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December 19 – Day of the Sakhalin Taimen
20 December 2017 Views: 1827
Sakhalin Taimen

In 2017, 20 years have passed since the beginning of the official special protection of this unique species of salmon. It was on December 19, 1997 that the list of species of the fauna included in the Red Book of the Russian Federation was published. Our Red Book is unique compared to others in that if a species is included in it, it automatically leads to a ban on extraction and use of that species, which makes it a serious environmental legal document.

It is no coincidence that this unique species of the salmon family is becoming the object of close attention of the Working Expert Group on Biodiversity under the Environmental Council of the Sakhalin Region, as well as large oil and gas producing companies operating in the Northeast of Sakhalin. The intention of the regional government to create a reserve “River Nabil” and a natural monument “River Dagi” has been announced. Work is underway to compile a regional program for the preservation of the Sakhalin taimen.

The autumn part of the Sakhalin Taimen Conservation Program, implemented by RN-Sakhalinmorneftegaz, is complete. Specialists of Sakhalin State University, SakhNIRO and “Sakhalinrybvoda” within the framework of this program carried out large-scale work in the basin of the Dagi River, in the waters of the Nyisky Gulf and in the village of Nogliki. The current status of one of the last relatively large populations of the species has been estimated, its habitats have been studied, the degree of threats to the population has been assessed and even the analysis of public opinion regarding the Sakhalin taimen has been given.

It turned out that over the past 10 years the population of the Taimen River of the Dagi River has barely changed in size, infrastructure development has only had indirect impact on it, increasing the availability of habitats for the population. But different types of direct impact – poaching, amateur fishing and by-catch in fishing for other species – are leading to the extermination of the Sakhalin taimen. On the other hand, taimen often get caught alive, and they can be released back into their home environment with little or no damage. Therefore, the survival of this species depends heavily on how it is treated by people: representatives of target groups of fishermen, and indigenous people.

Ilya Sherbovich