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Where the Georgian fish has swum?2013-03-26 16:21
While in the Soviet period, in Georgia there were five departments of Fisheries, and annually 125-130 thousand tons of fish had been caught, today, according to the research of the Institute of Ilia Chavchavadze, the biggest catch has amounted 40,000 tons. Does the statistics allow saying that the fish in the rivers of Georgia is on the brink of extinction, and the fishing industry is not developing?
Fishing in Georgia is now regarded in the past tense. There's almost none of recent statistical data on the situation in the industry. Experts are sounding the alarm: fishing in Georgia has died out, and the cause is the previous government.
We have failed to get any useful information explaining the situation around fishing in the National Statistical Service. It seems that no one there is interested in this matter for a long time. Some data for the period before 2003 has remained, but after that "fish" statistics has sunk into oblivion.
The study, conducted by professors of the Institute of Ilia Chavchavadze in 2009-2010, has shown that Georgia's largest fish catch amounted 40,000 tons, whereas in Soviet times the annual catch reached 125,000 tons.
In Georgia, there are only 7 organizations with long-term license to engage in fishing. Profit from one ton of anchovy catch - the most common local fish - amounts 25 GEL. In 2012-2013, a total of the estimated catch of anchovy should reach 60,000 tons.
Chairman of the "Association of flora and fauna" Archil Guchmanidze considers quota, that is the maximum number of fish caught, one of the main problems of fishing. "The problem is that the holders of licenses appoint the quotas alone, which is unacceptable," he said in an interview with GeorgiaTimes. "The manufacturer, having commercial interest in the resource, is commissioned to develop the resource quotas. Licensees hire people with a dubious reputation, and these groups without laboratories or even sufficient qualification, are engaged in it," says Archil Guchmanidze. He states that such situation will not change until 2016, exactly until the expiration of the license. And Mr Guchmanidze considers such conditions of licenses issuing a crime that has led to the gradual destruction of fisheries. "This decision was made by the former Minister of Energy. The trouble is that fishing is allowed within 300 meters from the shore, which is unacceptable, since it is the surf zone," the chairman of the "Association of flora and fauna" explained to us.