The Head of Accounts chamber of the Russian Federation intends to facilitate establishing a ban on driftnet fishery in Russian EEZ
Sergey Stepashin met with Vladimir Ilyukhin, the Governor of Kamchatka region, and Boris Nevzorov, the Head of the Legislative Assembly of Kamchatka. They discussed a problem of driftnet fishery at Russian seas.
The Governor Vladimir Ilyukhin noted that today thanks to the work of Kamchatka Accounts Chamber Russia has got proved data available about the economic damage of driftnet fishing. Numerous of marine birds and mammals fall to the «walls of death», thousands of tons of commercially low-valued fish are thrown overboard.
Many years WWF has been promoting the ban on large scale driftnet fishing in the Russian exclusive economic zone. The survey conducted with WWF support showed that just in 2010 driftnets killed 73 388 birds of 33 species. The calculations carried out by WWF experts found that the damage from the Russian-Japanese driftnet fleet activities in 2008 amounted more than $ 14 million.
“The ban of large scale drift netting is a reasonable measure for conservation of national marine resources and guarantees that Russia's economic interests are not threatened,” - said Anatoly Dekshtein, Marine program coordinator, WWF Kamchatka. If driftnet fishing will not be banned in the nearest future, a rigorous and absolutely transparent monitoring system must be created. Monitoring can be implemented by independent observers and on-board web cameras. In that case WWF also highly recommend to reduce the length of driftnets up to 2 km.