WWF-Russia suggests strengthening supervision on recreational fishing for salmon
The recreational fishing is incomparable to commercial since it has a much lower negative impact on the environment. However, if conducted without proper supervision, recreational fishing can become a cover for illegal activity and threaten rare species.
The recreational fishing for king salmon in the West Kamchatka can be taken as a striking example of such transformation. The point is that while anglers follow all the legislative formalities to get a fishing permit, there is no strict regulation to control and register the catch. Fishing ground leaseholders, who sell those fishing permits to anglers, are inexcusably lenient.
There is no direct legislative obligation to validate a fishing permit in connection to the actual catch. Thus, it is absolutely up to the leaseholder whether to write the information about the catch down into his fishing log or not. Receiving a quota of 500 kilograms, an unfair leaseholder can sell as many fishing permits and as long as he wants to omit the information about the catch in the fishing log. In such a case, the quota can run out only at the leaseholder’s goodwill.
On the other hand, since there are no official marks on the fishing permit which would prove the catch is legal, there are no guarantees of the catch’s legal origin. It turns out that an angler can fish anywhere, even on the other nearby rivers, if he has a fishing permit.
WWF-Russia suggests adding some bullet points to the Fishing Regulations. For example, the experts consider it important that both leaseholders and anglers be obliged to officially register the catch by putting the respective information in the fishing log as well as in the fishing permit. The marked permits will guarantee the legal origin of the catch while the data from the fishing log will help monitor the left quota daily.
Another suggestion is to limit the number of fishing permits to the size of the quota and monitor it daily. Selling the permits and fishing must be conducted on a same-day basis. Thus, the number of permits will not exceed quota. The released catch will not be registered in the fishing log and won’t influence the quota.
© the photo in the head was taken by John Simeone / WWF-US