Kamchatka, Russia | Where the Salmon Rule, National Geographic Magazine: Kamchatka Salmon | Kurilskoe Lake, Russia

The Kurilskoe Lake Preserve is a World Heritage Site and had serious poaching until Russia got serious in this area about enforcement.  Unfortunately this is the only area of Kamchatka that is serious about enforcement – nonetheless, this site is the model for enforcement if a resource extraction oriented government ever cared to do anything about it.  The Kamchatka Shelf in Russia is the last safe place for salmon and the only place on Earth with seven species of oncorhynchus (derived from Greek words meaning hook nose).  Along the entire Pacific Rim, salmon production is down to 3 or 4 percent of historic production. Salmon transform from silver missiles in the ocean to brightly colored creatures as they make their way back up their ancestral rivers, and during spawning adult males develop a hooked nose. They stop eating, so it doesn’t matter that their mouths no longer work for food.  The photo in the Ozernaya River, above, shows pink salmon— the most abundant—coming in from the left side of the frame, and sockeye—the most valuable—just below them.

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