Russian sockeye salmon fishery certified
The Ozernaya River sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) fishery located in the Russian Far East, on the southwest coast of the Kamchatka peninsula, has been MSC certified.
Sockeye salmon harvested by the client group in this fishery is now eligible to display the blue MSC ecolabel, increasing the amount of MSC certified salmon available annually to the global market by approximately 4,000-6,000 metric tons based on 2009-2011 catches.
The client group for this fishery consists of two fishing companies: Delta Company, Ltd. and Vityaz-Avto Company, Ltd. The harvest methods are fixed trap nets and beach seines targeting sockeye salmon in Ozernaya River. Several other companies also harvest sockeye salmon in the Ozernaya river basin. The sockeye salmon catch of Vityaz‐Avto and Delta comprises 23‐44% of the total 2004‐2011 catch in the area. Fishing by indigenous people and sport fishing also occurs.
The area where fishing takes place is extremely remote. The watershed is largely undeveloped except for two small towns near the river mouth, Ozernovsky and Zaporozhie on the left and right banks of the river, each consisting of about 2,500 residents. During the fishing season for sockeye salmon - typically July to early September - many people come to the region from the nearest main city Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and from mainland Russia to work with the fishing companies.
Fishing has always been the primary occupation of people in the Ozernaya area. Vityaz-Avto and Delta were both founded in the late 1990’s and have modern fish processing facilities which are located in Ozernovsky. The primary export markets are Japan, China, and Canada, and they also market domestically. Both companies possess MSC Chain of Custody certification for their processing plants in Ozernovsky.
“We are proud to be the first fishery to receive Marine Stewardship Council certification in Kamchatka. From the beginning, the policy of our companies – Vityaz-avto, Ltd, and Delta Co., Ltd. – was directed to sustainable and well-managed fishing,” said Alexander Tarasov, general director. “Now it is recognised by MSC, which allows us to increase our markets.”