traditionally grows at times, the required volumes of production.

- Recently you reported that Rosrybolovstvo has developed a bill on labeling black caviar by analogy with the current system of traceability of products in the alcohol industry (EGAIS). In fact, it is some kind of excise stamp, which is worth something and, of course, will increase the cost of finished products. Will this concern any other products, except black caviar, for example, red? And, are there any ways to control the legality of production, which will not lead to its rise in price?

This draft law provides for mandatory labeling of products from especially valuable and valuable types of aquatic biological resources and turnover in the territory of the Russian Federation and the requirement to provide information on the marking into a unified state automated information system for recording fish and other products from aquatic biological resources - by analogy with the Unified State Automated Information System. It will help make the market transparent, legal, block access to the turnover of poaching caviar, which will make it economically inexpedient to illegally catch these valuable species of fish. Experts predict that such systems will gradually come to other industries where there is a raw material link.

Calf prices are not expected in connection with the introduction of the system, the share of costs for marking in its cost price will be insignificant, black caviar and so expensive product. At the same time, commodity sturgeon breeding is developing, including the production of aquaculture black caviar, which in the future will make this product more affordable. In 2014, the production of sturgeon roe in the Russian Federation, according to Rosstat, increased by 2,7% over the previous year and amounted to more than 30 tons, in the first half of the year 2015 - by 12%, to 25 tons.