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THE Ozernaya River sockeye salmon fishery in Russia has entered the full MSC assessment process.

Two Russian Federation companies, Vityaz-Avto Co, Ltd and Delta Co, Ltd., have entered the Ozernaya River sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) fishery into full, independent, third-party assessment against the Marine Stewardship Council’s principles and criteria for sustainable and well-managed fisheries.  If successful, products would be eligible to display the blue MSC ecolabel.

This is the eighth Russian Federation fishery to enter assessment and the first on the Kamchatka Peninsula, which accounts for one-fifth of the Russian Federation’s seafood.

The fishery is located on the Southwest Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East, in FAO statistical area 61. The fishing season is July - September.  In 2009, the companies involved in this assessment accounted for approximately 5,000 tonnes. Historically, the two companies account for between 23 – 32 percent of the total catch, but the assessment will evaluate the effects of all fisheries on Ozernaya salmon.  The fishery does not have hatcheries.

The companies use two gear types for commercial fishing.  Sockeye salmon are fished with beach seines in the Ozernaya River and fish trap nets are used on the Pacific Ocean coast.  In 2009, 88 percent of the catch came from the Ozernaya River. The fishery is managed under Russian federal and state salmon management systems.

The commercial market for sockeye salmon from this fishery is primarily Japan, and a portion of the catch also goes to US and European markets.   

“Our fishery is the best-managed and most extensively researched salmon fishery in Russia,” said Aleksandr Tarasov, the Managing Director of “Vityaz-avto, Ltd.”, one of the two commercial fishing companies entering the programme. “We welcome the opportunity to demonstrate the health and sustainability of this important natural resource.”

Kerry Coughlin, Regional Director, Americas, said:  “Located in one of the most important and productive fishery regions in the Russian Federation, the full assessment of Ozernaya River sockeye salmon fishery represents a significant milestone in efforts by Russian fisheries to demonstrate they are operating sustainably and, if successful, certification will bring market advantages to this fishery.”

Independent certifier MRAG Americas will conduct the assessment of this fishery against the MSC standard.  Dr. Robert J. Trumble, who can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., is leading the assessment team. Stakeholders with an interest in the fishery are encouraged to provide comments and information for this assessment process.

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