This passing week a meeting was held at the Ministry of Fisheries in Russia focusing on the status of wild salmon in the North Atlantic. Among those seated at the meeting was Iceland´s Ambassador in Russia Albert Jónsson and Orri Vigfússon, chairmen of NASF, Fund for the Reservation of Wild Salmon. Concern has been raised about the current status of wild salmon in the Atlantic and Norway’s fishing of Salmon stock originating from salmon rivers in Russia.
“We have long had a good collaboration with Russia concerning Salmon and they have shown considerable support to the issue internationally, we have been salvaging a great deal of salmon coming from Russian rivers” Mr. Vigfússon informs a reporter of Morgunblaðið. According to Vigfússon Norway is disregarding a decision that was reached years ago by the international science community about bringing the fishing of mixed stock to a complete halt. The conclusion to end all fishing of mixed stock was reached at an international meeting in Oslo in 1994. “Everyone was in agreement, recently Ireland and Scotland joined the agreement but Norway still hunts from mixed stock” he goes on. “What is even worse is that in North-Norway, close to Tromsö and Finnmark, in close proximity to Russia, Norwegian fishers use so-called „krokgarn“-nets that are dangerous and are banned around there world, also on Norway but are still allowed for some reason in the northern most part of the country. They are primarily fishing salmon of Russian stock up there. According to Vigfússon these nets damage the salmon, it gets half tangled in the nets and often manages to free itself but is to damaged to survive and dies later on from wounds sustained by the nets. Another problem the wild salmon faces has to do with Salmon Farming in Norway. At the meeting in Moscow, Russian delegates suggested to hold an international summit to draw attention to the crises of wild salmon and join hands to find ways to mend the situation. The next step is to organize such a summit Vigfússon concludes.