Kamchatka, Russia | Where the Salmon Rule, National Geographic Magazine: Fish Wardens and Poaching Friends | Kamchatka Shelf, Russia

These fish wardens know that it costs $10,000 to get into a poaching camp and $10,000 to get back out by helicopter with your catch. The wardens figure if they destroy fishing gear and caviar production facilities that they have harmed their neighbors enough. And they can’t afford the $10,000 to get criminals back by helicopter for prosecution. The poachers all know this and also know not to bring any kind of identity papers with them, because it is possible to prosecute them by just having their passports. The warden above is having tea with the poachers in their kitchen tent. They have left them the kitchen so they can feed themselves. The poachers always go free, but in some cases they have to sit and wait for their helicopter, empty handed. That is why the wardens don’t burn their kitchen or sleeping areas.