Igarka fishermen already without fish

“Putin, help Igarka!” … the fishermen of the polar Igarka felt the changes in the habitual way of life under the influence of the new law. They were forbidden to catch the Yenisei fish.

So, at the end of 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the law “On amateur fishing”. Officials from fishing went to this law for six years. The main achievement of the new law on fishing can be called the abolition of the so-called RPU – fishing grounds and free fishing in public water bodies, even where fishing was paid. The law comes into force from the beginning of 2020, at least the main part of the points of the law, and at the end of this year there should be no paid water bodies. Meanwhile, at the moment, fishing on the paysites will still have to be done by agreement with the owner of the pond or lake. And on what terms? Everything is still vague here. Until the end of 2020, this uncertainty will remain.

Igarka fishermen already without fish

“Putin, help Igarka!” Such an inscription made of logs was laid out by residents of this northern town on the banks of the Yenisei with an appeal to the head of state, addressing the President and with a video on this topic. The first changes in the habitual way of life under the influence of the new law have already been felt by the fishermen of the polar Igarka. They were forbidden to fish for the local Yenisei fish, in particular omul, vendace and tugun, referring to the fact that the agreement had ended and they were not going to conclude a new agreement. The reason, apparently, is in the very law “On Amateur Fishing”, in which only fishermen of the Far East will be allowed to fish with nets. However, the regional authorities do not name the reason, since the requests of Igarka’s fishermen remain unanswered. Therefore, the fishermen asked for quotas for fishing with nets in certain areas, where, according to local residents, they have been catching Siberian vendace and Arctic omul with nets for several decades, since there is no way to catch them with a fishing rod. Omul, by the way, has been banned from fishing since 2012 and, probably, Igarka residents will no longer be able to eat it. And fresh fish was and remains in those places one of the ways to obtain nutrients and vitamins, in particular, Omega-3 and Omega-6, found mainly in whitefish, in the same omul and vendace. I lived in Igarka and I remember that on the table there was often a sliced ​​fish made of omul and whitefish ice cream. Fresh fish shavings were dipped in a sauce of vinegar with water, tomato paste, salt, pepper and some other ingredients. In this form, useful substances are preserved much better than in smoked and fried form. They ate lightly salted vendace. In addition to the fact that this is a very tasty food, as already mentioned, it is simply necessary for people in the Far North. I don’t know how it is now, but in those years when I lived in Igarka, it was impossible to buy fresh vegetables and fruits there. There were berries only in the summer. Cloudberries helped out. They also collected some mushrooms. And fruits and vegetables – only in the form of canned food, up to pineapples in cans. I still remember them. Igarka residents seem to be in a very bad situation with money now. The once powerful sawmill and transshipment plant, which supplies Angarsk pine to many countries of the world, is barely breathing. That is why the port of Igarsky has decayed. And once large ships entered it. And on sunny nights one could hear English, French, German speech on the streets of Igarka. The sun hung over the horizon at night, red and evil.

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So the residents of Igarka are now asking the President not to raise their salaries, they do not need roads and entertainment. They would only be allowed to fish, and for them it means life.

A couple of fish on the jellied

As the employees of the press service of the Federal Agency for Fishery have figuratively put it, either you catch a couple of fish with aspic, or you are a poacher destroying biological resources. According to this service, in 2017, fishermen of fishing brigades caught 131 tons of fish, and amateur fishermen managed to catch as much as 136 tons. The fish inspector complained, they say, their hands are giving up from hopelessness. Now, under the new law, they are given many rights, including in the use of weapons. And fines for an amateur fisherman have grown much, especially when compared with the average salary of a resident of provincial Russia, which is often 15-20 thousand. There are also more meager wages, up to the subsistence level. Fines can now reach unattainable heights, especially for illegal fishing with prohibited gear – up to 500,000 rubles. In general – up to half a million. In the most difficult cases, a fisherman can get a couple of years of correctional labor or a real term for the same 2 years. For violation of the fishing rules – 2000-5000 rubles. For access to the water and parking by the river – 500-5000 rubles.

Alexander Tokarev and fishx.org

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