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Russia's Federation Council suggests banning salmon fisheries by Japan in Russia's waters

September 04, 2014, 12:41 UTC+3 VLADIVOSTOK

Fishermen from Japan engage in large-scale drift-netting of Pacific salmon in Russian waters under an intergovernmental agreement

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VLADIVOSTOK, September 04. /ITAR-TASS/. Gennady Gorbunov, chairman of the committee on agrarian and food policy of the Federation Council upper house of the Russian parliament, has suggested banning Japan from engaging in drift-net fishery within Russia's exclusive economic zone in response to sanctions applied by that country against Russia.

Drift-net fishery is conducted by means of nets which are sent drifting downstream in a river or in the ocean. Fishermen from Japan engage in large-scale drift-netting of Pacific salmon in Russian waters under an intergovernmental agreement, while Russian fishery workers conduct studies of salmon stocks under a scientific program.

Gorbunov said at the opening of the ninth international congress of fishermen, "Provision must be made for examining as a reply measure the introduction of a full ban on Japan's drift-netting within Russia's exclusive economic zone".

He added that the theme of a ban on Japan's drift-netting had been raised more than once by fishermen in the region as well. "Proposals to this effect were upheld by the Audit Chamber and Far Eastern constituent entities of the Russian Federation," he said, specifying that the permission for this type of fishery "is exclusively (a gesture of) goodwill of our State".

Ilya Shestakov, Director of Rosrybolovstvo (Federal Agency for Fishery), pointed out, for his part, that the proposal merits attention and that it is necessary to discuss it in detail. "On the one hand, it (proposal) concerns the fishing industry, but (on the other hand) it is also of very important political character," Shestakov said, adding that Russia's Foreign Ministry must be invited to participate in discussing the proposal".

"Drift-netting by Japanese boats in our waters increased under the provisions of an agreement signed in 1977. We shall, of course, analyse this proposal," Shestakov said.

On August 5, the government of Japan approved the application of an additional set of sanctions with regard to Russia in view of the situation around Ukraine. Forty Russian companies and two Crimean ones "Chernomorneftegas" (Black Sea oil and gas) and "Feodosia" were put on the sanctions list. The sanctions envision a freeze on the bank accounts of natural persons and legal entities.

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