2019 April 22 16:57

Federation Council approves the crab fishing quotas bill

The Council of Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation today, April 22, 2019 approved a bill introducing a new type quota for crab catching, a quota provided to encourage investments, the Russian parliament upper house press office said.

The corresponding amendments will be made to the federal law “On Fisheries and the Conservation of Aquatic Biological Resources” concerning the improvement of quotas distribution procedures.

The document was submitted by Sergey Mitin, First Deputy Chairman, Council of the Federation Committee for Agrarian and Food Policy and Environmental Management.

The law was developed in accordance with the Plan of the Russian Government for promotion of competition in the Russian economy sectors.

The senator noted that crab fishing for investment purposes is carried out by legal entities and individual entrepreneurs registered in the coastal regions of the Russian Federation belonging to the fisheries basins in which the quota has been allocated. The law provides that the total allowable catch of crabs, distributed according to investment encouraging quotas, is set at 50% from the quota of commercial and / or coastal fishing. Agreements with legal entities and individual entrepreneurs will be entered into following the results of tender process in electronic form on the allocation and granting of a share of investment purpose crab fishing quotas.

The law says the duration of such contracts is 15 years. Under such contracts, the crab fishing entities will have to implement projects for the construction of facilities in Russia. The period to implement the investment projects is 5 years. The lists of facilities is established by the Russian Government.

In addition, the law establishes that a permit for the extraction of crabs may be suspended by the federal fisheries authority prior to its validity expiration, if there are facts, grounds for early termination of contracts and prior to the entry into force of judicial acts on the early termination of these contracts.

The federal law establishes appropriate dates: if the tender in electronic form is held before November 1 of current year, crab catching will be allowed from the 1st of January of the next year. If the tender is held after November 1 of the current year, crab catch will be allowed as from January 1 of the second year.

Sergey Mitin noted that the implementation of the Federal Law will lead to the development of competition and will open a "closed sector of the economy." Currently, there are 90 companies engaged in crab fishing. At the same time, 73% of the market is controlled by nine groups of companies.

Currently, the fleet of crab catchers in the country includes 154 vessels, 90% of which were built at foreign shipyards. It is planned that 36 fishing vessels will be built, with a total investment of RUB 50 billion.