Moratorium on Murmansk salmon fishing

The Murmansk salmon might be infected with ulcerative dermal necrosis (UDN), a chronic dermatological disease which was common in the period 1960-1980s.

A temporary full stop in fishing is necessary for protection of the regional salmon stocks, Governor Marina Kovtun says.


The measure is introduced in connection with the outbreak of disease in parts of the wild salmon stocks, Kovtun said in a governent meeting this week.

Regional veterinary authorities now say that the massive fish death in the Kola Peninsula might be triggered by an outbreak of Ulcerative dermal necrosis (UDN), a press release from the Murmansk government reads.

This year’s unnormal cold water in the rivers might have stimulated the outbreak, veterinarians say.

The moratorium takes effect on 17 August and will cover several rivers, among them the Kola, Kitsa and Tuloma river basin. Normally, the salmon fishing season in the region ends only in mid-October.

“This [moratorium] is dicated by the need to determine the reasons and consequenses of the massive destruction of salmon in the Kola River, and to prevent spreading of the disease”, Kovtun says.

Regional media have speculated whether the extensive aquaculture activities in the Pechenga Bay could be the source of the disease. Figures from Patchwork Barents, the regional dataportal, show that fish farming in Murmansk Oblast in the period 2010-2012 increased more than three-fold from 5,2 to 16,9 thousand tons. However, company Russkoye More rebuffs all such allegations.