By:   Eugene Gerden,

With China now the focus of IUU crab from Russia, the government is taking steps to shut off that trade. Vasily Sokolov, Deputy Head of the Russian Federal Agency of Fisheries (Rosrybolovstvo) says that a new complex of measures for the fight with contraband supplies of Russian crab to Asia Pacific states and the US is being developed based on agreements reached with China.

An agreement was reached during the recent session of the Joint Russian-Chinese Commission for Fisheries’ Co-operation, which took place in the Chinese city of Shenzhen. According to Vasily Sokolov, in recent years China has become a center of contraband supplies of Russian crab, while despite the attempts of the governments of Russia and China to suspend further supplies they are still ongoing.

Details of the planned measures will be announced later this year.

In addition to the fight with contraband supplies, the Russian government plans to implement changes in the existing state standards of crab catch in Russia.

Rosrybolovstvo is considering introducing a ban on the catch of certain crab species, and in particular youngsters, with the aim to keep population on the high level. The ban on the catch of small crab existed during the Soviet times, however was abolished after the collapse of the USSR in 1991. In addition, Rosrybolovstvo plans to introduce other measures that should stimulate crab catch in Russia, one of which involves elimination of the existing bureaucratic hurdles. Currently crab catch in Russia is allowed only with the presence of a permission for the use of water biological resources and fishing grounds, however part of the plans of Rosrybolovstvo involves easing of these requirements by the end of the current year.

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