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Putin pushes for fish-farming

RUSSIA - Russian President Vladimir Putin is calling for the development of aquaculture. Speaking at the State Council Presidium on Effective Management of the Fishing Industry in Russia, he said the fishery sector had paid little attention to the emerging aquaculture business and that needed to change.

"What is crucial for our industry today is the development of aquaculture. We know that in the last decade the size of the world’s annual catch of biological resources has clearly stabilised at a level of about 95 million tonnes. Most experts believe that in the future fish will be cultivated on fish farms," he said.

Premier Putin noted that globally, the annual growth of aquaculture was already between seven and 10 per cent. Russia lagged behind, but the prospects for fish farming were very optimistic with enormous potential for market development, both domestically and for exports. Development also had positive economic implications for a number of Russian states.

"We must recover what we have let slip through our fingers and also promote the most up to date means of cultivation and advanced technology. But to begin with, we must strengthen the legal framework to allow this sector to expand," he explained.

Poor legislation and regulatory measures concerning aquaculture has slowed-down commercial activity and discouraged investors. It has also halted the investment and implementation of new technology and advances in fishery management.

Mr Putin commented on a recent visit to Bios, a fish factory in the State Duma. The Director of the enterprise said that there had been a draft bill for aquaculture in the state for a number of years. However, the government was not promoting it and there was little, if any, interest in developing businesses.