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WWF Russia opposes the development of Lake Kronotsky and pressure on reserve workers
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) of Russia opposed the plans for illegal fishery development of the Lake Kronotsky and the Kronotskaya River, as well as against pressure on the reserve's staff, who are trying to resist the realization of the idea of creating a fish passage channel. The arguments of environmentalists against this project in the WWF consider absolutely fair.
The fund notes that such plans on the territory of the reserve contradict its protected status. The project will be a direct violation of Russian law. The territory of the Kronotsky Reserve is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, any attempt to conduct large-scale economic activities there will lead to serious risks for the entire protected area system of Russia within the country and in the international arena.
According to the press service of WWF Russia, the project of the canal, which would connect Kronotsky Lake with the Pacific Ocean, discussed on the sidelines, would allow creating a herd of salmon there and ensure additional fishing of 20 thousand tons of fish during the fishing season. The business would have received from this 120 million dollars. However, the ecosystem around the lake will seriously suffer from this, and the migration routes of animals will change.
According to the coordinator of the program for sustainable marine fisheries of the Kamchatka Branch of WWF Russia Sergey Korostelev, now there are two unique forms of the living form of salmon and seven types of char found in the lake, and all of them are listed in the Red Book of the Kamchatka Territory. When new species of fish and parasites enter the lake, the consequences for the ecosystem will be the saddest.
WWF Russia is also concerned about the situation related to pressure on reserve workers opposing the canal project. According to environmentalists, the discussion of the project itself discredits the entire system of protected areas of Russia.
Last week, the head of the scientific department of the Kronotsky Reserve, Daria Panicheva, was arrested in Kamchatka. Her suspected of wasting budget funds, however, managers and employees of the reserve do not believe in it and believe that it was detained due to active work against the construction of a fish pass on the Kronotskaya River. Now the employee is under house arrest.