Kamchatka Fishermen to go on Hunger Strike
Twelve long-liners are still lying idle.
PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY. January 13. VOSTOK-MEDIA – Hundreds of Kamchatka fishermen are going to go on a hunger strike due to the dereliction of duty on the part of Russian Finance Ministry officials, Radio SV quoted head of the trade union committee of Akros Fishing JSC Igor Kovalenko as saying. The head of the trade union said the officials again shelve the issue relating to long-liners, which are waiting for Ministry officials to give them a green light to leave the port of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky for catch.
Captains and crews of 12 fishing vessels have sent another letter to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin referring to a promise made in December 2009 by the First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov that the vessels could leave the port for catch as early as in January, 2010. The fishermen submitted all necessary documents but the Finance Ministry is dragging the issue out, they say. The sailors also pointed out that by the end of March the codfish concentrations may simply disappear and there will be no fish to catch. Also, in this letter to Vladimir Putin, the fishermen stated they will picket government buildings and go on a hunger strike if the Finance Ministry will not solve the issue before January 20.
The twelve fishing vessels owned by Akros Fishing JSC as well as a dozen of refrigerator trawlers have been standing idle for more than a year now waiting for a permit to leave the port for catch. The reason behind the situation is amendments to the Law on Fisheries, which prohibit the vessels partially owned by foreign capital to catch fish. In 2009, the fishermen sent dozens of letters to all relevant agencies but the vessels are still lying idle.
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