Poachers are getting restricted in the sea
According to “Fishnews” information agency, on 29th April in a headquarter of Food and Agricultural Organization (UN) in Rome the representatives of the Russian Federation signed an Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate IUU Fishing. Russia became 15th country to sign the document - in order for the agreement to come into effect, 25 countries should sign it.
Thus, an important step in an international fight against an illegal fishing and an illegal delivery of fish products has been made.
In the Information and Press Department of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation the document has been already proclaimed “one of the most important international agreement since the entry into force of the UN Agreement on the cross-border and wade-ranging fish stocks in 1995”. Today the sales turnover of such an illegal business accounts for billions of dollars. Because of the IUU fishing Russia loses annually up to 1,5 billion dollars, meanwhile a serious damage is caused to a stock of especially valuable fish species and seafood, such as sturgeon of the Caspian Sea and the Sea of Azov, king crab and blue crab of the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea and others”.
WWF Russia welcomes the signing of the Agreement by the Russian Federation. “WWF efforts to attract attention to a large-scale poaching have contributed to a sooner adaptation of the measures. Now Russia has officially joined the international efforts in this area, - says Konstantin Zgurovsky, Head of Marine programme of WWF Russia. – Chances for illegal fishing and its sales decrease every year thanks to the efforts of government bodies as well as environmentally responsible business”.
European Union, the biggest fish market, takes stricter measures against the fish of doubtful or unknown provenance and gives much preference to a fish caught by responsible fishermen. An increasing number of big European companies take obligations to buy only fish certified according to the standards of MSC (Marine Stewardship Council). The same has been recently declared by large purchasers of the Russian fish – Iglu and Findus companies.
In Russia there is also some success in the process of “greening” the fish industry. In 2009 a first Russian company ZAO Hydrostroy got certified according to MSC standards. Also, there is a certification process of the Alaska Pollock on the Far East, cod and haddock in the Barents Sea.
“But a lot still has to be done in order to make Russian fish acknowledged in the world as sustainable: we should speak about a monitoring of each container, decrease of the by-catch and waste of the undersized fish and less valuable fish, minimizing of other undesirable effects on the ecosystems, introduction of the efficient monitoring system of the fishing activities”, - highlights Konstantin Zgurovsky.
“Requirements for fish import into Russian market will also gradually become more rigorous as big international companies will be entering the market and retail chains will be becoming more responsible”, - assures Head of WWF Russia Marine programme.