An open forum dedicated to the protection of fish resources of Lake Baikal has been held

On 7th December, 2017 the Third Open Forum of the Prosecutor’s Office of Irkutsk region was held, concerning: “Prohibition of omul (Baikal whitefish) catch in Lake Baikal: balancing public and private interests”.

The participants of the open forum were faced with a challenge of finding a balance between public and private interests where the prohibition of Baikal omul catch is concerned; setting up a clear definition of positions and elaboration of recommendations and proposals aimed at the conservation of fish reserves of Lake Baikal.

In recent years, constant and intensive catch of omul in Lake Baikal has resulted into catastrophic decline in its population. In addition, according to scientists’ expert review, anthropogenic impact has led to the reduction in the size of fish and deterioration of its reproduction capability. As a result, Baikal omul is now on the verge of extinction. The situation prompted the President of the Russian Federation to get involved. Relevant competent authorities were instructed to investigate the matter of Baikal omul production restriction and from 1st October 2017 the fishing was discontinued.

Protection of water biological resources, including omul population, was repeatedly discussed at the Public Environmental Council of the Prosecutor’s Office of Irkutsk region. In the course of discussions, specific proposals on increase of work efficiency of such authorities as the Federal Agency for Fishery, Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Well-Being, Veterinary Supervision and Department of Internal Affairs were developed, which within their competence are obliged to enforce the fishing ban, ensure the observance of consumers’ rights and determine an adequate punishment for any relevant offenses.

One of the most important of the discussed topics was the increase of omul reserves in the lake, including through artificial reproduction. During the discussion, the participants of the forum expressed their expert opinions and made suggestions with regard to the development of aquaculture as well as construction of new and reconstruction of idle fish breeding plants.

A particular attention was paid to economic activities in this area as well as to the employment of members of public previously was engaged in fishing, processing and marketing of omul, including people, for whom this activity was the only source of income.

The region population employment may be ensured not only as a result of the development of fisheries industry, but also through the promotion of tourism. The Prosecutor's Office of the region appealed to the regional government with a request to speed up the adoption of the rules of organisation of tourism and leisure on Baikal and to create a protected recreation area in the Central ecological zone of Lake Baikal.

In order to protect the rights of entrepreneurs, the existing fishing grounds have been distributed between economic entities, allowing them to organise production of other fish species from Lake Baikal.

The forum that was held allowed the participants to discuss the existing problems in the sphere of protection of biological resources of Lake Baikal openly and to develop proposals for their solution.


Опубликовано: 08 December 2017