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WWF-Russia demands that all illegal endeavors to exploit the Kronotsky Reserve's territory be stopped
04 march 2019
WWF-Russia is deeply concerned about the recent activity of fishing companies aimed at searching for ways to exploit fish stocks of lake Kronotskoye and the nearby river.
For about a month, there has been a buzz in the media concerning possible exploitation of lake Kronotskoye in Kronotsky Reserve, East Kamchatka. After one of the Reserve's staff members was arrested, a wide-ranging discussion rose to the federal level. Some media sources say that criminal proceedings against the Reserve's staff member and the plans of economic territory exploitation are allegedly connected.
A plan to connect the Pacific Ocean and lake Kronotskoye via a fishway first appeared in the middle of the 20th century. Since then, the plan arises once in a while. However, such plan would go against the status of Kronotsky Reserve itself since no economic exploitation can be conducted on the Reserve's territory according to the Russian legislation.
More than that, should a fishway appear, consequences for the environment will be a disaster.
"Lake Kronotskoye has been separated from the Pacific Ocean for the last 12 thousand years. There are two unique forms of sockeye salmon and seven forms of charr. All seven are in the Red Book of Kamchatka krai. A fishway will work as a two-sided road bringing invasive species into the lake, parasites included. The local species will most definitely be overwhelmed," said Sergey Korostelev, the Sustainable Marine Fishing Program coordinator with WWF-Russia.
The territory of Kronotsky Reserve is included in the World Heritage List of UNESCO. Any efforts to exploit its territory will undoubtedly result in serious disbelieve in the Russian system of protected areas itself both inside the country and on the international level.
WWF-Russia insists that all endeavors aimed to undermine the regional biodiversity be stopped.