MOSCOW, January 11 (Itar-Tass) —— Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has called into question the proposed additional restrictions on amateur fishing and criticized the regional authorities for turning over the most attractive fishing places to private enterprises.
At a meeting with representatives from amateur and sports fishing community on Wednesday Putin reminded of the main task - to preserve the fish stock and ensure environmental protection, which was set forth to lawmakers when a bill on amateur fishing was being drafted. But, in practice, the good idea proved to work against the fishermen, Putin admitted.
In the first half of 2012 the draft document is to be discussed by the State Duma, but before taking a final and decisive step the prime minister suggested raising the subject at a meeting of public organizations of fishermen. Putin reminded of an honorable goal set by the authors of the bill - to help people fond of fishing and create additional opportunities for the reproduction of the fish resources.
In reality, the result proved to be the opposite of what was intended, Putin said. "I was surprised to find out that regions (which had been given the right to map out fishing places for payment - map out the so- called fishing "industrial" zones and put them on sale on a competitive basis); in some regions almost half of the overall water area or water mirror have been turned over precisely to commerce organizations. Whatever was left beyond the commercial basis proved to be devoid of any infrastructure, Putin said. He quoted figures to show that in some regions commerce companies account for almost half of the overall fishing territory, in some regions - for twenty percent, and in Kazan - they own practically all the territory. Putin said.
The proposed "fisherman’s card" which seemed a good idea at first has not been used for the purpose for which it was meant, Putin said. To get a fisherman’s card in this country one should presumably apply to some organization first- a kind of a federal agency for water resources. "The fisherman's card will be issued to an applicant free of charge, but it is no easy thing to get it - one should go from one place to another, asking and pleading. Suppose the applicant is used to fish elsewhere?" Putin wondered.
"We are making this process too bureaucratic, but I do not know what for", Putin admitted. Amateur fishing does no harm to the environment, while poaching does. Fight against poachers then, Putin said, addressing law enforcers.
"The government allocates enough funds for the reproduction of the natural resources, Putin said. In 2011-2012 the overall expenditures will amount to two billion rubles per each year, including 1. 5 billion rubles which will be spent directly on fish reproduction," Putin said.