The Russian fishing industry is in danger of being stranded. The government received a proposal to abandon the existing “historical principle” the issuance of quotas for the catch of fish, in accordance with which mining rights bioresources are distributed between the current market players, given how much seafood they produced in previous years, and to move to electronic auctions, in which quotas can obtain any unknown firm. This may cause the appearance on the market “quota rentiers” who do not produce fish, but cashing in on trading the received rights on fishing. Fishermen are sounding the alarm and demand to keep the current rules, which twenty years ago brought the industry out of the doldrums and allowed it to develop successfully. The question of the mechanism of quotas is expected to consider April 26, the government at the meeting of the Commission on the development of the fisheries industry. Industry representatives expect that the officials will not make a “revolution” and preserve the existing historical principle.
Photo: Maria Tkacheva
Russia is among the top five fishing countries in the world. Last year was a record catch of fish for the last 25 years. Domestic fishers produced about 4.9 million tons of fish, which is 2% higher than a year earlier. In 2018 is expected to further increase as the industry continues to develop dynamically.
Fishing distance investors than mining. The industry employs 270 thousand people, and with the workers indirectly involved in fisheries, this number exceeds 1 million, the Sector contributes more than 40 billion virtually any in taxes and social security payments. Most of the regions of the Far East and Russian North depends largely on the work of fishermen.
Over the past nearly 30 years, the domestic fishing industry has undergone an impressive evolution from complete decay to a steady state. In the early 1990-ies of our commercial sector was the largest in the world and has brought the country to 12 million tons of fish.
However, after the collapse of the USSR fishing industry began to decline. In the field regions it is constantly attacked by raiders who tried to disrupt the momentary Kush, and did not care about the future. As a result, the production fell below 3 million tons, thus registering its historical minimum.
A radical change occurred in 2003-2004, when it adopted the so-called historical principle of distribution of quotas on vylov fishes. It is as follows. The government, for its part, allocates long-term mining rights bioresources companies, which have proved itself from the positive side. Quotas are distributed in accordance with the level of fish catch, which has shown in previous years.
Thus, officials received a guarantee that received quota players will not resell its rights to a third party. Improvement of control over the commercial sector could afford to fight illegal fishing. Received quota market participants were able to make plans for many years to come. They were given the opportunity to obtain loans and to invest in the construction of modern vessels, processing facilities and training of new personnel.
The current modern production figures proves that was the correct way of development of fisheries. However, at the end of last year, the industry is shocked with the unexpected news — one of the major Russian fishing holdings sent a letter to President Vladimir Putin in which asked to replace the historical principle of quota allocation auctions. It was about the most attractive object of fishing — far Eastern crab. This letter to the President came purpose. Expires this year fifteen-year period of validity of the previous quotas. In this regard, the Agency has started to accept applications on prescriptie quota shares for a new period. On the eve of the appearance of appeal to Putin in Russia held auctions to sell shares in the quota, which was implemented 5 thousand tons have not caught crab. The total amount received in the budget funds for the resolution of the bioresources ‘ catch amounted to 24 billion virtually any. This allowed the authors of the appeal to the President to justify the revision of the historical principle and replace it with a new format.
However, the majority of representatives of the fisheries industry think changing the rules is not only unnecessary, but even call it harmful. They believe that rejection of the historical principle will hit industry in General, investment climate, projects in the field of extraction and processing of aquatic bioresources industry and the social sphere. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at meeting on development of fish processing industry, which took place on 20 April in the Murmansk region, said that the revolution in this industry to not be. He instructed Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich again carefully to consider the subject and report on the developed position. The corresponding issue will be considered at the meeting of the government Commission on the development of the fisheries industry, which will take place on April 26.
Representatives of the fishing industry hopes that the government will retain the existing historical principle of quotas between fishing companies are allocated based on how much seafood they produced in previous years. This procedure, in their opinion, allows the industry to successfully develop and build the investment plans, but also minimizes and eliminates poaching in market quota rentiers, who do not produce fish, but cashing in on trading the received rights on fishing resources. At the same time, the transition to auctions threatened by rising prices, dependence on foreign capital, reduction of catches and as a consequence lower tax deductions.
As the Chairman of the COP “Sevryba” Vyacheslav zilanov, “auctions inflict enormous damage to the industry. No country in the world with a market economy does not resort to such practices.” According to him, due to the auction there is a legal contradiction at the auction exhibited “a fish in water, which are the subject of the work, not the subject of ownership”, which can be disposed of, just can’t catch.
“Industry revenue by the end of 2017 is estimated at 300 billion virtually any. If this lump sum amount of money to withdraw, it will collapse. We don’t have to talk about investment, the development of processing and other fields. All the money will go only to the auctions” — warns the President of the Association of miners crab Far East Alexander Duplyakov.
The position of the industry share and the macroeconomic experts. “It doesn’t matter, you have a lot of money or a little. You will pay any price to stay in business. Then you will be left without resources, can not meet the investment obligations objectively. Fishery managers say that their business is long money that it is impossible to work overnight. To stay afloat when fishing for crab, you need to own and maintain the fleet, the crew and infrastructure on the shore. Redemption rights on the catch at auction simply bleed the industry,” — said the head of the Institute of globalization problems, the economist Mikhail Delyagin.
“From calm seas we find ourselves in a storm. Know what to expect in the future. Many fishermen may lose their jobs, the cost of production can grow. Most importantly, during the transition to auctions of lost predictability. None of the market participants and regulators will not be able in the event of a change in the rules of the game to understand how to calculate the forces and budgets. To talk about reform of regulation for the sake of imaginary “paper” increasing taxes is very risky. This is reform for reform, not for the sake of progress. Whether it will bring more money to the budget is not known. To risk the existing achievements for the uncertain promises absolutely ending,” — said the head of the expert Council of the Institute of social studies, Gleb Kuznetsov.