Fishing congress in Vladivostok focuses on poaching

The profitability of Russia’s fishing industry is being undermined by poaching and excessive red tape. Industry leaders have gathered in Vladivostok this week for the second annual fishermen's congress to discuss what can be done.

With the economic damage suffered annually by Russia from illegal seafood exports exceeding $US 40 million, it's no wonder that smuggling topped the agenda at the congress.

Delegates from 22 countries, who represent small and medium-size fishery businesses, arrived in Russia to push forward their ideas on how to make the industry work more effectively. Co-operation is seen by many as the only weapon to fight poaching.

Restaurant shows at the congress proved that Russian producers have much to be proud of compared to their Chinese, Japanese and Korean competitors.

Their problem though is that in 2007 alone Russian fishermen lost over 400 tonnes of seafood, because some of the necessary documents and licences took too long to arrive in the far east from Moscow.