The Federal Law “On Fisheries…” guarantees that “…citizens (individuals), public organizations, unions of companies (associations and unions) have the right to participate in decision making process …” in the fishery. The fishery management agencies “… must provide an opportunity for public participation in any ways and forms set by the regulations”.
The public participation in the fishery management process is provided at three levels.
· At the federal level (FFA Community Council),
· At the fishery districts level (basins – e.g., Far Eastern Scientific and Fishery Council), and
· At the regional level (constituent entities of the Russian Federation, e.g. Primorsky Region Fishery Council).
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
• establish a comprehensive cooperation with non-governmental organizations and fishery experts.
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, retailers, transport companies, and representatives of media.
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.
Find more information about FFA Public Council at the FFA website.
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).
DVNPS is a collegiate, consultative (advisory) body. It is formed with the representatives of management and enforcement agencies, fishery scientific institutes, fishing companies and associations, and representatives of indigenous of the Russian Far East and North. The DVNPS is chaired by a FFA deputy. DVNPS decisions have an advisory character (make by a voting majority), and put in force by the FFA approval.
All key decisions regarding Pollock fisheries management go though DVNPS discussion process. The Fishing Rules, as a key regulations for pollock fisheries, is modified through a review process coordinated by the Far Eastern Scientific and Fishery Council. 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.
The Primorsky Region Fishery Council develops harmonized fishery policy and implements fishery developments in accordance with Federal and regional regulations in the Primorsky region. It is a collegial advisory body of the Government of the Primorsky region for addressing issues of development and management of fisheries. 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”.