Sustainable fishery coming into big focus in the Russian Far East

July 2, 2007 12:21

Vladivostok-based fishing companies OAO Nakhodka BAMR (plc) and JSC ZAO Roliz, which are members of Association of Fishing Companies of Primorye, have made it a point of policy to stand for sustainable and responsible fishery and farsighted approach in the sphere of ecology, general director of OAO Nakhadka BAMR Sergey Kononuk said at the second International Ecological Forum in Vladivostok.

The forum gathered officials and scientists from Moscow, Saint Petersburg and other regions of Russia, as well as from Japan, South Korea, China, Finland and the USA. The meeting was conducted by Alexander Tabachenko, vice-governor of Primorsky Krai (capital Vladivostok) in charge of the issues of the agrarian policy, wild stocks and fisheries.

Sergey Kononuk said that it was for the first time when the fishermen spoke at the ecological meeting. The development could be actually attributed to the current bias for sustainable and responsible fishery. Several years ago overfishery could have reached 50%, "but now the time of barbarous exploitation of marine stocks seems to be passing into history", Kononuk claimed.

The speaker noted that the companies' current agenda covered their certification for compliance with the ecological standards of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). The thing is that many foreign retail chains have been rejecting offers of Russian fish exactly due to absence of MSC certificates for the products. NBAMR and Roliz have become Russian pioneers entering into collaboration with Russia's TINRO-centre research institute and the World Wildlife Fund on the issue. Now the sides are preparing provisional conformance evaluation which is to define whether the Russian fisheries meet the world ecological standards and to answer how to make them compliant.

President of Primorye Association of Fishing Companies Georgy Martynov praised the initiative of Roliz and NBAMR saying that they should become exemplary for other fishing companies of the province.

In his speech Sergey Kononuk also pointed out to the need to certify all types of fishery in Russia and to create the vessels' register for each fishery type in order to expel poaching vessels. The fishing gear should also be improved and the Russian companies should apply Codes of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries which have been already practiced in NBAMR and Roliz, he said.

Besides, general director of NBAMR plc Mr. Kononuk proposed some methods to fight with illegal fishery with satellite monitoring to play a more active part. Trawls should be equipped with catch weight sensors and the information on the catch volume would be reported via the satellite.

The proposed measures are to help realize principles of sustainable fishery when the fishery would support a long term maximum sustainable yield with the ecosystem remaining healthy, the level of the fishable stocks being the highest possible and the damage from the fishermen's activities tending to minimum.

More information from:

Press-service of Primorye Fishermen's Association; Kab.304, Ulitsa Svetlanskaya, 51-a, 690990 Vladivostok, Russia; tel.: +7 4232 265064, tel./fax: +7 4232 266330; e-mail: press@arpp.pk.ru, http://www.arpp.pk.ru/

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