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Премия рунета 2017

Fishery protected areas may appear in Russia in the near future

19 may 2020
The Ministry of Agriculture has approved the criteria and procedure for the preparation of the biological justification for the establishment of fishery protected areas (FPA). WWF-Russia experts are confident that the creation of the FPA will prevent the degradation of many water ecosystems in our country, while ensuring sustainable socio-economic development of the territories.

Since 2004, Russian legislation warranted the possibility of creating fishery protected areas. However, by-laws that would stipulate mechanisms for creating such preserves did not exist for a long time. An effort to close this legal gap was made in 2016 with the approval of the rules for the establishment of the FPA and the list of activities prohibited or restricted in their water area.

However, not a single FPA in Russia has yet been established - the lack of a standard passport of the protected area and the rules for its creation prevented it. The order of the Minister of Agriculture, registered by the Ministry of Justice on May 13, 2020, is designed to bridge existing legal gaps.

“For many years, not only WWF-Russia has been working on the question of the possibility of creating a FPA in the marine area and in the basins of spawning rivers of the Russian Far East. The adopted official document is a common victory for all environmental organizations in our country,” said Vladimir Krever, scientific director of the Biodiversity Conservation Program of WWF-Russia. “The document opens up opportunities for the protection and conservation of species important for the fishing industry providing the food security of the country as a whole.”
“In fact, the fishery protected area protects sustainable fisheries from other types of economic activity. The production of hydrocarbons and other minerals in the spawning or feeding areas of marine and river inhabitants poses real threats to both the ecosystem as a whole and commercial species,” said Sergey Korostelev, coordinator of the Sustainable Marine Fisheries Program of WWF-Russia. “The adopted document provides an opportunity to prevent these threats.”

In Kamchatka, the focus of environmentalists is the Opala River Basin and the West Kamchatka Shelf. These areas, each in its own way, play a key role in the reproduction of the marine resources of the Sea of ​​Okhotsk. The establishing of the FPA on these water areas may become a precedent for the creation of similar preserves in other areas where the interests of the fishery are at risk.

Environmentalists consider promising the creation of a FPA in the Amur estuary. The protected area would guarantee the preservation of feeding and migration sites of Kaluga, Amur sturgeon and Pacific salmon in the conditions of industry and infrastructure development.

For additional information please contact
Biodiversity Programme Leader