This FIP includes coastal trap nets (sea) and floating gill nets, fishing weirs (zaezdok) and beach seines (all in rivers), used to capture pink and chum salmon in the Amur River and adjacent parts of the Sea of Okhotsk (Amur Liman and Sakhalin Gulf) in the Nikolaevsk and Ulchi administrative Districts in (eastern) Russia’s Khabarovsk region. An MSC pre-assessment was completed for the fishery in 2018. The pre-assessment included four fishing companies who were interested in pursuing certification. Since completion of the pre-assessment in October 2018, two (Sakhalinskii Zaliv RK Ltd; and Amurskii Rybak) of the companies merged into the third, Amurskii Liman Ltd. One year later after another reorganization, Amurskii Liman became a new company, Shturman Ltd. As of the fall of 2019 the remaining companies, Ukhta-Prom Ltd and Shturman Ltd are now active FIP participants. These companies are not new (Ukhta-Prom Ltd since 2000 and Shturman Ltd (previously Amurkskii Liman) since 2011) to the region and have demonstrated a desire to sustain the fishing resources over the long-term to promote economic stability of the region by choosing sustainable fishing practices.
The Ukhta-Prom company is a member of the Association of Fish Industry Enterprises of the Khabarovsk Krai (region), contributing to the sustainable functioning and development of the fishery complex of the region. For several years the company has been participating in the project "Affordable Fish", helping to provide the residents of the region with fish products at affordable prices. Both companies support measures for the protection of aquatic biological resources and is in close cooperation with the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Khabarovsk Krai, the Federal Agency for Fisheries.
The only other salmon fishery, north of Nikolaevsk-na-Amure sought to achieve MSC certification in over a decade ago. In 2010, the Tugur River chum salmon fishery attempted to launch a FIP, however the project fell through due to lack of evident benefits to the fishing company and non-developed local engagement. Ukhta-Prom Ltd and Amurskii Liman are launching the first-ever comprehensive FIP on the Amur river and in wider Khabarovsk region with a goal to achieve MSC Certification. The companies currently sell their products in the Russian Federation, including the Khabarovsk Krai, Siberia, the Altai and Krasnoyarsk Krai, the Novosibirsk Region, Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as China, Japan, and South Korea. Launching this FIP will potentially allow the fishery-clients to access new markets in North America and Europe.
According to stakeholders interviewed, illegal fishing is wide-spread in the area of the assessed fishery. Absence of information about illegal fishing significantly contribute to the low P1 scores. The management system is working towards reducing the level of illegal fishing, but it does not have quantitative information about levels and patterns of illegal fishing. Absence of such information does not allow us to assess the effectiveness of the enforcement activities.
There are 5 chum hatcheries located in the District so there are impacts to wild salmon populations due to enhancement activities. To properly manage stocks, it is necessary to know contribution of enhanced fish in the catch, escapement and hatchery broodstocks, which is usually achieved via marking of the hatchery production and sampling for marks. This approach is standard practice in most salmon fisheries with significant hatchery production. However, these practices are absent in the Amur River basin, although some efforts towards this are already undertaken.
The pre-assessment identified a number of issues that would likely prevent the fishery from achieving MSC certification in the near future:
Inability of the management system to adequately assess stock status of pink salmon relative to the management targets.
While the situation for chum is a little better due to a more developed stock assessment program, there are also problems with available information, and there is a significant hatchery program in the Amur River Basin.
Illegal fishing activities are known to be a problem for this area but there are no reliable estimates of the magnitude of IUU fishing.
There is a relatively large number of ETP species that are known to inhabit the Amur River Basin and Amur Liman, but no information about them and their interaction with the fishery and its impact on local ETP species is available.
This FIP is designed to address these issues and others identified in the pre-assessment so that the fishery can achieve MSC certification by 2025.
This FIP includes coastal trap nets (sea) and floating gill nets, fishing weirs (zaezdok) and beach seines (all in rivers), used to capture pink and chum salmon in the Amur River and adjacent parts of the Sea of Okhotsk (Amur Liman and Sakhalin Gu
Achieve MSC certification by 2025.