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Igor Bystrov: We Waste Half of Our Sea Resources 
                 Why we do not use our rich resources? Why our marketplaces are so poor and the prices for sea products are so high? The main reason must be the poor governing of the fishing branch.

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Gorny Vozdukh: How Much Is a Ticket? 
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January 30, 2007

Igor Bystrov: We Waste Half of Our Sea Resources

.

I live on Sakhalin for 23 years, many times took to sea and have seen various sea inhabitants. I was sure that it is impossible to surprise Sakhalin citizens by sea products. Two years ago however I was in Japan, in the famous fish marketplace Tsukidzi, Tokyo. The excursion stoned us! It seems that you can buy every ocean creature there, fresh or even alive. The prices were not too big at the same time.

And now remind any Sakhalin fish marketplace. Do you feel the difference?

Why we do not use our rich resources? Why our marketplaces are so poor and the prices for sea products are so high? The main reason must be the poor governing of the fishing branch.

We discussed the issue with the Regional Center of Fishing and Survey Director, Candidate of Economic Science Igor BYSTROV.

- You are studying economics and fishing branch regional peculiarities for a long time. What are the fishers’ sharpest problems nowadays?

- Beginning with the ultimate cause, the Soviet system of the branch governing has been destroyed but nothing else was introduced instead. Federal legislators are constantly “changing the rules” and the fishery managers are put on the brink of ruin. The fishing industry crisis struck small enterprises most of all, including Sakhalin ones.

What does a fisher need for normal work? He needs to know where, when, how much and what he can catch and who will buy it. The Federal Law #166 About Fishing And Water Resources Protection answers where. The shares for marine resources however are distributed for a five-year period, regardless of a fishing area. The areas potential have not been determined yet. It is an absurd: you have an area to fish, but nobody knows how much and what you can fish. Something is clear only about salmon. All the Sakhalin Oblast shore is divided into areas, but what do to with them? Sit and wait for another salmon redistribution?

- Why is it happening?

- Aim of the changes seems to be good: state benefit. Officers say it every 3-5 years: we want to take resources from so-called “not-effective users” and give it to “effective” ones. But this “effectiveness” is different for every single officer. The attempts to find “effective” citizens in Russia are useless. Quality is reached by studying and training only, not by resources redistribution. Now the only criterion for companies’ economic efficiency is “quasieconomic” – budget effectiveness. They suppose that a small enterprise paying 6% tax and a major company having no tax relieves must pay an equal sum from a “tail”. Excluding profit tax, companies spending more pay more taxes. We involve our small FISHERY enterprises in debts, and encourage fish rearing or processing plants.

- Processing is important as well …

- Yes, but to do it right we need bigger amount of homogeneous stock material, or the prime cost will be too high. It means that a shop must produce at least 5 thousand tons a year, better – 10-15 thousand tons. For a small enterprise however 400-600 tons will be enough. Big amounts are for big business. And it is more convenient for a major company to work with one or two-three fish species. They will not open a new technological line for a ton of crucian carp or seaweed. We can see the result: one-fifth of water resources are used for 50%, remaining part is used for 10-15% only. It means that we waste half of our sea resources. It is the answer why our fish marketplaces are so poor.

Poaching is increasing and it is also caused by government. Why do fishing companies need their own processing plants? It is the essential condition of getting a quota: processing capacity of plants built in the last 10 years is 1.5 million tons, but they are used only for 8%. Enterprises get only losses working in such a way. Of course they try to produce more, buying raw fish from poachers. The rules introduced by the government make fishery managers to poach and destroy small enterprises which are the basis of economics and the major source of employment in developed countries.

- It is the eternal Russian question: what to do? - First there must be a unified system of areas and quotas providing. Signing a rent contract an entrepreneur must get not a sheet of paper but a document saying: in January you can catch this amount of smelt and navaga, in May – this amount of flatfish and capelin, etc. Of course the figures must be backed up by science not to destroy the resource base.

Second, the public usage of fishing areas should be renewed. Every country has its peculiarities of natural resources usage. In Russia the original goods are traditionally communal: berries and mushrooms in the forest, fish in the river. When citizens are forbidden to use them, the protest is natural. It is in our blood. As for the fishing branch, there are fishing kolkhozes. They are in a difficult situation, but it means only that authorities should help them. People will be employed and they will protect fish resources in their area understanding that the resource base must not be destroyed or they will have nothing to catch.

The third: fishing is one thing, processing is another thing. They must be divided. Everybody should do his own business. Of course, nobody will forbid doing both at the same time if it is profitable, especially for major companies.

- Do fishing companies need direct state support?

- Of course! Or we will never provide working places for people and use our marine resources effectively. Market can regulate things, but very severely, and what will do most of the companies?

Moreover, the initial conditions are not equal. For example, there are huge amounts of seaweed in Nevelsk District. Why do not Gornozavodsk and Shebunino citizens extract it? Because the Chinese seaweed is much cheaper. They do not need to use electricity to dry it because of good weather conditions. Our fishers cannot compete with Chinese manufacturers by themselves. So the state must help them: to imply high duties, to finance a scientific research to invent some energy-conservative technology.

The same help the government can render at marine resources production. All over the world sea farms rare crabs, fishes, shells. On Sakhalin the branch is embryonic. The initial stage of the business – young fish raring – is very expensive, and the payback takes a long time. Businessmen will not do this actively. The way out is to establish state baby fish raring-plants, and then sell it or give to sea farms. Then the business will surely develop, including private companies.

- Do you believe that fishing branch will be developed again?

- It is possible if government understands how to help the business. They should not demand the same from small enterprises and major companies. The state must provide conditions for effective work.

P.S.

The RF Vice Premier Dmitry Medvedev told on the international economic forum in Davos that one of the Russian economics priority tasks is its diversification. It means that the fishing branch must be harmonically various in ownership patterns, variants of distribution, number of big and small enterprises.

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лик 05.02.2007
Согласен, рыбу мы ловим и продаем безобразно плохо, то ли дело япошки за проливом. Но мы у них никогда не научимся - как и машины не научились до сих пор делать.
 

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Fbr 14
"One-Handed Bandits" Tightly Pressed 
                 In three years there will not be any casinos in cities: they will move to special gambling areas. Gambling machines will disappear as well. But what about the current situation?

Fbr 6
Who Gains? 
                 How will the trade reforms influence Sakhalin citizens used to buy things on Chinese marketplaces?

Jnr 30
Igor Bystrov: We Waste Half of Our Sea Resources 
                 Why we do not use our rich resources? Why our marketplaces are so poor and the prices for sea products are so high? The main reason must be the poor governing of the fishing branch.

Jnr 24
Gorny Vozdukh: How Much Is a Ticket? 
                 A lot of words have been said about Gorny Vozdukh base new born. But then Rosneft refused to finance the project and the region authorities came down to the business.

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Fbr 14 "One-Handed Bandits" Tightly Pressed
In three years there will not be any casinos in cities: they will move to special gambling areas. Gambling machines will disappear as well. But what about the current situation?
Fbr 6 Who Gains?
How will the trade reforms influence Sakhalin citizens used to buy things on Chinese marketplaces?
Jnr 30 Igor Bystrov: We Waste Half of Our Sea Resources
Why we do not use our rich resources? Why our marketplaces are so poor and the prices for sea products are so high? The main reason must be the poor governing of the fishing branch.
Jnr 24 Gorny Vozdukh: How Much Is a Ticket?
A lot of words have been said about Gorny Vozdukh base new born. But then Rosneft refused to finance the project and the region authorities came down to the business.
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