Russian government considerably increases salmon fishery quotas in Kamchatka

The Russian government has considerably increased salmon fishery quotas on Kamchatka peninsula in the Sea of Okhotsk. The Government Information Department reports that the total volume of permissible catch of Pacific salmon has been increased by 70,000 tons - from 157,700 to 228,400 tons.

Salmon fishery quotas on the Western Kamchatka coast have been doubled, which is the biggest increase. The formerly permitted 42,050 tons have now been increased to 98,250 tons.

In the Kamchatka-Kurile sub-zone the permissible catch quota is now around 95,000 tons instead of the former 40,307 tons, in the South-Kurile zone - it is over 40,000 tons of salmon (instead of the formerly permitted 28,812 tons).

Last week, President Vladimir Putin demanded that drawbacks be eliminated in the organization of salmon fishery to enable the regions to work in due course.

The Russian leader also demanded that the State Fisheries Committee and the Nature Ministry establish new quotas for these species.

The head of state has raised that task before the government in connection with the extreme situation that has arisen in Kamchatka - the spawning grounds are over-crowded with salmon, there is an abundance of fish which leads to jams. In 2002, the amounts of red salmon, chum salmon and humpback salmon considerably exceeded scientists' expectations.

In early last week, Mikhail Mashkovtsev, the Governor of the Kamchatka Region, gave permission, on his own responsibility, to catch salmon above the quota, although the Nature Ministry refused to give permission before ecological tests had been carried out.

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