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Putin Set To Revise Fisheries


RUSSIAN FEDERATION - Russias Prime Minister Vladimir Putin aims at reviving Russian fisheries by increasing financial support and lessening bureaucracy.

During his visit in Murmansk he led a meeting on the development of shore-based infrastructure for intake, processing, storage and transport of fish products.

Head of the Russian Fishery Agency Andrey Krayny confirmed that Russian fishers are catching more and more fish, but that a large amount of the fish sold in shops is imported, reports .

The reason for this, he said, is badly developed shore-based infrastructure for storage, processing and transport.

The old Russian fleet is also very ineffective, Mr Krayny said, and mentioned that the 400 vessels large Russian fleet is catching the same amount of fish as 62 vessels in Norway.

According to Prime Minister Putin, the Government has done a great deal to assist the fishery sector, but slowness within the sector itself has hampered any progress.

"In 2009 we allowed more than one billion rubles for credit subsidies of building and modernisation of fishing vessels, processing plants and storage facilities," the Prime Minister said. "Strangely enough, there was no demand for the money," he added.

The Russian Government is ready to expand the programme of low-interest loans to fishing companies, Mr Putin said during the two hour long meeting.

Mr Krayny believes there is no point in modernising the existing fleet, and that new vessels have to be built. He suggests that the United Shipbuilding Cooperation should buy Norwegian technology for construction of fishing vessels.

Deputy Head of the Federal Customs Service Tatyana Golendeyeva had to explain to the prime minister why fish caught by Russian vessels in Russian Economic Zone has to be declared in customs as import (“Our fish?!”, Mr Putin exclaimed).

The state earns 122 million rubles annually on this practice. "If this is a problem for the fishing companies, we will change the system," Mr Putin said.

The Prime Minister also promised to cut down on “superfluous administrative regulations” and excessive bureaucracy that hampers efficiency in the fishery sector.