Russia's Far East facing environmental disaster

At Kamchatka (a peninsula in Russia's Far East) an emergency situation has set up - spawning-grounds are full of salmon. Salmon keeps coming and scientists forecast that the amount of fish will be increasing.

At the same time the fish dying after spawning are no longer food for young fish, on the contrary, decomposition products poison the river water.

The Head of the Fishing Department Alexander Chistyakov said that unless immediate measures were taken, then Kamchatka could face environmental and economic disasters.

Fishing enterprises set up limits for Siberian salmon and kokanee fishing a week ago. But if immediate fishing is not resumed, then the 1983 catastrophe can repeat, when a whole generation of fish was destroyed as the spawning grounds were overcrowded. Since that time the amount of fish coming to Kamchatka has been scarce in odd years.

However, the North-Eastern Basin Directorate for Protection and Replenishment of Fish Reserves and Fishing Regulation (Sevvostrybvod) does not permit fishing until Moscow allows.

The Emergency Commission for the Kamchatka Region permitted the fishing of salmon and kokanee and assumed all responsibility for it.