WWF Announced the Winners of the 4th Annual WWF International Smart Gear Competition To Reduce Bycatch
The International Smart Gear Competition was created by WWF and a diverse range of partners in May 2004 to bring together fishermen, fisheries, policy and science to find solutions to reduce the unnecessary decline of vulnerable species due to bycatch. The first Smart Gear Competition drew more than 50 entries from 16 countries. This year the competition drew 70 entries from 22 countries, including Cameroon, Finland, Thailand, Ireland, New Zealand, Russia, Kenya and Malaysia.
“This competition is still rather new, and our Russian fishermen also have good chances for an award in 2009. Though there is a professional jury deciding on winners, I think myself that for example fishing for Saury with additional lift-nets along with purse seines has good potential for an award, - says Konstantin Zgurovsky, WWF Russia Marine Programme coordinator. – We also plan to propose a Russian jury to the international Competition Jury Team”.
At the Ocean Expo 2007 exhibition WWF also presented information on potential and real threats that might emerge with oil field development at the shelf, and copper and gold at the coasts of, for example, the Bristol Bay, where the value of salmon fishing now is estimated in billions US a year.
'American fishermen are really strong in their fight for conservation of this area, - says Konstantin Zgurovsky. – Our fishermen also shall start to think what catastrophes might happen at West Kamchatka costs, which is the main fishing area of entire country. Sad events that took place in the Kerch strait demonstrate that such catastrophes are only a matter of time”.