Russian salmon fishery receiving MSC certification

September 15, 2009 12:57

The Iturup Island pink and chum salmon fisheries have become the first in Russia to achieve Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for sustainable and well-managed fisheries, reports ( with reference to TheFishSite.

These fisheries are managed by the Russian government and by ZAO Gidrostroy (closed jsc) owning and operating the fishing, processing and shipment operations for much of the salmon at Iturup Island, which is the largest of the Kuril Islands off the Pacific Coast of Russia. Gidrostroy is the fishery client for this certification and has been active on Iturup Island since 1991.

During the fishing season from the beginning of July to the end of November each year, salmon are caught with stationary traps from offshore coastal areas in Prostor and Kurilskiy Bays, adjacent to four Iturup Island river systems. Hatcheries exist in two of the river systems. All of the fisheries' salmon caught in the 2009 season is eligible to carry the MSC ecolabel. After harvesting, both pink (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) and chum (Oncorhynchus keta) salmon are processed at the island's two Gidrostroy-owned plants in headed and gutted form as well as other products before being sold into Russian, European, Asian and North American markets.

MSC operates the world's leading certification and ecolabel program for sustainability in wild-capture fisheries. In accordance with the MSC standard, the assessment of the Iturup Island salmon fisheries included detailed analyses of the salmon stocks, the impacts of the fishery on the marine environment and the effectiveness of the fisheries' management system. The assessment, conducted by independent certifier, Scientific Certification Systems, took approximately 16 months to complete.

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