Russian government approves plan to counter illegal fishing
According to the decree, Russia will establish a system for the traceability of catches down the supply chain, starting with the use of electronic logbooks on fishing vessels. In addition, the plan provides support for measures aimed at preventing the participation of Russian citizens in IUU fishing, as well as the development of international cooperation in combating the sale of illegal catches. The document also takes measures aimed at strengthening the administrative and criminal sanctions against violators of Russian legislation on fisheries conservation.
WWF experts evaluated poaching in Kamchatka and in the Barents Sea and have developed proposals for improving the satellite tracking of fishing operations, greater transparency in trade and transport fish products, working with fishermen on plans to improve fishing. Now this work is gaining new momentum.
“We consider IUU fishing as one of the major threats to aquatic resources and made a number of proposals that are included in the draft of this important document”, Konstantin Zgurovsky, head of WWF’s program in Russia, said. “Finally, Russia will have a strategic policy document in this area. Its adoption will allow for more effective measures to eradicate poaching at sea, including against pirate fishing vessels flying “flags of convenience”, which is the bane of our EEZ”, he said.
WWF also welcomed the fact the plan will assist with developing a mechanism for deprivation of quotas from companies involved in the IUU fishing and the introduction of traceability of fish products.