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30 Jul, 2007 05:30

Kamchatka fishing contest aimed against poaching

The association of anglers and hunters in the Far East region of Kamchatka have organised a special contest in an effort to combat poaching.

The Kamchatka region, known for the beauty of its nature, is one of the world's last great wildernesses. It is also known for being a popular fishing destination, as the region is home to a quarter of all Pacific wild salmon.
Unfortunately, not all the fishing is legal. Some types of salmon are already under threat, and have been included in Russia's Red Book of endangered species.
So the main goal of the contest was not only to find the biggest fish.
“With this contest we want to promote the sport of fishing as opposed to poaching, which is widespread on our rivers. Real hunters and fisherman will never poach. They fish with a fishing rod, with a spinner, but not with a net,” commented Tatyana Krotenko, jury head.

Around 500 fishermen took part in the contest, which was held on the river Bolshaya (meaning “Big” in Russian). They were free to choose any part of the river to fish for three hours.
“I've been coming to fish on this river for many years. And now I've caught my biggest fish ever, its weight is 19.5 kg,” said Pavel Kartavenko.
As with any contest, this fishing event ended in an award ceremony, with prizes for the largest and the smallest fish caught.
The catch was so good it took the jury over six hours to decide the winner.