Fur Seals
© WWF Russia / Yuri Artyukhin
Fur Seals

WWF Position

In course of time different kinds of fish appeared on our shelves replacing each other: Cod, hake, pollock, herring, , grenadier, whiting replaced wild sturgeon, black caviar, semga (European salmon), sardine-iwasi? . This reflected the situation in our seas: stocks of many species of fish were depleted and the fishing had to switch to new, previously unused species.

Today, half a century later, cod is still caught in the Barents Sea. The main fishery “granary” is the Far East. Pollock, Far Eastern salmon and herring are caught here in good quantities. Pacific cod stocks are growing up too.

While the status of aquatic biological resources (ABR), stocks of the main commercial species does not inspire fear. However, the ABR is not coal or oil, their stocks are subject of significant fluctuations, depending on the environment, climate change, deterioration of reproduction due to human influence: overfishing, pollution, removal of important marine ecosystem food chain and etc.

WWF insists on the complex (integrated) planning of all activities on the sea shelf ecosystem-based!

Ecosystem Based Management – EBM is an internationally recognized powerful tool for the sustainable use of marine resources.

It includes:

1) The introduction of the principals of sustainable fisheries, outlined in the Code for Responsible Fisheries FAO.

2) The introduction of modern system of monitoring of fishing activities and correspondence between the fleet power and the fish stocks.

3) The development of conditions and programs to mitigate the adverse effects of fishing on the ecosystems, using the precautionary approach to estimate the total allowable catch (TAC).

4) Further development of the system of realistic acting marine protected areas, including so-called Fishery Marine protected zones (in particular, on the Western Kamchatka), which are under our legislation.

5) The application of environmental impact assessment (EIA) designing procedure for issuing of the TAC and a significant improvement of the impact analysis procedure of fishing gear on ecosystems.

6) The creation of plans for improving fisheries management (this is a widespread international practice).

To make effective use of the aquatic bioresources (ABR), key habitats and breeding places of fishing targets, Russia should implement more actively the complex spatial planning and empower functions of the Maritime College or the Ministry of Economic Development.

So-called “Green audit” is engaged in the analysis of compliance of fisheries with the principals of responsible fisheries – the environmental certification of fishing in accordance with the standards of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

To be certified under these standards, the fishermen have to prove that the fishing does not reduce the stock of the target species, has a minimal impact on the ecosystem and the fishery is managed effectively.

For additional information please contact
Konstantin Zgurovsky
Coordinator of WWF Russia Marine Programme