Wise use and care for aquatic resources – in spite of the economic crisis
For the first time even along with the state authorities, fishermen associations and fish processing enterprises, WWF, which is the international nature conservation NGO, – took part in such forum. The issues of food safety were discussed, as well as the legal initiatives and the plans of the government to have a double increase of fish and seafood harvests in the national waters: up to 6,5 million metric tons of fish by the year 2020.
“With such kind of planning it is often forgotten that rather ambitious tasks and objectives could not be achieved without wise and careful use of aquatic biological resources and marine ecosystems”, - says Konstantin Zgurovsky, Head of WWF Russian Marine Programme and the member of Public Advisory Council at the Russian State Agency on Fisheries. - These resources are not just coal or oil resources that are on one hand limited, and on the other hand – irreplaceable. That is why I proposed to include in the draft of Round-table recommendations the paragraph on the needs to secure conservation and sustainable use of national fish and seafood resources. Which means that the large-scale poaching should be eliminated, effective habitat conservation has to be secured, - including development and designation of marine sanctuaries and fisheries reserves. Special conservation status has to be assigned to the main spawning and reproduction areas, and ecosystem-based fisheries management has to be introduced”.
Konstantin Zgurovsky also considers that aquatic biological resources have to be used more efficiently. “If these resources are used inefficiently the fishermen are forced to over-harvest in order to compensate for the increasing losses related to costs of fuel, salaries to fishing crew etc. Thus it happens that low efficiency of the fishing fleet and low level of fish and seafood processing are among the main factors that determine deterioration of fish and invertebrate resources”.