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Friday, 25 April 2014

Experience of cross-border Finnish-Russian cooperation in salmon rivers restoration and establishment of protected areas

Rustam Sagitov*, Sergey Titov**, Tatjana Trofimova***
*St.Petersburg State University, **State Fisheries Research Institute, ***SPCPO “Biologists for nature Conservation”
Baltic trout populations have low density in the rivers that flow from Finland to Russia and meet the Gulf of Finland of the Baltic Sea because of lack of suitable habitats and pressure of illegal fishing. Trout (Salmo trutta Linnaeus, 1758) is included into the Red Data Book of Russian Federation as rare species considering protection and the only one trout population with wild, natural origin was found in the transboundary rivers Tchornaja and Malinovka. 

Gladyshevka photo by S. Mikhelson

During the period 2011-2014 Russia and Finland have been carrying out joint project “Rivers and fish – our common interest”. The goal of the project is restoration of populations of valuable salmonid fish species (trout and salmon) and creation of favorable conditions for its habitats in transboundary rivers. The project contained ichthyologic research, release of individually marked salmon juveniles in the rivers, restoration of rapids (as spawning grounds) and removing of obstacles to the passage of fish in the rivers in Finland and Russia. Besides, other goal of the project was to promote local and cross-border nature protection by establishment of protected areas (PAs) along the riversides in both countries. 

Tagged trout photo by P. Haimi
In the frame of project few local PAs have been created on the river Malinovka in Finland and one Nature Reserve “Salmon rivers of Vyborg bay” have been proposed to organize on the Russian part of this river. This PA will provide more effective protection of trout populations in the rivers by prevention of illegal fishing and timber harvesting in the area. In addition PA should provide conservation of areas with valuable old-growth spruce and aspen forests and habitats of endangered species of fauna and flora. Nowadays establishment of the PA Nature Reserve “Salmon rivers of Vyborg bay” has a priority status in the Scheme of territorial planning of Leningrad region, Russia, that means it should be organizing before 2016.

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