Kamchatka is against drift-net fishing for salmon in the sea
Large-scale drift-net fishing is forbidden worldwide according to the special UN Resolution. “Death walls”, that is the other name for drift nets, stretch for dozens of kilometres acting as a barrier for whatever wildlife in the ocean, and are catching not only the fish that is the target species, but also the other fish, seabirds and marine mammals.
“In 1950s an ecological catastrophe developed at the Kamchatka because of the Japanese drift-net fishing, and it took more than twenty years for reproductive fish stock to be restored. In 2008 due to the increased catching quotas issued by Moscow for the drift-net fishing vessels the numbers of salmon that enter for spawning the rivers of Eastern Kamchatka were exceptionally low as a result of drift-net harvest pressure”, - reports the coordinator of “Save the Salmon!” NGO Coalition Sergey Vakhrin.
For the Russian territorial waters the impact of drift-net fishing is even worse as it is carried in the foraging areas of the Pacific Salmon, where young fish are getting caught in the nets together with adults. As this drift-net fishing is targeted for high-value commercial species all the caught fish except the most precious for the Japanese markets, i.e. all except Sockeye Salmon, is just thrown back to the sea. The scales of such deliberate destruction of marine resources are hard to believe: annually at least 60 thousand tons of bycatch is ruined like this.
“Currently the people that live in the coastal areas, including indigenous people of Kamchatka, suffer from the lack of fish resources. All species of Salmonids are of value for these social groups. This includes also Pink Salmon and Chum Salmon, dozens of tons of which are thrown overboard as they are of low commercial value for drift-net fishing”, - says Anatoly Dekshtein, Coordinator of Marine Programmes in the Kamchatka / Bering Sea WWF Ecoregional branch.
The Appeal will be handed over for decision-making to the deputies of Kamchatka regional Duma. It has been signed already by the scientists and environmentalists from Kamchatka and Sakhalin, by representatives of press and media and of the indigenous people of the North.
The issue of the ban on large-scale drift-net fishing in the exclusive economic zone of Russia will be discussed at the hearings in Kamchatka regional Duma on December 16th. Currently collection of signatures for this ban to be introduced still continues. You can say your own “No” to the drift-net fishing by signing the Appeal online: http://fishkamchatka.ru/?cont=long&id=13839&year=2008&today=17&month=11#k1