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Премия рунета 2017

Fines for fish poaching can become 20 times higher

09 october 2017
WWF supports the initiative of the Ministry of Agriculture aimed at increasing scale of fines for illegal fishing
Public discussion concerning a draft decree of the Russian Government ended on October 9. The decree should increase scales of fines for illegal fishing up to 20 times for some species, comparing to what the fines are now.
The new measures are not considered as a radical tightening of the legislation in the Russia's Ministry of Agriculture. It is highlighted that the decree should make scales of fines for poaching up-to-date. The last time the fines were revised in September 2000. For the last 17 years, the economic situation in the country has changed greatly; there became less fish in the rivers as well.
As it is today, a poacher will pay only 1.250 roubles for a three-kilo Atlantic salmon. Such fish will cost three times higher at the market in Murmansk. Thus, poachers don't worry about such low fines, and the fines don't have any disciplining effect", says Alexey Golenkevich, the Marine Programm Coordinator for WWF-Russia's Barents Sea ecoregional office.
Sergey Vakhrin / WWF-Russia
If marine mammals are not taken into account, poaching for sturgeon will be the most expensive for criminals. A fine for kaluga (great Siberian sturgeon) is set to 270.000 roubles level. A poacher will have to pay about 200.000 roubles for beluga (great white sturgeon). Each species of Amur and Siberian sturgeon will cost 160.000. Baltic, Black Sea and Kaspian salmons will cost almost 14 thousand for a fish. Fines for Pacific salmon differs; depending on species of fish they will become from 1.000 to 11.000 roubles high.
However, these fines are not final. The decree states that they will be doubled if a crime is committed at fence season or in water area closed for fishing. The fines will be sensitive to inflationary pressure.
It is impossible to solve problems, like, poaching and stock replenishment, at once with just punitive measures. A complex approach is needed. We need to save spawning grounds and fish habitats, keep wild fish populations healthy. Nevertheless, the increasing of fines is absolutely approved both, from an economic perspective, as well as from a conservational point of view, said Andrey Vinnikov, the Director of Sustainable Marine Fishing Programm of WWF-Russia.
The fines will be effective for both inland waters and exclusive economic zone of Russia. Even more than that, speaking of anadromous species, the fines for poaching them will be effective in the open sea up to the borders of fishing and economic zones of other countries.
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