Support The Moscow Times!

Tons of Salmon Dumped in Eastern Russia After Record Fishing Season


Fish farmers facing a record fishing season in Russia’s Far East have been dumping their excess catch along roads and into the forest, subjecting the region to a plague of rotting salmon, media reports found.

The Federal Fisheries Agency’s Kamchatka branch said this year’s salmon crop has been the largest in more than 100 years. Videos on social media from users in Kamchatka in the last several weeks showed layers of dead fish scattered in the forest, along the road and on the shore.

“The rancid air grows either stronger or weaker, but never disappears,” the Rybak Kamchatki (Kamchatka Fisher) outlet wrote about its journey to the fish landfill. “The foul fish oil has spread and formed a black spot on the green field. You can see it from space.”

The publication cites local residents saying that “tons of fish waste have been dumped here for several years,” and that residents often see “trucks with waste drive through in a steady stream.”

One dumping area, about 14 kilometers east of the regional capital of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, has allegedly grown popular with bears.

“Closer to dusk, the bears crawl out to drink their ‘broth’ and chase it with grass,” Rybak Kamchatki writes, warning that residents and tourists are increasingly in danger of a bear attack.

“How many more of these ‘landfills’ have been opened and hidden in the forest?” the outlet asks.

Gennady Onishchenko, a State Duma member and Russia’s former chief sanitary doctor, warned that, in addition to the noxious smells, the piles of dead fish risked the spread of disease.

“It’s bad enough when there’s crop failure, but even worse when there’s too much fish. It’s barbaric that fish is lying on the side of the road,” he told a Duma-related website on Monday.

… we have a small favor to ask.

As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just 2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.


Read more