Volunteers will help to protect the Avacha River from poachers
An outreach center “Land of fish and fish-eaters” opened in Elizovsky district last Saturday. The facility was created by the “Save Salmon TOGETHER!” Foundation as a museum of salmon and a place where all people interested in the future of fish in Kamchatka can gather and discuss important issues of the fishing industry. The first meeting took place in the Center several days before its official grand opening. The representatives of indigenous people of Kamchatka and recreational anglers announced their suggestions about possible ban on net-fishing on two rivers the Bolshaya and the Avacha.
This question is not that simple for the Bolshaya River. However, a ban on net gears on the Avacha would be logic taking into account the salmon stock condition here. There is only one fishing site on the river for indigenous people where nets can be used. The site borders are reset annually by the regulatory body – the Committee for Anadromous Fish Harvesting. The Committee can refuse to set the site because of stock depletion.
“It is very important not to force such decision over indigenous community. On the contrary, natives of Kamchatka must understand and accept the idea that this measure is the only option to save salmon in the Avacha Rivers”, says Sergey Korostelev, the Marine Program Coordinator of WWF-Russia’ Kamchatka Office.
As for poaching, WWF-Russia has successful experience in preventing illegal fishing activity. Volunteers supported by WWF-Russia and the “Save Salmon TOGETHER!” Foundation have been fighting criminal fishermen for six years since 2012. For the last two years, fishing companies in the Ust-Bolsheretsky district have united in an Association to resist poaching activity together taking the whole Bolshaya river under control. Thus, WWF-Russia has decided to move volunteers to another river where their efforts are really needed – to the Avacha. The outreach center “Land of fish and fish-eaters” will become their headquarters during the next fishing season.