The agreement is part of the efforts made by the two countries to protect the resource in the Sea of Okhotsk. (Photo: Stock File/FIS)
Crab protection agreement signed with Japan
Wednesday, September 12, 2012, 04:00 (GMT + 9)
Japan and Russia inked an agreement to ban crab poaching and smuggling within the Russian-administered waters in the Sea of Okhotsk in an attempt to promote the conservation of the resource.
The agreement, signed by Ambassador to Russia Chikahito Harada and Andrei Krainy, head of the Russian Federal Agency for Fishery, at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Vladivostok, will go into force 30 days after the two governments officially notify each other that they have completed the necessary domestic implementation procedures.
Under the pact, Japan will only approve crab imports if shipments come with proper certification from Russian authorities verifying that the product was no poached.
Besides, Russia will provide Japanese authorities with a list of exporters it has certified to Japan to make it easier for the latter to authenticate certification. Russia would also mandate that exporters install equipment that automatically communicates data about the position of fishing vessels and the crab catch to its authorities in order to exert stricter control over the crabbing industry, Yomiuri Shimbun reports.
Last year, Japan imported 49,102 tonnes of crab, 70 per cent of which came from Russia and it is feared that a portion of this amount is comprised of poached crabs.
There are concerns that bat crabs are being overfished, and both countries are hoping the deal will promote crab conservation and stabilize the supply of the crustacean to Japan, Kyodo reports.
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By Natalia Real