Salmon fishing ends in Kamchatka with 248 thousand tonne catch

14.09.2011 11:32:33 (GMT+12)

The Pacific salmon fishing has ended in Kamchatka. At 00.00 hours, local time, Tuesday, commercial fishing of valuable fish was stopped in all Kamchatka fishing zones, Fisheries Minister of the Kamchatka Territory Vladimir Galitsyn told Itar-Tass.

Fishing grounds were distributed among 82 users. Enterprises have produced about 248 thousand tonnes of salmon. With the volume of catch within amateur fishery and traditional fishing by representatives of the North indigenous peoples, the peninsula has produced more than 250 thousand tonnes of fish.

The final results of the fishing will be known after September 17, but already now it is clear that this year’s production volume is “a historical maximum over the entire history of monitoring of fishing that has been conducted since 1906,” said Vladimir Galitsyn, recalling that the highest levels of salmon catches on the Kamchatka Peninsula were previously recorded in 1928, when the fishermen here caught 202 thousand tonnes of this fish.

A significant portion of fish products produced in the Kamchatka Peninsula is traditionally sent to Vladivostok from where it is transported by rail to customers in other regions of the country. However, this year for the first time over the past 20 years salmon was shipped from the peninsula to St. Petersburg on the Northern Sea Route. Two transport vessels have already completed their voyages having transported about 10 thousand tonnes of fish. Another ship is being prepared for a voyage on the same route in the short run. Experts believe that this method of delivery of fish products from the Far East to the central regions of the country can reduce its cost.

Kamchatka contains probably the world’s greatest diversity of salmonid fish, including all six species of anadromous Pacific salmon (chinook, chum, coho, seema, pink, and sockeye). Biologists estimate that a sixth to a quarter of all Pacific salmon originates in Kamchatka. Kuril Lake is recognised as the biggest spawning-ground for sockeye in Eurasia. In response to pressure from poaching and to worldwide decreases in salmon stocks, some 24,000 square kilometres (9,300 sq mi) along nine of the more productive salmon rivers are in the process of being set aside as a nature preserve. Stickleback species, particularly Gasterosteus aculeatus and Pungitius pungitius, also occur in many coastal drainages, and are likely present in freshwater as well. Seabirds include northern fulmars, thick and thin-billed murres, kittiwakes, tufted and horned puffins, red-faced, pelagic and other cormorants, and many other species. Typical of the northern seas, the marine fauna is likewise rich. Of commercial importance are Kamchatka crab (king crab), scallop, squid, pollock, cod, herring, halibut and several species of flatfish.

According to the WWF, Salmon is the biological foundation, or keystone species, of coastal ecosystems and human economies in the Pacific Rim. It connects ecosystems and human livelihoods across Russia/USA border.