Our today’s interviewee is Aleksandr Mindra, General Director of the Krasnodarryba (Krasnodar Fish) nonprofit partnership.
Q.: How would you describe the current state of the regional fish industry, if compared with, say, 1990 - the most successful year in the national history of agriculture?
A.: The industry is in poor condition. Twenty seven years ago, there were more than 50 various state farms and enterprises in the region. Altogether they produced about 29,000 tons of pond fish a year. Since then, the annual catch in industrial ponds and lakes reduced by more than four times, and the number of the baby fishes grown dropped by 3 times. The per-hectare catch of pond fish fell from 1.1 down to 0.25 tons.
Q.: Now the main problem that is actively being discussed by the industry is raw legislative basis. What is meant by that?
A.: I keep on complaining on the regional and federal levels about the legislative neglect of the industry. Contemporary fishery needs normative acts. For instance, even such notions as pond and natural/man-made reservoir need precise legislative definition. Without it, we cannot normally work and increase the output.
Recently a law on channel reservoirs was adopted. The term means sectors of the rivers encircled with dams. It is a very important factor for the Krasnodar region, because 75% of the total amount of commercial fish is produced in such water reservoirs.
But all happened as usual - the law was adopted, but nobody can interpret this or that norm of the new legal enactment. In this respect, a question arises: isn’t there a threat that various punitive and supervisory bodies would be interpreting the new law as they see fit? So, there are few grounds for optimism but misgivings that instead of transparent rules what we may get would bee an additional administrative burden.
Q.: The regional Ministry for Agriculture reports about governmental support of the fish industry - up to 6 million rubles a year. How is this money distributed?
A.: Frankly speaking, it is not enough - the fish industry seems to be the last item in the budget. The industry is in desperate need of support.
Say, last year the subsidies - 5 rubles per kilo of European and silver carp and 14 rubles per kilo of trout - were given to two farms only. The rest got nothing. This year, the sum of governmental support remains the same.
We may only envy our gardeners and vegetable growers that have been gemerously support over the past years. Every year, they get about 300 million rubles. I am hoping that after the breakthroughs in these sectors of agriculture, it would be the turn of the regional fish industry next.