Press release

Russia’s remote Western Kamchatka salmon achieves MSC certification

September 15, 2016

The Russian VA-Delta Western Kamchatka salmon fishery has been certified to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Fisheries Standard. The certification validates efforts by the remote fishery to ensure the long term sustainability of Pacific salmon. Its pink, chum and coho salmon can now be sold with the blue MSC label, creating a new opportunity for seafood suppliers in Europe, Canada, Japan, Asia and for domestic Russian market.

The fishery is located on the east coast of Russia, in the western part of the Kamchatka Peninsula on the Sea of Okhotsk coast and the lower reaches of six large coastal rivers: Ozernaya, Koshegochek, Golygina, Opala, Kol, Vorovskaya. Fishing is the region’s primary occupation, with seasonal workers arriving for the 3-5 months. The fishing season is between July and September. Salmon fishing is also an important source of food for the indigenous population. The long term sustainability of the fishery is therefore vital for local people, employment and economic development.

Two fishing companies, Vityaz-Avto and Delta, both founded in the late 1990s, are included in this certification. The group’s Ozernaya river sockeye salmon fishery was the first in Kamchatka to be MSC certified, in 2012. Catch is processed and frozen at sites owned by these companies, before being shipped to market.

In 2015, the fishery caught 357 metric tonnes of Pink Salmon, 2,330 metric tonnes of Chum Salmon and 445 tonnes of Coho Salmon.

 Camiel Derichs, MSC Regional Director for Europe said "This assessment covers fisheries for most of salmon species in West Kamchatka thereby positioning the region and client group as champions of salmon certification in Russia. The assessment shows that an increasing number of Russian fishing companies are embracing third party fishery certification programs like the MSC. We look forward to seeing MSC labelled products from this fishery on the market”.

The MSC Fisheries Standard is widely recognised as the world’s most credible standard for environmentally sustainable wild-caught seafood. Over the last 18 months, a team of experts from independent certifier, MRAG Americas, has assessed the fishery to the MSC’s requirements. The fishery is certified with seven conditions, which will require continued improvements to the management of the fishery.

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