MSC certification should consider the impact of mining operations on salmon fisheries
Despite the fact that these companies are located on the opposite coasts of Kamchatka, there is one unobvious factor that unites their work. The fact is that their operations are located in the area of activity of mining enterprises. The Vyvenka River basin on the east coast is the area of interest for “Koryakgeoldobycha”. In the Icha River basin in the west of the peninsula, the Aginskoye field is developed by Kamgold, which is part of Kamchatka Gold JSC.
Today, the loss of salmon stocks on two tributaries of the Vyvenka River over the past seven years is well known. The impact was most likely the result of the activities of the mining company. Ecologists are also concerned about the situation on the Aga River, a tributary to the Icha River.
The prospect of coal mining by Indian companies TATA Power on the west coast of Kamchatka in the Sobolevsky district is of huge concern to environmentalists. Coal mining and loading activities could potentially affect salmon stocks along the coast, including fisheries certified against MSC standards earlier.
WWF-Russia considers the availability of relevant, reliable and objective information about the impact of the activities of mining companies as a necessary condition for the certification process of fisheries according to MSC standards. In assessing the sustainability of the fishery, not only the activities of fishing companies should be taken into account, but also the consequences of the extraction of precious metals for the watershed. In the future, the work of the fishermen should be carried out in collaboration with the mining companies with constant monitoring of the situation by scientists. It is of the interests of the fishing industry to demand mining companies
• to carry out land remediation required by law to restore the quality and health of salmon ecosystems;
• to minimize environmental impact by introducing international best practices.