Russian Ozernaya River sockeye salmon fishery certified as sustainable
Sep 04, 2012
Global supply of MSC certified salmon increases
The Ozernaya River sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) fishery located in the Russian Far East, on the southwest coast of the Kamchatka peninsula, was certified following an independent assessment conducted by MRAG Americas to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard for sustainable, well-managed fisheries. 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 4-6 thousand metric tonnes based on 2009-2011 catches.
About the fishery
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.
What the fishery says
"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."
What MSC says
"Certification of the Ozernaya River sockeye salmon fishery is a milestone for the people of the Russian Federation who have fished and depended on this natural resource for generations," said Kerry Coughlin, regional director for MSC Americas and the Russian Far East. "There is tremendous demand in modern global markets for MSC certified salmon by buyers committed to sourcing wild salmon only if it meets the rigorous MSC standard for sustainability and can be traced through the supply chain via the MSC Chain of Custody certification. Certification of their fishery will help protect this vital resource and the livelihoods of the people of the Ozernaya area. We congratulate the fishery and welcome them into the MSC program."
About the assessment and certification
MRAG Americas, an independently accredited certifier, was the certifier for this assessment. During the assessment, the three principles of the MSC standard were evaluated in detail: the status of the fish stock, the impact of the fishery on the marine ecosystem and the management system overseeing the fishery. More information about the Ozernaya River sockeye salmon fishery and the complete Public Certification Report detailing the fishery’s passing scores against the MSC standard can be found in the
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