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Old 4th January 2012, 09:50
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Default Kamchatka Sockeye Salmon fishery enters MSC Assessment

Two companies from the largest and most commercially significant sockeye fishery in Russia commit to sustainability

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) announced last year that the Ozernaya River sockeye fishery has entered the full assessment phase of the MSC certification process. The Ozernaya sockeye fishery is a large and commercially significant sockeye salmon fishery located in Southwest Kamchatka. This is the first fishery from the Kamchatka Peninsula, one of the world’s most productive fishery regions, to enter the MSC assessment process.

“Our fishery is the best-managed and most extensively researched salmon fishery in Russia,” said AleksandrTarasov, the Managing Director of “Vityaz-avto, Ltd.”, one of the two commercial fishing companies entering the program. “We welcome the opportunity to demonstrate the health and sustainability of this important natural resource.”

“The MSC certification program can bring market advantages to our fishing companies and ensure that our globally significant salmon resources will remain sustainably managed forever,” said Denis Semenov of World Wildlife Fund Kamchatka office.

The headwaters of the Ozernaya sockeye fishery are in the Kuril Lake/ South Kamchatka Nature Reserve, which protects critically important spawning grounds for the fishery as well as habitat for grizzly bears, Steller’s sea eagles and other wildlife.

“Southwest Kamchatka, and the Ozernaya River watershed in particular, could become a model for the conservation and sustainable use of wild salmon ecosystems across the Pacific Rim,” said Brian Caouette, Director of Sustainable Fisheries Program at the Wild Salmon Center.

The Wild Salmon Center and WWF have been working collaboratively to support the sustainability of Kamchatka wild salmon ecosystems for a number of years. The Ozernaya fishery project began last year.

The certification body, MRAG Americas, will conduct the full assessment with hopes of completion by early 2012.

The 1000-kilometer long Kamchatka Peninsula is located at the far eastern end of Russia, between the Sea of Okhotsk and the North Pacific Ocean, and produces 20% of Russia’s seafood.
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