Fishery Enforcement and Monitoring
Federal Security Service (FSB) enforces marine fishery laws and rules to protect species and their habitats. The FSB Coast Guard department of the Border Control Service supports Government Marine Inspection (GMI) to enforce laws in territorial, EEZ, and continental shelf; and also in international waters in cases of salmon from the Russian rivers.
However, FFA handles enforcement duties in inland waters. The FSB enforces marine laws in Russian territorial seas, the exclusive economic zone (EEZ), and the continental shelf.
The GMI inspectors observer and inspect:
- All transshipment operations at sea;
- All landings at the port control;
- At-sea inspections — trawling operations, hauls, processing, and recording.
The GMI Inspection carries out analytical monitoring of fishing and transshipment activities. In addition to its internal resources (e.g. aircraft, patrol vessels, and radar surveillance), the FSB/GMI has access to both VMS position system and DVR databases (Fishery Monitoring System) held by the CFMC and also to fishing permit database held by the Territorial FFA Department.
Duties and responsibilities of GMI maritime Inspectors, in particular, include monitoring and control of fishing and other fishery-related activities both at-sea and in ports in order to:
- enforce and control compliance of the Fishing Rules and regulations;
- check catches of marine biological resources taken by fishing companies (during harvesting, during transshipments, unloading in ports) in order to prevent fishing above the approved limits;
- check VMS (satellite control equipment);
- inspect vessels (fishing and transport), inspect holds, check cargoes and products;
- check fishing gears and equipment;
- check fishing and processing logbooks, catch permissions, DVR reports, other documentations and reporting;
- bring offenders to prosecution in accordance with law.
Being on board, the GMI inspectors observer the hauls (trawling operations) before discarding with respect to the Fishing Rules compliance (such as juvenile by-catch, 2% and 49% by-catch rules for TAC and PC species, sea mammals and birds interaction, bottom interaction (sea ground samples or bottom species), proper recording of by-catch and catches). Making haul observation, the GMI inspectors fill in a special form (Catch Check Act). Furthermore fines can be imposed if there is any evidence that the gear has been in contact with the seabed (eg significant benthic animals in the catch). That is an uniqe safeguard among any other pelagic fisheries.
Starting 2009, all fish caught in the Russian EEZ must be delivered into the Russian ports for clearance and check. The GMI Maritime Inspection (together with the Customs and Veterinary Control Service) inspects fish products (both for export and for domestic market), and vessels (transport and fishing) and perform port, state, customs, quarantine and veterinary control. That is an important measure in increasing traceability and cooperates with the FFA and FSB in controlling international transfer and shipping of Alaska Pollock and other Russian fishery products.
The Center of Fishery Monitoring and Communications (CFMC) is a state authority established under the executive order of the Russian Government. The CFMC is administered by the Federal Fishing Agency. Major objectives of the Centre include the monitoring of aquatic bioresources and fishing activity and the development of onshore facilities for the Global Maritime Distress Safety System (GMDSS).
The CFMC structure includes the Moscow Head Office and territorial subdivisions located in Petropavlovsok-Kamchatsky, Vladivostok, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Murmansk, Kaliningrad, Astrakhan, Novorossiysk and St. Petersburg.
The Fishery Monitoring System (FMS) provides a central platform for data storage, analysis, and dissemination. It is available to FFA, FSB/GMI, fishery scientific institutes like VNIRO and TINRO, Customs, users plus others approved by the FFA.
FMS is designed to collect, process, store and represent data of the fishing and transport vessels and information on production activity of the vessels and fishery companies. According to the regulations, each vessel (fishing trawler or transport vessel) and fishing company is obliged to register in the FMS, with unique FMS code being assigned to the vessel (company) which is needed for such vessel’s (company’s) reports processing.
Figure — Fishery Monitoring System data flow chart
Data of vessels’ activity is based on the Daily Vessels Report (DVR). All information is transmitted by satellite or radio communication channels. Information is verified by a quality control check for authenticity and then released for other systems use purposes.
DVR includes information on:
- vessel’s unique code;
- vessel’s status and position coordinates at the moment of report;
- port of destination and estimated date of arrival;
- daily catch regarding each species of the caught aquatic biological resources;
- data on catching operations performed (fishing (catching) gear), total quantity of harvest (catch), number of operations and time spent, average depth of the operations, fishing grounds, etc.);
- total volume of the fish and other products produced from each species specifying the source of raw materials (caught or bought at the sea);
- detailed information on accepted on board and transshipped fish products;
- volume of each type of cargo/store on board;
- data on out-of-operation maintenance (type of out-of-operation maintenance, actual date of its start and estimated date of its completion);
- time spent for each type of activity performed by the vessel; etc.
In addition to the DVRs, the companies submit their two weeks’ routine reports and quarterly statistical reports.
The CFMC also performs satellite tracking of fishing vessels with mandatory installations onboard each vessel. Each vessel (fishing or transport) with output at least 55 kW and tonnage at least 80 tons must be equipped with satellite control equipment (VMS). Information from the VMS is transferred through satellite communication (by means of Agros and Inmarsat systems) to the earth station of the telecom provider. The CFMC also provides information on position of Russian and foreign vessels in the Russian EEZ and continental shelf the FFA and FSB GMI in real time.
Figure — Vessels Monitoring System
FMS automatically inserts information on the vessels’ positions to the database. FMS automatically controls the vessels’ submission of the reports on their positions. When the report on the vessel’s position is not submitted, FMS contacts with the vessel by any means and requests to fix the VMS troubles and advise data on their position over telephone, fax or telex. If the error cannot be eliminated within 48 hours the vessel should proceed to the port.
The vessel is allowed to sail with out of order VMS once during the whole period of the vessel’s operation. Should VMS break down once more, the vessel proceeds to the port for the equipment repair or replacement. According to the regulations, stop of the VMS equipment for 48 and more hours without getting approval pursuant to the established procedure leads to forced quota termination.
Satellite tracking of both Russian and foreign vessels in the EEZ takes place and for Russian vessels fishing in other waters. The Centre operates within international agreements with Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Faroe Islands and Morocco and cooperates with International Fishery Commissions and organisations such as NAFO, NEAFC, SPO, CCAMLR.
Recent developments of fishery monitoring system include an electronic logbook system which has been tested in the Barents Sea and will be rolled out across all Russian fisheries over the coming seasons. The system is operating with a unique identifier key so that access is controlled and all inputs have to be verified by the authorised user before transmitting.