Control & Enforcement
According to a 1997 Presidential decree No. 950, the 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 and regulations at the continental shelf, and in territorial and EEZ waters, and also in international waters in cases of salmon from the Russian rivers.
The GMI Maritime 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 FFA territorial departments.
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), holds, cargoes and products;
- check fishing gears and equipment;
- check fishing and processing logbooks, catch permissions, DVR reports, other documentations and reporting;
- identify, prevent or eliminate violations of fishery regulations and fishing rules, and, where applicable, international fishery agreements;
- bring offenders to prosecution in accordance with law;
- inform state authorities, and their regional bodies, on catches taken by fishing companies, violations identified, penalties imposed and fees paid.
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).
All transshipments of fishery products at sea from catcher vessels to refers must be observed and checked by the GMI inspectors who check the origin and legality of products.
Starting 2009, all fish caught in the Russian EEZ must be delivered into the Russian ports for clearance. 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 performs port, state, customs, quarantine and veterinary control.
In other words, the GMI inspectors observer and inspect:
- All transshipment operations at sea;
- All landings at the port control;
- When on board, trawling operations, hauls, processing, and recording.
All foreign vessels harvesting fish in the Russian EEZ in accordance with the international agreements (for example, South Korean vessels harvesting Pollock in the West Bering Sea Zone) must carry at least one GMI inspector on board all time.