The first of the Ukrainian fishing vessels operating in the Sea of Azov has been re-registered under the Russian flag, and more are undergoing the same process. According to the Federal Agency for Fisheries, 24 fishing vessels are expected to be registered to Russia this year.
According to a statement from the Agency, the process of integrating the fishing communities of the regions claimed by Russia is being accelerated, as had been done in Crimea and Sevastopol following the annexation of Crimea by Russia.
Re-flagging the fishing fleet is one of the most difficult procedures in terms of the stages of coordination, the Agency stated.
The first re-registration was fishing vessel Pokrovitel, and its owner Vitaliy Symonenko has been issued with twelve contracts for the exploitation of marine resources. The vessel has rights to fish this year for a variety of species, including shrimp, flounder and anchovy, in the Sea of Azov five-kilometre coastal zone.
The Azovo-Chernomorsky Territorial Administration of the Federal Agency for Fisheries is reported to have concluded 152 agreements for the exploitation of marine resources this year and 14 of these formerly Ukrainian fishing vessels will be on the Russian registry by the autumn.