State will protect the biological resources of Western Kamchatka shelf?
Hundreds of thousands tons of fish such as Salmon, Alaska Pollack, Cod, Places, Halibut, and also Crabs, Shrimps and other seafood are harvested annually in the Kamchatka coastal waters of the Sea of Okhotsk. According to experts’ forecasts total harvest of fish and seafood could reach the total of 1 million tons in the coming ten years. This is the figure that excludes any risk-related commercial activities.
Already 2004 the scientists and Peoples Council deputies of Kamchatka region, as well as the representatives of nature conservation NGOs expressed the need to set up a marine protected area at the West of Kamchatka. This statement was followed my years of research and large-scale ecological and economic assessments and surveys.
Few days ago full project of “Ecological and Economic Justification” for designation of marine zakaznik (sanctuary) that had been prepared by experts from Kamchatka Branch of the Pacific Institute of Geography, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, with support from WWF was handed over to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of Russian Federation. The document that is 200-pages large includes information on the economic and biological values of Western Kamchatka shelf, on the proposed boundaries of protected area and on the recommended regime of land use and the use of natural resources.
“All the economic activities that might affect negatively the national fish resources will be banned within the zakaznik protected area. By setting up the zakaznik the state will protect natural resources of Western Kamchatka and the main commercial industry of the whole Kamchatka region from the potential threats, also those linked to implementation of oil and gas development projects”, – says Anatoly Dekshtein, Coordinator of WWF Marine Programme in the Kamchatka / Bering Sea WWF Ecoregional Branch.
According to the Project zakaznik will be located in the eastern parts of the Sea of Okhotsk at the border of three districts: Ust-Bolsheretsky, Sololevsky and Tigil’sky districts. Proposed size of the protected area is equal to 6 thousand square kilometres.