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Japan Predicts $200Mln in Losses if Russia Bans Driftnet Fishing

© REUTERS / Thomas PeterA woman stands in front of a closed shop in the outer part of the Tsukiji fish market, the Jogai Shijo, in Tokyo
A woman stands in front of a closed shop in the outer part of the Tsukiji fish market, the Jogai Shijo, in Tokyo - Sputnik International
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The eastern regions of Japan's Hokkaido island could stand to lose up to $200 million should Russia decide to introduce a ban on driftnet fishing in its exclusive economic zone, the administration of the Japanese city of Nemuro said Wednesday.

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TOKYO (Sputnik) On Wednesday, the Russian Federation Council is to decide whether to approve a law banning driftnet fishing, which the lower house of parliament, the State Duma, adopted on June 10. If passed by the Federation Council and signed by the Russian president, the law will take affect starting January 1, 2016.

Driftnet fishing refers to the use of several miles-long networks of nets to entangle fish. Currently, 35 Japanese and 16 Russian vessels are involved in driftnet fishing in Russia's Far East.

Fishing quotas in the area are determined by bilateral intergovernmental agreements, under which Japan compensates Russia. Driftnet fishing within Russia's 200-mile exclusive economic zone provides Japan with 6,400 tons of fish annually, according to the NHK channel.

Russian proponents of the ban on driftnet fishing in its exclusive economic zone argue that it will help the country increase fish supplies for the domestic market, creating some 4,000 jobs.

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