Upper House: Fishing Quota Sales Detrimental To National Fisheries

Russia's upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, has asked President Putin to direct the government to further study the situation of national fisheries in light of the results of industrial fishing quota auctions and the industry's overall performance this year. According to the State Fisheries Committee, sales of aquatic biological resources (fish) catch quotas in nine months of 2001 resulted in a sharp increase in seafood costs and in a nearly 50 percent year-on-year increase in trade liability of national industry establishments, the Federation Council said in an appeal approved Wednesday. At the same time, tax revenue in budgets of all levels of the Russian regions concerned dropped by 14 percent. The senators fear fishing quota auctions may have an adverse effect on the national fishing industry, effectively compromising domestic fisheries' competitiveness and their standing both in foreign and in domestic markets. 119 members of the Federation Council voted in favor of the appeal, with one against, and no abstentions.

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