MOSCOW, October 1. /TASS/. The Russian cabinet of ministers has approved draft legislation banning the commercial and coastal capture of whales, dolphins and porpoises. According to a statement on the cabinet’s website, this decision was made at the meeting on September 29.
"To approve the draft of the federal law on introducing changes to the federal law on fisheries and conservation of aquatic biological resources and certain legislative acts of the Russian Federation and present it to the State Duma in accordance with the established procedure," the statement noted. It specified that the "draft legislation stipulates the introduction of a ban on performing the commercial and coastal capture of whales, dolphins and porpoises."
Additionally, the cabinet of ministers approved a draft legislation on amendments to the Tax Code which improve the procedure of fee collection for the use of the objects of aquatic biological resources. The document provides for the creation of a mechanism of payment of duties for their use with exemptions granted in order to increase the volumes and share of high-added-value fish production as well as to use new fishing industry vessels and ensure the supply of raw materials to coastal fish canneries.
As Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin explained at the September 29 meeting, the collection fees for fishing that have not changed for over 16 years will be reviewed. It is planned to increase them only for those types of fish and marine products that are mainly exported, while the fees will remain the same for the socially significant fish products such as herring, saury, whitefish, crucian carp and others.
Additionally, the fishing industry enterprises that invest in the production development, increase the volumes of processing fish and marine products in Russia will be able to obtain deductions and pay only 15% of the collection fee for the entire catch if they are operating in a coastal zone or process the catch on land or water, as well as use the new vessels built domestically. The prime minister stressed that exporters who prefer to take raw materials abroad will have to pay the full amount.