RUSSIAN COUNCIL OF STATE FOCUSES ON FISHERY
31.08.2007 | www.ruvr.ru
President Putin and the collective presidency of the Russian Council of State are meeting in the city of Astrakhan to discuss ways to update fishery in the Russian Federation. President Putin is also expected to visit a sturgeon breeding center in the mouth of the Volga River.
It was as early as last April that President Putin started talking of the deplorable condition of the fishing industry. He told the national legislature that the increasingly frequent discussions of the industry’s problems failed to yield tangible results even though priority decisions were quite understandable and self-evident.
Vladimir Putin asked the government to focus on effective ways to stop poaching and check attempts to smuggle fish and sea products across the national border. He said that most countries allowed foreigners no fishing rights on their territory and suggested that his country follow suit. In Putin’s view, the government of Russia ought to be encouraging home-based companies that fish and process their catch.
The biggest problem of the fishing industry boils down to this: fishermen would rather sell their catch at foreign – say, South Korean or Japanese – ports. And it is not only because foreigners agree to pay more that they would do so, but also because of the excessive red tape in the fishing industry of their own country. As many as 16 federal agencies are in charge of fishery in the Russian Federation. Annual damages from rampant poaching are put at a billion dollars.
As a result, Russian demand for fish is put at three quarters of that of the United States of America and China and one third of Norway’s. An ex-Governor of Sakhalin, which does much to provide Russia with sea products, Valentin Fyodorov, sees – fish and other sea products as the most important economic reserve which, as a matter of fact, has been left to its own devices. Fyodorov lashes out at the administrative reform which established all kinds of agencies, services and suchlike things, he wants it to be declared null and void. What has to be done is form a federal authority, he says, one and only in its field. What will it have to do? First of all, increase fish population. The bet must be placed on fish breeding. It is not only processing plants but fish farms on the order of the American, Japanese and Scandinavian ones, that have to open in Russia.
The Council of State is expected to focus on updated fishery in the Russian Federation.