Neighbors must maintain contacts

Inspectors from Belarus and Ukraine met in Chernigov to coordinate their positions on environmental issues and to outline ways of future cooperation.

Before, international activities of the State Inspectorate on Wildlife Protection under the President of the Republic of Belarus were limited to participation in workshops. The first official meeting at Chernigov with the representatives of the Ukraine State Committee on Fisheries related to the discussion of issues of cooperation in water bodies and streams protection made our positions stronger in the environmental protection activities in the South direction. The working meeting was held in the building of the Chernigov Region Inspectorate on protection, management and reproduction of water living resources and fishing regulations. The Belarusian delegation was headed by the Deputy Chief of the State Inspectorate Viktor BUTRANETS. We turned to him for a comment.

— Viktor Konstantinovich, international meetings imply solutions for urgent questions. What made us meet the representatives of the Goscomribkhoz of the neighboring country?

— If you have good neighborly relations it is expected that the neighbors with common water arteries maintain contacts. In this case we decided to coordinate our positions on environmental legislation. For example, on approaches to imposing spawning bans. It wouldn’t work if they have one ban period and we another. Fish doesn’t know anything about borders. According to the rules, the ban period for commercial and recreational fishing during spring spawning at trans-border water bodies in Ukraine is practically the same as in the Republic of Belarus.

It is true they don’t introduce bans in Ukraine for fishing some species (pike, catfish) and crayfish which are imposed by the Regulations on fishery management and fishing in Belarus.

— Which issues were discussed during the meeting?

— The issues important for both parties were included in the agenda. First, the parties exchanged information on the state of protection of living water resources and measures on fishery management. Also we exchanged our opinions on the operational situation in fishery resources protection at trans-border water bodies and streams and at near-border territories of Belarus and Ukraine. The peculiarities of fishing regulations of both countries were discussed.

It was important to compare our positions on the procedures applied for calculation of total acceptable catch in trans-border water bodies. The questions mentioned are within the area of competence of the Goskomrybkhoz of Ukraine.

— At present issues related to the rent of water bodies and commercial fishery management acquired urgency in Belarus. How do Ukrainian fishing companies arrange their work?

— Quotas allocation is the basic principle for carrying out fishing at Ukraine water bodies and streams. Following requests of legal entities, the Ukrainian Goskomrybkhoz sells quotas for fishing certain fish species. The applicant should have appropriate water transport, fishing gear and have an equipped fish reception facility. Fishing gear is marked, and a fishing log is maintained. Only water body is assigned for fishing, particular areas on it are not specified. Thus, six economic agents carry out fishing on the trans-border stretch of the river Dnepr on the Ukrainian side. They bought out quotas for fishing and can fish at any part of the Dnepr in the Chernigov region.

The Ukrainian side provided information on the volumes of the commercial catch of fish at trans-border water bodies and measures aimed at reproduction of fish resources. They and we have approximately the same quotas for fish catch by renters. It should be noted that renters of fisheries are not involved in protection of water bodies.

— How conservation activities are organized in Ukraine?

— In some respects our agencies have different areas of activities; there are differences in the scope of the tasks dealt with. Environmental activities of the State Inspectorate are carried out in three fields: fishing, hunting and forest management while Ukrainian colleagues are involved only in the protection of water species. In its turn the Ukrainian side was informed about environmental activities in the Republic of Belarus. Ukrainians think highly about our work in this area as well as about the Belarusian wildlife management legislation. During the meeting an agreement was reached on regular exchange of information on changes in legislation on water living resources protection and the sides agreed to inform each other about significant changes in the situation. A protocol was signed following the results of the meeting.

The nearest meeting is planned for September – October of this year and it will be conducted on the Belarusian territory. The responsible coordinator from Belarus is the Chief of the Directorate of analysis and control over Wildlife Protection and Management of the State Inspectorate, Tamara Barsuk.