Public Participation in Fishery Management Process
The Federal Law № 166 «On Fisheries and Conservation of Aquatic Living Resources» (2004) sets that «…citizens (individuals), public organizations, unions of legal bodies (associations and unions) have the right to participate in decision making process…» in the fishery, and the fishery management agencies «… must provide an opportunity for public participation in any ways and forms set by the regulations» (article 2, item 5). The public participation in the fishery management process is provided at three levels. These are:
- At the federal level (FFA Community Council),
- At the fishery districts level (basins — e.g., Far Eastern Fishery Basin), and
- At the regional level (constituent entities of the Russian Federation, e.g. Primorsky Region).
In general, these three advisory bodies can be further divided into two groups based on their legal provisions of establishment. The establishment of the FFA Community Council is based on a general requirement to have public access to the decision making basis for the majority of state authorities. The remaining two fisheries councils are based on the Federal Fisheries Act and are established in addition to the FFA Community Council.
Table — Structure of the Advisory Bodies
|Russian Federation||FFA Community Council||→||Federal Agency for Fisheries|
|Federal fishery district||Basin Scientific and Fishery Council (Far Eastern Scientific & Fishery Council, DVNPS)||→|
|Primorsky region||Territorial Fishery Council||→||Primorsky Territory Government|
FFA Community (Public) Council
The FFA Community Council is established according to the FFA Order N 301 1st of November 2008 «On Establishment of the Community Council at the Federal Fishing Agency».
The key goal of the FFA Community Council is to support transparent and cooperative dialogue with all stakeholders and allows broad interests to shape FFA fishery policies and activities.
The Public Council at the Federal Agency for Fisheries is established with the aim to:
- improve the work of the FFA and fishery management system;
- consolidate state policy and economic potential of the fishery sector; and
- have a comprehensive cooperation with non-governmental organizations and fishery experts.
The base of the FFA Community Council is described in the Provisions. The key states of the Provisions are as follows:
«2. The Community Council is an advisory body for the Federal Agency for Fisheries.
3. The Community Council shall ensure compliance with the public interests while the Federal Agency for Fisheries implements measures to improve the state fishery policy.
5. The Community Council shall act under the principles of transparency, openness, cooperation and constructive dialogue with scientific, non-governmental, non-commercial and other organizations regarding issues of fisheries.
9. The Community Council shall be formed for a 2 year period based on voluntary participation of the citizens of the Russian Federation. The number of member shall not exceed 50.
10. The list of member of the Community Council shall be made with consideration to the applications received from non-governmental, non-commercial and other organizations of the fishery sector in writing.
11. The list of the Community Council shall be approved by the order of the Federal Agency of Fisheries.
15. The members of the Community Council shall act pro bono and on a grant basis.»
The FFA Community Council includes the representatives of the fishery management authorities and bodies, fishery unions and associations, fishing and processing companies, indigenous groups, ecological organizations (NGOs — i.e., WWF-Russia, and Russian Committee on UN environmental program), retailers, transport companies, and representatives of mass-media. The full list of membership with recent changes approved by the FFA decree is available here.
The FFA Community Council provides an effective mechanism for public organizations to participate in the decision making process, and formally express their view to any issues. The public organizations take an active part in the work of the FFA Community Council.
All minutes of the FFA Community Council meeting (and all documents mentioned above) are available on the FFA official web page.
Fishery Basin — Far Eastern Scientific & Fishery Council, DVNPS
The legal base for the Scientific & Fishery Council is set in the Federal Law «On Fisheries and Conservation of Aquatic Biological Resources " No. 166-FZ.
Article 33. Basin Scientific and Fishery Councils and Territorial Fishery Councils
- Basin scientific and fishery councils shall be set up for each fishery basin to make proposals for conservation of aquatic biological resources, in particular, proposals for distribution of quotas of capture (fishing) of aquatic biological resources among the persons who enjoy the right to capture (fish) aquatic biological resources.
- The list of member and rules of procedures of basin scientific and fishery councils shall be approved by the federal executive body in charge of the fishery.
- Territorial fishery councils can be set up in constituent entities of the Russian Federation.
- The list of member and rules of procedures of territorial fishery councils shall be approved by the executive body of the respective constituent entity of the Russian Federation.
