Andrei Krainy, Head of the Russian Federal Agency for Fisheries. (Photo Credit: EC)
Committee appeals to end Chinese and Korean illegal fishing activities
Thursday, September 12, 2013, 00:50 (GMT + 9)
The State Duma committee on natural resources, nature management and ecology has made an appeal to the Federalnaya Sluzhba Bezopasnosti, the Federal Security Service (FSB), to end illegal activities of both Korean and Chinese firms in Russian waters.
As it was reported by the Russian newspaper Kommersant, the committee also wants to withdraw fishing quotas from the legal entities associated with them.
In the appeal sent to Prosecutor-General Yury Chayka and FSB director Aleksandr Bortnikov, members of Parliament are requesting "to identify the owners of legal entities, including their beneficiaries, that are unlawfully engaged in fishing in the Russian Federation", to take steps to put an end to these unlawful operations and "to cancel their quotas for catching aquatic bioresources".
These claims follow complaints of a similar nature presented against Pacific Andes, a large Hong Kong holding company that was forced to sell its Russian assets.
The appeal was generated by reports from firms in the Far East that foreign owners were reluctant to sell their illegally obtained Russian assets.
Andreyei Krayny, head of the Russian Federal Fisheries Agency (RFFA), told the Kommersant that the incident with the Pacific Andes is not finished yet. The company is still reluctant to part with the four assets it still possesses in the Far East.
"Russian players have proposed buying those assets off Pacific Andes at market prices, but the seller's asking price is simply out of proportion. On the other hand, there are Russian legal entities that are controlled by Korean companies. As in the case with Pacific Andes, FAS (Federal Antimonopoly Service) has invited them to divest their shares in the capital of the Russian companies. However, there does not seem to be any movement there," he added.
After the Pacific Andes incident, Korean companies suspected of unlawfully controlling around 20 fishing firms are being kept under surveillance. These firms, controlled in violation of the law and without government´s permission have quotas for catching between 220,000 - 250,000 tonnes of Alaska pollock (Theragra chalcogramma).
An important firm in the Far East told the Kommersant that: "After several large Russian companies bought from Pacific Andes some of the Russian legal entities it controlled, Hong Kong and Korean owners have raised the price of those assets".
These firms will not have the option of renewing their fishing quotas in 2014. According to Russian law, these quotas will then return to the state to be eventually auctioned.
Foreign investment in Russia’s fishing industry is allowed only if approval from the government commission for control of foreign investment is obtained first.
- Govt forces Pacific Andes to sell Russian assets
- Korean firms confessed to cheating to control fishing quotas
By Gabriela Raffaele
Photo Courtesy of FIS Member European Commission - Fisheries and Maritime Affairs