Sakhalin Salmon Refuge EstablishedNews & Program Updates
Wild Salmon Center has worked with our Russian partners, including Sakhalin Environment Watch, to establish a 165,000 acre salmon/marine refuge on Sakhalin Island in the Russian Far East. The Vostochnii Refuge in northeast Sakhalin protects two entire ocean-draining basins, the Vengeri and Pursh-Pursh Rivers, and protects habitat for healthy populations of pink, chum and coho salmon, as well as char and other salmonids in perpetuity. The refuge protects some of the last remaining intact forest ecosystems of Sakhalin, and includes a 2km marine buffer to protect endangered sea lions.
Since 2002, WSC has been supporting our partners at Sakhalin Environment Watch to create the refuge, develop management plans, fight poaching and other threats to the refuge, and develop a salmon monitoring program. The charter of the refuge makes specific provisions for public participation in protecting the refuge, and Sakhalin Environment Watch has already concluded an agreement with the Sakhalin Administration.
Through the Sakhalin Salmon Initiative, we will work with the Administration to ensure effective protection of the refuge. The Vostochnii Refuge is located in the Smirnikhovsk District of Sakhalin, which is also a proposed site for a sustainable fisheries pilot project. This one area therefore presents an exciting opportunity to showcase a combination of approaches to salmon conservation and sustainable management.