WWF Marine Programme

Russia is the only country in the world owning enormous sea spaces and the unique biodiversity of the sea (almost 900 species of fish, more than 250 of which are commercial species, many marine mammals, mollusks and crustaceans live there). The value of the mineral resources of the seas increases every year.

Recent decades the environment of the seas have worsened as a result of the increasing influence of human activities on the world Ocean.

In our days human impacts on seas and coasts almost reached its apogee. Oil and gas offshore extraction destroys habitats of marine mammals, fish (including relict species) and crustaceans, plant forms and the plankton and benthos. Water pollution leads to accumulation of persistent organic pollutants in animals. Poaching and illegal exports of seafood reduce the abundance of many populations, such as red king crab, cod, pollok. Birds, including such rare as short-tailed albatross die, when they swallow baited hooks that are used in longline fisheries.

The purpose of the WWF Marine Programme, working since 1999 year, is to preserve the biological diversity of the Russian seas, while sustainable development of coastal and at sea fisheries.

The WWF Marine Programme works primarily on those of the seas, as the Bering Okhotsk and the Barents Seas.

It works for the preservation of Western Pacific gray whale population, seeks to develop a system of marine protected areas (MPA) and fishery reserves, implements effective methods to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated catch of marine biological resources and the reduction of by-catch of seabirds in longline fisheries.

In addition, WWF seeks to develop in Russia a voluntary environmental certification system for the marine fisheries according to marine Stewardship Council (MSC), recognized as the world’s economic transition mechanism for the sustainable fishery.