The signing ceremony was held on the sidelines of the III Global Fishery Forum and International Exhibition of Fish Industry, Seafood and Technology (Seafood Expo Russia) on 11 July in St. Petersburg.
The Federal Agency for Fisheries of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of the Kingdom of Cambodia signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in fisheries and aquaculture.
The document was signed by Ilya Shestakov, Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation and Head of the Federal Agency for Fisheries, and Eng Chea San, a delegate from the Royal Government of Cambodia, General Director of the Fisheries Administration.
Ilya Shestakov said cooperation between Russia and Cambodia had been developing since 2015, when a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Federal Agency for Fisheries of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of the Kingdom of Cambodia on prevention, deterrence and elimination of IUU fishing. He stressed that certain progress had been made in this area.
“We have great respect for our fisheries collaboration with our long-standing and reliable partners. I hope that today’s signing of the memorandum will be a new stage in the cooperation between Russia and the Kingdom of Cambodia,” Ilya Shestakov underlined.
For his part, Eng Chea San said he was glad to visit St. Petersburg and such an important industry event as the Global Fishery Forum and Exhibition of Fish Industry, and confirmed the Cambodian government’s intention to work towards further expansion of partnership between the two countries.
According to the document, the parties intend to develop cooperation in the following main areas:
– conservation, management and optimal use of water resources;
– prevention, deterrence and elimination of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing;
– exchange of information and data on fisheries and aquaculture issues of mutual interest;
– promotion and strengthening of contacts between fisheries and aquaculture research institutions in both countries;
– bilateral seminars, consultations, exchange experience between specialists;
– other areas of fisheries cooperation of mutual interest.
The parties are interested in cooperating closely in scientific research to develop measures for conserving living marine resources and making rational use of them.
On 2 March 2015, in Moscow, the Federal Agency for Fisheries of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of the Kingdom of Cambodia signed a memorandum of understanding on preventing IUU fishing of living marine resources. It establishes a mutual desire to strengthen friendly relations and cooperation in conservation, management and rational use of living marine resources, as well as the parties’ intention to define the terms of cooperation in the prevention, control and elimination of IUU fishing.
The signing of the memorandum should be seen as a major step in the two countries’ joint struggle against IUU fishing. Many vessels engaged in illegal fishing in Russian waters used to sail under the flag of Cambodia. For example, in 2009, 75 vessels flying the flag of convenience, most of them from the Kingdom of Cambodia (55 vessels), were apprehended in the Russian exclusive economic zone and territorial sea by border authorities for various types of violation, mainly related to illegal crab mining or transportation.
After the memorandum was signed, a mechanism was put in place to exchange documents on vessels carrying the flag of the Kingdom of Cambodia detained for IUU fishing in the exclusive economic zone of Russia. As a result, three vessels with Russian crews have already been denied the right to sail under the Cambodian flag.
At the Global Fishery Forum in St. Petersburg on 18 September 2017, the Russian Federation and the Kingdom of Cambodia concluded a memorandum of understanding on purchase of agricultural products. The document was signed by Ilya Shestakov, Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation and Head of the Federal Agency for Fisheries, and Veng Sakhon, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of the Kingdom of Cambodia. The memorandum provides for an increase in the volume of agricultural products supplied to the markets of both countries, including rice, cereals and oilseeds, vegetable oil, feed ingredients, livestock products and fish.