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Премия рунета 2017

WWF-Russia's suggestions on fishery improvement were recognized as part of terms of certification process

17 july 2020
WWF-Russia's experts encouraged the certificating body to consider the activity of mining enterprises as an important source of negative impact in salmon fisheries certification in Kamchatka. The activity of mining enterprises impacts the quality of water in the river body, thus influencing salmon stocks.

In July, fisheries of fifteen fishing companies of Kamchatka were certified against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standards. The fisheries located on Kamchatka’s both western and eastern coasts. The assessments took about a year to complete.

WWF-Russia participated as a stakeholder in the certification process. The Fund experts took part in meetings with the conformity assessment body and fisheries’ representatives.

Nine of the certified fisheries located in the Gulf of Korf (eastern coast of Kamchatka) and a number of them are seriously impacted by the activity of platinum mining company activity. Deposit development can influence the whole watershed causing negative impact on salmon and other species miles away from the mining site. According to the Kamchatka Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (KamchatNIRO) data (published in the report), significant parts of salmon spawning grounds of the Vyvenka and the Vetvey rivers were affected by mining activities. As of the mid-2000s, the number of chinook salmon dropped here five times, sockeye and chum salmon decreased by ten times.

A couple of fisheries, located on Kamchatka’s western coast are facing similar problems regarding gold deposit development in the river basin.

“It is vital that we do not focus exclusively on the total allowable catch and escapement rate which are absolutely important, of course. We also must take into consideration such data as the quality of water and activity of mining enterprises sharing watersheds with the assessed fisheries. That is why we encourage thorough scientific analysis to be a part of both the certification process and the fisheries improvement plan,” said Sergey Rafanov, director of Kamchatka/Bering Sea Ecoregional Office of WWF-Russia.

The certifier required fishing companies of the Gulf of Korf to cooperate with KamchatNIRO in order to develop a plan to assess the likely impacts of mining on salmon productivity in rivers draining into the Gulf of Korf and determine the appropriate management response. The plan will be presented during the first annual surveillance.

For additional information please contact
Head of WWF Kamchatka/Bering Sea Ecoregional Office