Russian crab will be half auctioned

Since 2019, half of the crab catch quotas in Russia will be distributed through electronic auctions. Industry participants suspect in the lobbying of such a decision of the owners of the Russian fishery company Gleb Frank and Maxim Vorobyov (the latter has already left her business).
In 2018-2019, a new order of distribution of crab catch quotas should come into force: now 50% of quotas will be played at auctions. The instruction is contained in the "road map" on the development of competition, which was approved by Dmitry Medvedev. Market participants previously warned that the measure would lead to a redistribution of the industry with an annual turnover of 120 billion rubles, as well as a refusal to invest in fleet renewal.

Half of the quotas for the extraction of crab, previously distributed on a historical basis, should be distributed through auctions in electronic form. The corresponding item is in the "roadmap" for the development of competition, which was approved by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, follows from a document published on the government website. The necessary normative acts should be prepared in 2018-2019, the assignment was given to the Ministry of Agriculture, the Federal Agency for Fisheries and the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS).

The possible transition from the historical principle of issuing quotas for the crab catch to the auction is being discussed since the end of 2017. The proposal became known from a letter that was sent to President Vladimir Putin ("Kommersant" on November 20, 2017). The idea met sharp criticism of market participants, who warned that changes in the crab catch rules threaten the redistribution of the industry with a turnover of 120 billion rubles. in year. Sources "Kommersant" said that the idea of ​​the letter came from the former co-owner of the Russian Fishery Company (RRPK) Maxim Vorobyov. In the RRPK, the involvement in the letter was refuted.

In mid-August, the All-Russian Association of Fishermen (VARPE) reported that Rosrybolovstvo sent to the Ministry of Finance of Russia information that in 2019 it is planned to introduce a new type of quota exclusively for the crab - an auction quota with investment commitments. According to the agency's calculations, the possible revenues from the sale at the auction of quotas for the crab catch in 2019 could reach 81.9 billion rubles. The VARPE said that the materials of Rosrybolovstvo did not take into account the position of the industry, research institutes and experts. Moreover, the materials contain distorted information on the profitability of the crab fishery and the amount of necessary investment for the construction of a fishing fleet, the association emphasized.

In the summer of 2018, the Association of North Crabs, whose members agreed to build ten vessels worth $ 320 million at the Vyborg Shipyard (part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation), warned its counterparty of a possible renunciation of contracts due to changes in the rules for the allocation of quotas (see "Kommersant" from June 27). If quotas for crab mining are distributed through auctions, market participants will have to divert significant funds to participate in bidding, and from investments in fleet renewal will have to be abandoned, the association said. The deputy head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service, Rachik Petrosyan, had previously told Kommersant that a phased transition to open competitive principles for issuing quotas would positively affect the development of the industry.

In addition, from the roadmap for the development of competition, it follows that in 2019 the Ministry of Agriculture, Rosrybolovstvo and FAS should submit a report to the government proposing to allocate a part of quotas for the extraction of aquatic biological resources (FBG) every 3-5 years for the redistribution of this volume through auctions. The Ministry of Agriculture and FAS also instructed next year to analyze fishery holdings, which account for more than 35% of quotas, in order to exclude conditions conducive to monopolization of the market.