Deputy Prime Minister
Dear Forum Guests and Participants,
The main theme of our ‘Global fishing activities: 2050’ meeting, on the one hand, sounds very futuristic, but, on the other hand, forces us to contemplate and recognize the vast extent of responsibility that mankind has for the resources of the World Ocean. Will the sustainable use of these resources and the development of new technologies make it possible to feed the planet’s growing population, while at the same time maintaining an abundant biosphere and not crossing the line of scientific progress, when nanotechnology becomes the basis of food production?
For the last several decades, we have seen a rapid increase in protein intake. Over the past half a century, fish consumption around the world has increased by more than 3 percent – a rate that is twice as fast as the growth in the world’s population.
Against this backdrop, we have seen significant stagnation in the global natural fish catch. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, total commercial fishing around the globe had output of roughly 90 million tonnes in 2016, while global fish reached an all-time high of more than 170 million tonnes. As we can see, the development of aquaculture, or artificially grown fish, accounts for almost half of the volume.
Resources that are subject to overfishing are of particular concern in this regard. A third of the sea’s fish stocks are being utilized to the max at biologically unstable levels and the conditions of the marine fishery base are deteriorating. But these stocks can definitely be restored. Our common goal is to join efforts and ensure the balanced regulation of the fishing industry together.
Russia is one of the few fishing nations that is increasing its fish catch, including through the development of promising fishing facilities. Our country is currently implementing a large-scale programme to renovate the fishing industry’s production base, modernize fish processing, and build a modern fishing fleet.
The ocean has significant stocks of species that have yet to be explored and have potential for development. There are fishing areas that have yet to be discovered. And new technologies are essential here. They will help us to effectively utilize resources, while at the same time preserving the natural balance and returning to the ‘source code’ of the ocean’s ecosystem.
I hope that the Forum will enable us to take a step forward in creating a harmonious as well as a viable model for future global fisheries and that international cooperation in the sustainable use of the ocean’s resources will enter a new stage of development. I hope that all the Forum participants are able to engage in a productive dialogue and come up with fresh ideas and interesting solutions!