Driftnet fishing banned in Russia’s EEZ
WWF-Russia / Yuri Artukhin
Russia has passed legislation banning driftnets in the country’s exclusive economic zone – a damaging fishing practice used mostly by domestic and Japanese fishermen. Set to catch sockeye salmon, driftnets up to 30 km long have a major impact on marine ecosystems, killing huge numbers of seabirds, marine mammals and non-target fish. Damage to fisheries from driftnets is estimated at up to 10 billion roubles (approx. €161 million) a year, and more than 1.2 million seabirds and 15,000 marine mammals were killed annually in the period 1993-1999, when independent records were kept. The use of driftnets is banned worldwide on the high seas. WWF has worked to minimize the impact of driftnets for over a decade. The ban comes into force in January 2016.