The Commercial Exploitation of Marine Biological Resources
The Monitoring Group of BlackSeaNews
and the Black Sea Institute of Strategic Studies
presents an updated series of articles
«The Socio-Economic Situation in Occupied Crimea in 2014 – 2020»:
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Prior to the occupation of Crimea, Russia harvested about 30 thousand tonnes of biological resources in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. That was the combined landings volume of the enterprises in Krasnodar Krai, Rostov Oblast, Stavropol Krai, Volgograd Oblast, and the Republic of Adygea.
From 2007 to 2013, the volume of landings remained roughly stable. For several months of 2014, the Crimean fisheries were left without licences and did not go to sea. But even in that first year of the occupation, the total volume of Russia’s landings in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov grew significantly due to the addition of Crimean landings (see figures).
In recent years, Russia has stopped publishing data on the actual "Crimean catch", but we can easely estimate the scale of the occupiers' acquisitions in this area. To compare Russian production only in the Black Sea for certain species of commercial fish, we can see that in five years (2015-2019) the catch of sprat has increased 3.9 times compared to the last five pre-war years (figure 2). Catch of turbot increased 9.2 times, while horse mackerel increased 20 times (Figure 3).
As reported by the Russian Federal Agency for Fisheries, the number of fishing companies harvesting the Crimean aquatic biological resources has more than tripled since «the accession of the peninsula to Russia». The Azov-Black Sea territorial administration of Rosrybolovstvo explained that trend with the «specifics of the tax and licencing policy».
Until March 2014, 89 enterprises and individual entrepreneurs had been engaged in fishing in Crimea. By the end of 2015, their number had increased to 181, and by the end of 2016 — to 267. Since 2017, there are already at least 300 of enterprises and individual entrepreneurs.
Before the occupation, the Crimean fishing industry used 42 registered fleet vessels. As of 1 April 2015, 32 fishing vessels had been granted the right to sail under the flag of the Russian Federation and to own Russian-designed vessels. In August 2016, the occupation authorities reported that the fishing fleet re-registration process had been almost completed: 38 Crimean fishing vessels had been registered under the Russian flag. That is, there had been no increase in the size of the local Crimean fishing fleet.
Thus, the multi-fold rise in the number of fishing enterprises operating in the waters and on the quotas of annexed Crimea has occurred only due to the Russian business entities.
Even a cursory review of the list of those who have obtained the fishing permits shows, for example, that the Simferopol-based Krym-Resurs OOO was founded in January 2015 by the Mangust OOO from the Russian city of Kurgan, while the company with the ambitious name Velikiy Krym OOO (The Great Crimea) was founded in July 2015 by two Chechnya residents.
According to the Monitoring Group of the Black Sea Institute of Strategic Studies and the online publication www.blackseanews.net, commercial fishing off the coast of occupied Crimea in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov is carried out by at least 94 medium-sized industrial vessels.
Moreover, the authors constantly record mass coastal trawling by groups of seiners up to 10 vessels at the same time. These seiners arranged in an echelon formation sail at a distance of several hundred metres from one another. Their predatory fishing practices (demersal trawling with pelagic trawls) adversely affect the Crimean coast from Kerch to Yevpatoria, starting as close as 100-200 metres from the shore.
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This article has been published with the support of ZMINA
Human Rights Centre.
The content of the article is the sole responsibility of the authors.
More on the topic
- 25.10.2020 The "Trophy Economy". Militarization as a Factor of Industrial Growth
- 25.10.2020 The Crimean Budget. Small Business. Salaries and Pensions
- 20.10.2020 The Banking System and Investment in Crimea: What is Really Happening on the Occupied Peninsula
- 03.10.2020 The Crimean "Trophy Economy". The Sale of Ukrainian Property
- 02.10.2020 The "Trophy Economy". The Development of the Stolen Ukrainian Black Sea Shelf
- 01.10.2020 The Occupied Crimean Tourism
- 30.09.2020 Occupied Crimea. Exports and Imports in 2014-2020
- 29.08.2020 The Replacement of the Population of Crimea: How Many Colonizers Have Actually Moved to the Peninsula
- 28.08.2020 Back in the USSR. The Reverse Restructuring of the Crimean Economy
- 27.06.2020 Water in Occupied Crimea: No Catastrophe. Just a 50-Year Step Backwards