Basin Scientific and Fishery Councils (the Councils) have an advisory role. The Councils advise on a wide range of fishery issues including:
- execution of fisheries in the corresponding regions,
- control and surveillance,
- recovery and harvesting of bioresources;
- TAC and distribution of quotas, and
- other issues of importance to insure a sustainable management of fisheries.
The Councils shall advise on all issues regarding recovery and rational (sustainable) exploitation of the aquatic biological resources and environmental state of the waters used for fishery purpose (Rules of Procedures for Basin Scientific and Fishery Councils in the Russian Federation).
According to item 6 of the Rules of Procedures the members of the Councils shall represent federal executive bodies, executive bodies of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation, research institutions, federal institutions of basin authorities for conservation, recovery and fisheries as well as non-governmental organizations including native minorities of the North, Siberia and the Far East. The Councils may also involve in their work other specialists with the necessary expertise.
The Basin Scientific and Fishery Councils are the main forums for discussions of the federal fishery issues and the decisions of the Councils having an advisory role shall be submitted to the FFA.
The Far Eastern Basin Scientific and Fishery Council (DVNPS) is of main relevance for the Pollock fisheries. This Council is responsible for fisheries conducted by companies registered in the Primorsky, Kamchatka, Sakhalin, Magadan, Khabarovsk, and Chukotka regions (Far Eastern Fishery Basin). Each fishing basin in Russia has such council.
The objective of DVNPS is to provide a forum for proposals on the rational use of the aquatic biological resources (ABR) including proposals on quota allocation issues. It does not take final decisions on TAC as this is the role of the FFA supported by the scientific institutions and according to federal law for the conservation of aquatic biological resources. FFA order No. 173 establishing the DVNPS, and the Provision are available here.
The Main functions of DVNS include:
- Coordinates the activities of the regional fishery councils;
- Receives and analyzes the info;
- Analyzes the regulation acts, instructions and laws;
- Considers and prepares materials and proposals regarding TAC and quota allocation;
- Works out recommendations aimed at rational use of quota;
- Prepares proposals on environment protection and preservation;
- Makes proposals on fishing fleet development and modernization, technology modernization;
- Considers aquaculture projects.
Organizational Structure of DVNPS
DVNPS is a collegiate, (advisory) consultative body. It is formed with the representatives of FFA, FSB, Ministry of Agriculture, Veterinary Agency (RosSelkhozNadzor), Antimonopoly Agency, Ministry of Natural Resources, and representatives of its territory divisions; fishery scientific institutes, fishing companies and associations, and representatives of indigenous of the Russian Far East and North. The membership list is approved by the FFA decree. The chairman of the DVNPS is a FFA deputy. DVNPS decisions have an advisory character (make by a voting majority). And put in force by the FFA approval.
The Fishing Rules can be modified through a review process coordinated by the Far Eastern Scientific and Fishery Council (DVNPS). DVNPS considers proposals from fishers and in a larger sense, acts as a coordinating body to communicate, debate and confirm the options and decisions. In this way, it takes advantage of local knowledge and broadens public participation in fishery management, within the context of the Federal law and policy for Russian Fisheries.
Regional Public Councils
Each fishing region within the Russian Far East has regional public council. For example, The Territorial Fishery Council of the Primorsky region is established to provide a coordination of the fishery activities in the Primorsky region (Resolution of the Primorsky Territory Government of February 18 2005 No. 49-пг).
The Primorsky Region Fishery Council develops harmonized fishery policy and implements fishery developments in accordance with Federal and regional regulations in the Primorsky region. This includes «coordinating and liaising with federal authorities, scientific institutions, non-governmental organizations, all fishing companies, fish processing companies in the Primorsky region in order to make a consolidated advice on state fisheries management, conservation and optimal harvesting of aquatic biological resources in the territory of the region».
The Fishery Council is a collegial advisory body of the Government of the Primorsky region for addressing issues of development and management of fisheries. The decisions of the Fishery Council have an advisory role. The Territorial Fishery Council of the Primorsky region is a forum for regional fishery issues and its responsibility area does not overlap with that of basin scientific and fishery councils.
The Resolution of the Primorsky Territory Government of February 18 2005 No. 49-пг with the detailed description of tasks, goals, and functions of the Fishery Council is available on the official web page of the Primorsky Region Government at the following link. The membership list of the Primorsky Fishery Council is available here.