New smelt, char and cisco catch quotas announced in Chukotka
© RIA Novosti. Vadim Zhernov

New smelt, char and cisco catch quotas announced in Chukotka

The Chukotka commission on anadromous fish species regulations has approved new catch and slot length limits for rainbow smelt, char and cisco fishing in local waters for 2016, the administration of the Chukchi Autonomous Area reported on its website.

"The commission set traditional fisheries quotas on the peninsula in 2016 at 75 metric tons for smelt, 294 metric tons for char and 3 metric tons for cisco. Only the native population of the Chukchi Peninsula is allowed to fish Arctic cisco," the website quotes Sergei Redkin, the commission's senior secretary and head of the regional department for agricultural policy and natural resource management, as saying.

Industrial catch quotas for the local fishing companies Chukotopttorg and Chukotrybpromkhoz will be 73 metric tons for smelt and 50 metric tons for char in 2016. As for amateur and sport fishing managed by the Sevvostrybvod state-run institution, its annual catch share is 5.5 metric tons for char and 3 metric tons for smelt.

If necessary, the commission may consider expanding catch volumes for anadromous species by around 1.5 metric tons for smelt and 10.5 metric tons for char if necessary. 

Smelt fishing on the Chukchi Peninsula is permitted almost all year round, except during the breeding season from May 15 through June 30. Cisco fishing is banned throughout September and October for similar reasons. Year-round char fishing is allowed for the indigenous population of the Chukchi Peninsula, while commercial fishing companies will have to obey Clause 33 of the Far Eastern Basin Fisheries Rules. Sport and amateur fishing is regulated by Clause 64.

At its next meeting, the commission will distribute the quotas for salmon species (sockeye salmon, dog salmon and humpback salmon).