What opportunities exist provides Russia for achieving global marine conservation targets

Building the strategy on the above assumption WWF should promote Russian contributions for achieving most of the milestones of the global marine programme.

  1. MPA Establishment – All three Global 2000 ecoregions within Russia have chances for a representative system of MPAs to be developed if to integrate the existing MPAs and planned MPAs with fishery conservation zones proposed in the new Fisheries Law.

  2. MPA Management effectiveness: already one MPA in Russia is using the WWF-WCPA methodology to improve its management performance and WWF-Russia plans at least two other reserves with large offshore parts to introduce this approach. This gives examples of the development of MPA management initiative in the cold waters which are indeed not common.

  3. Sectoral spatial management: most of the transnational companies involved in the offshore oil and gas development in at least the Sea of Okhotsk ecoregion are ready to have consultation process with WWF and its partners, e.g indigenous/ local people organizations regarding particular restrictions and voluntary regulation of the oil and gas related activities.

  4. Ecosystem impacts: impacts of driftnetting and longlining are amongst the most obvious, measurable and global-scaled. Taking the current threat of driftnet fishing and rapid development of longlining in the Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk WWF-Russia efforts in these ecoregions may result in changing situation: banning or restriction the driftnetting and considerable reduction of by-catch in longlining.

  5. Effectively managed fishing fleets: possible EU/Russia fishery agreement should not lead to the export of fishing capacity from the EU to Russia. Current concern with the IUU catch of the Barents cod and Alaska Pollock makes possible adoption of effective measures. Since Russia is now actively trying to re-establish its High Seas fishing presence the authorities expressed several times their adherence to the principles of sustainable and responsible fishery. This indicates that Russia should be ready to maintain and develop further a constructive cooperation within the regional fishery management organizations and discuss general issues of sustainability of fishery in the High Seas.

  6. Market incentives: Russia is potentially one of the main exporters of whitefish (Atlantic and Pacific cod, Alaska Pollock, flownders) to the European and North America markets. The interests of seafood importers, e.g. UNILEVER to import added value products obtained in a sustainable way may highly promote the Russian fishery sector to move towards improving the environmental standards and MSC certification.