VLADIVOSTOK. September 9. VOSTOK-MEDIA – The International Fishery Congress, the event for which the Russian fishing community had been waiting for the whole year, drew to a close Wednesday. The participants in the congress summed up the results and prepared a draft resolution.
The second day of the congress opened with two round-table sessions: ‘Financing Current Operations and Investment Activities of Fishing Companies’ and ‘Competitive Growth of Fish Processing in Russia: Current State and Perspectives’. The event gathered representatives of the far eastern and North Sea Basin fishing communities, researchers, officials at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, banks and companies.
Jean-Francois Pulvenis, Director of the UN Fishery Policy and Planning Division, opened the first round-table session reporting on the code of conduct for responsible fishing and the formation of the FAO’s responsible fishing policy.
Commenting on an expert report, German Zverev stressed the importance of tackling illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing and establishing guidelines for responsible fishing, which are being developed by the FAO. He said the FAO’s guidelines, certification schemes and other rules will be influencing fish markets in the near future, and therefore companies engaged in fishing and fish processing operations should prepare for the upcoming changes.
The participants in the session again and again returned to the issue of fleet renovation and finding sources of funds for such renovation. There have been many proposals as to where the funds might come from. Georgy Martynov, Director of the Association of Primorye Fishing Companies, suggested getting money from the government. “The funds may as well be borrowed from Norwegian banks,” North Sea Basin fishermen kept on saying, while bankers, who were particularly active at this year’s congress, named Russian banks as a reliable source of funds. However, the last proposal was promptly brushed away after comparing the lending rate of Russian banks (9-10%) with that of foreign ones (2.5-3%).
During the second round-table session, senior officials of the Russian Far East provided a detailed outline of their plans for spurring competitive growth. The majority of those present at the session agreed that the package of incentives offered by Primorye fishing community would be definitely a success.
Decisions reached at the round-table discussions will be included in the final resolution of the International Fishery Congress.
All of the participants are now working on the final version of the resolution, which is expected to be ready in a month.