From first appearance, the Russian fisheries organizational structure may appear complex. In fact, the opposite is the case, with very few layers and divisions. There are clearly defined roles and responsibilities within the management framework for Russian fisheries, including for Pollock fishery.
Russian fisheries management is organized through a common coordinating agency — the Federal Fisheries Agency (FFA) that operates with executive power under the Ministry of Agriculture and manages five regional offices in the Russian Far East. By analogy, the FFA administers the Federal law and policy on fisheries on a region by region basis through Regional Divisions. Their responsibilities are organized on a clearly defined fishery zone basis.
Russia has a network of fishery scientific institutes conducting scientific survey, research and monitoring. The fishery scientific function is coordinated by the FFA and VNIRO (All-Russian fishery Scientific Institute). TINRO is the leading scientific institute within the Russian Far East. TINRO and regional research centers, such as KamchatNIRO, and MagadanNIRO. Survey and research activities in the pollock fisheries are carried out on an autonomous, scientific and objective basis through these regional expert centers, which are inter-connected and coordinated through both formal discussion and decision making processes and federally, through the coordinating research center VNIRO in Moscow.
Enforcement of fishery law and regulations is under the responsibility of a separate service, the Federal Security Service (FSB). The FSB Coast Guard and Government Marine Inspection (GMI) conduct inspections and issue violation citations to law breakers. They conduct at-sea inspections including trans-shipments at sea, review documents, check VMS devices, inspect fish cargoes, observer the fishery and conduct port control inspections. Information systems track vessel locations and fishing efforts and provide up-to-date fishery information to management agencies.
Recent implementation of Fishery Monitoring System (FMS) integrates fishery information into a transparent, modern information system. It allows for centralized collection, storage and processing of the data on fisheries statistics and volumes of ABRs harvested, processed, transshipped, transported and landed by individual vessels. Besides, the Fishery Monitoring System maintains satellite vessels monitoring (VMS).
The Russian Fishery Management System provides a set of opportunities for public participation in fishery management. The Federal Law «On fisheries…» sets that all citizens, public organizations, and associations have the right to participate in decision making process. For these purposes the FFA maintains a multi level system of public (community) and scientific fishery councils providing opportunities to participate and influence on decision process and regulations.
There are several fishermen association and unions in Russia basing on specie or regional principle. The Russian Pollock Catchers Association (PCA) was established in 2006 to provide private industry leadership and advocacy for responsible self-governance and compliance with fishery regulations on behalf of the Russian pollock fishery. Now it includes 45 fishing companies which have more than 70% of total Alaska pollock catch in Russia.
The PCA cooperate with the fishery management agencies to improve the pollock fishery through fishery policy and regulations reform, and promote fishery sustainability. For these reasons the PCA have entered the MSC assessment program for Pollock fisheries in the Sea of Okhotsk and West Bering Sea. Together with the leading international processing companies, the PC have launched the Russian Pollock Sustainability Alliance aiming at developing further improvement measures and development tools that assist in making Russian Pollock fisheries more sustainable and transparent for international sustainability stakeholder community and markets.
Figure — Russian Fishery Management System Chart