More about the strategy
Since ancient times, fishing serves as an important source of food for humanity and provides jobs and economic benefits to those engaged in this activity. The abundance of water resources was considered an inexhaustible gift of nature. However, as a result of the expansion of knowledge and the dynamic development of fishing after the Second World War, this myth has gradually disappeared. Mankind has realized that water resources, although renewable, are by no means inexhaustible and require proper management, if we are to preserve their contribution to the food, economic and social well-being of the growing population of the globe.
Thanks to the widespread practice of the establishment of exclusive economic zones (EEZs) in the mid-1970s and the after a long discussions adoption of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982, a structure has emerged that allows for more rational management of marine resources. The new legal regime of the World Ocean granted the coastal states rights and assigned them responsibility for the management and the use of fishery resources within their exclusive economic zones, which contain about 90% of the world's fish stocks. This expansion of national jurisdiction was necessary, but not a sufficient step towards effective fisheries management and sustainable development. Many coastal states continued to experience serious difficulties, because due to the lack of experience, financial and physical resources they sought to extract a much benefits from the fishery in their EEZ.
In recent years, world fisheries have been focused on the rapidly developing food industry sector, and coastal states have made effort to take advantage of new opportunities by investing in modern fishing fleets and processing plants in response to the growing global demand for fish and fish products.
Russia is the only country in the world with such vast marine domain and unique marine biodiversity (it includes almost 900 species of fish of which 250 are commercial, marine mammals, mollusks, crustaceans, etc.).
The Russian coast bounded by 12 seas and the waters of the world's largest lake – the Caspian Sea. The total area of territorial waters and special economic zones of Russia is about 7 million km²; the area of Russian continental shelf is 5 million km², this is one fifth part of the World Ocean shelf.
The Barents, Bering and Okhotsk Seas, whose significant part of water area belongs to Russia, are among the most productive seas in the world. The Far Eastern seas support largest stocks of commercial species of global importance: pollock, Pacific salmon, Kamchatka crab, Pacific cod and halibut; stocks of cod and haddock have been preserved in the Russian Arctic waters.
West Kamchatka shelf occupies about 10% of the Sea of Okhotsk. It is a unique area with an annual production capacity of 20 tonnes / km². This is one of the highest rates in the world!
Threats to marine ecosystems
Explosive development of economic activity in the World Ocean in the second half of the 20th century led to a rapid decline in the abundance of many commercial populations of marine organisms. Poaching, overfishing, habitat destruction, unregulated developments of aquaculture, illegal trade in seafood create extreme pressure on marine ecosystems leading to their degradation and destruction. Imperfection of legislation and control system of its implementation, lack of quality monitoring, lack of interdepartmental coordination and international cooperation further exacerbate these problems.
What should be done?
WWF is convinced that in order to preserve the wealth of marine bioresources and ensure human food security, fisheries and aquaculture must be based on the principles of sustainable development:
- maintenance of commercial reserves at a level that ensures maximum sustainable yield with constant self recovery of populations;
- maintaining the structure, diversity and productivity of ecosystems unchanged;
- effective management of fisheries and aquaculture in accordance with international standards.