GEO

Artisan fishermen of Anaklia demand favorable working conditions

01 February, 2016

 

Several months ago, TI Georgia studied the problems of artisan fishermen in Anaklia.  As a result of our research, we found that the fishermen encounter the following unfavorable conditions in their work:

  • The main problem for the fishermen in Anaklia is the lack of licenses. According to the fishermen, in order to receive a license, one must own a fishing boat, pay a fee of several thousand lari, and meet several important criteria, which are difficult to comply with.  The fishermen only own average-sized or small motor boats and simple fishing nets;     

  • Without a license, one may only catch fish from the shore or on a boat within 300 meters from the shore;

  • The fishermen in Anaklia are often fined for fishing or sailing in prohibited areas (those only allowed for licensed companies);

  • The problem of communication between the fishermen and relevant state agencies is also of importance.

For most of the fishermen, fishing and selling fish is the only source of income. Therefore, the fishermen of Anaklia demand simplification of the requirements for receiving a license or permission to catch fish in areas accessible to them (except for protected areas) without a license.  

The licenses that were issued for fishing in the Black Sea expire in April 2016. Therefore, it is necessary to announce a new auction for fishing licenses in the very near future.

TI Georgia calls on the National Environmental Agency to determine the conditions of the next auction for fishing licenses this year in such a manner that ensures that the licenses are available not only for large companies but also for fishermen with meager financial means.

We also believe it is important to:

  • simplify the licensing procedure and for a small fee;

  • provide fishermen with detailed information on the procedures and conditions for obtaining fishing licenses in advance;

  • determine and introduce a specified upper limit for artisan fishermen within which they will be allowed to catch fish without a license;

  • ensure that the Business Ombudsman of Georgia studies the international practice in the area of fishing and submits recommendations/proposals to relevant bodies for improving the existing practice in Georgia, in order to protect the rights and interests related to the entrepreneurial activity of artisan fishermen in Anaklia and other areas;  

  • provide maximum support for fishing as the main source of income for the majority of fishermen, making it possible to further develop the field of fishing.  It is important that the relevant agencies make a decision that will take into account the interests of both large companies and artisanal fishermen.

Author: TI Georgia