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Poaching scandal over video showing catch of ‘largest freshwater fish in world’

By The Siberian Times reporter
30 August 2019

A giant kaluga fish has been caught in Amur region in Russia's Far East.

'A precious adult fish was caught. What if it was a female about to spawn? Serious damage to nature has been caused' said expert Roman Podolko

Videos circulating in social media show a massive fish taken out of a boat with a bulldozer and people posing for photos with it. 

The kaluga is a huge predatory sturgeon and is claimed to be the largest freshwater fish in the world, with a maximum size of 1,000 kilograms (2,205 lb) and 5.6 metres (18ft 4inches).

With a lifespan equal to human, it is now critically endangered and fishing kaluga is strictly prohibited. 

Despite this the fish is in demand for its roe, a caviar delicacy.

'This fish can only be caught for breeding', Roman Podolko, ichthyologist of Nora nature reserve, explained.

'We are observing a ridiculous case of poaching on the video.

'Apparently, a precious adult fish was caught. What if it was a female about to spawn?

'Serious damage to nature has been caused.

'Kaluga are like humans, they live up to 50-60 years of age and start spawning only when they reach 14-15 years of age.'

A giant kaluga fish has been caught in Amur region in Russia's Far East. 
Poaching scandal over video showing catch of ‘largest freshwater fish in world’


Podolko added that it is not easy to catch a kaluga and that it requires special gear.

'It is a barbaric way of fishing which injures the fish’, he said. 

Local media established that the footage is likely from Selemdzha River in the Mazanovsky district of Amur region.

However, the date video was filmed is not clear yet. 

A giant kaluga fish has been caught in Amur region in Russia's Far East. 
The fish is endemic to the Amur River basin in eastern Russia


Roman Podolko believes that the fish on the video could weigh half a tonne. 

'This is a rarest catch. A kaluga this size could be caught only before the 1990s when fishing it was legal.' 

The ichthyologist warns that nature protecting institutions are serious about poaching. 

'[Kaluga] fish grown on fish farms in Khabarovsk region and released to the wild are chipped and controlled by the FSB (Federal Security Service).’ 

The fish is endemic to the Amur River basin in eastern Russia.

Local media established that the footage is likely from Selemdzha River in the Mazanovsky district of Amur region


Comments (4)

If Russia was worried about the photo, they would have done something about it.
walter graham, Grand Coulee, WA, U.S.
06/10/2019 05:09
0
0
Mete out swift justice to all poachers. The man in the photo is likely a long time poacher - get a warrant and search his home for evidence of a life spent poaching game fish and animals.

That said. Militant veganism is totalitarianism writ large. I appeal to all lovers of liberty to reject militant vegan ideology. Arctic peoples primary protien food sources are fish, seal and other mammal flesh. Hunting and fishing for many of us spiritually and culturally link us to our ancestors.
Higain, Northern California
04/09/2019 01:38
3
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"'It is a barbaric way of fishing which injures the fish’, he said."

All fishing is barbaric and causes injury to the fish. It also causes them trauma, and many who are caught and released still perish from the injury and trauma they've suffered. Science has shown that fish suffer fear and pain. They deserve respect not cruel exploitation. All of the nutrients we need in order to thrive can be obtained from plant sources. Caviar is an especially objectionable product. It's not glamorous, it's grotesque.
Mary Finelli, Silver Spring/U.S.A.
31/08/2019 05:50
6
6
good that it was posted in the social media. that will hopefully let the authorities also catch the culprit. and the fines should be accordingly big!
Benedikt MORAK, Moscow
30/08/2019 21:18
8
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1

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