But they themselves violated the ban - they were allowed to catch 240 tons of fish with nets. In response, the fishermen wrote to the president and made 5,000 posts on social networks.
In the Chelyabinsk region, fish lovers launched a large-scale public campaign against a tenant who was allowed to fish industrially on the Argazinsky reservoir. The reservoir is part of a system of reservoirs that provide drinking water to the millionth city of Chelyabinsk and the surrounding cities. As Mikhail Akatiev, head of the public organization Fisherman's Committee, told Novye Izvestia, the fishermen were outraged by the fact that commercial fishing was allowed on the reservoir. Although two years ago, against the backdrop of another aggravation of the conflict between amateurs and fish farmers, the authorities promised to draw up a list of 50 reservoirs where there would be no industrial fishing and fish farming in order to exclude these conflicts. Argazi were included in this list, and now they are allowed to fish with nets. The fishermen wrote a letter to President Vladimir Putin, which was signed by several thousand people.
“We were promised that there would be no more fishermen there,” the document says, “they promised that any net set up on Argazy would be considered poaching. We believed the minister (for agriculture of the Chelyabinsk region - ed. note) and without receiving written confirmation, with great joy and enthusiasm, we set about cleaning the reservoir. For a couple of years, we got and took out more than one gazelle abandoned, including by network entrepreneurs. The tags with the numbers of their permits have been preserved, and we can safely say that almost all the nets seized from Argazey are the nets of fishermen. Our common fishing work has yielded results. The reservoir began to revive. The fish began to appear. Our friends from the Sverdlovsk Tyumen Kurgan regions reached out to us. There was enough space and fish for everyone. However, greedy entrepreneurs have seen our successes. They were tormented by envy, and the thirst for lost profits.
A trailer on the shore of the reservoir and nets appeared on the reservoir a couple of weeks ago, which immediately caused a strong reaction from the fishermen.
“We wrote to all authorities, launched a flash mob on social networks, in just three days more than five thousand posts with the hashtag “Save Argazi” were published”, - says Mikhail Akatiev, “we hope that our call will be heard and the reservoir will be saved”.
The tenant was the company "Kyshtym fish farm", which has already worked on the Argazy and other reservoirs in the region. The enterprise and its owner regularly have friction with amateur fishermen. The Ministry of Agriculture of the Chelyabinsk Region told Novye Izvestia that everything was legal, despite a previous promise not to let fishermen into the reservoir.
“Under the contract for the use of aquatic biological resources, which was concluded by the ministry, from October 20 to December 31, entrepreneurs will fish 240 tons from the Argazinsky reservoir. We declare with all responsibility that this will not harm the reservoir and the fauna living in it. In the Argazinsky reservoir, commercial fishing was carried out in previous years, including by seines, and this never caused environmental consequences,” the ministry said.
According to the agency, there is no legal basis for denying the tenant the right to fish.
“The agreement with the Kyshtym fish farm was concluded in order to provide public services, nothing interferes with this at the legislative level - the Argazinsky reservoir is a free reservoir. Industrial fishing in this reservoir, according to experts, is necessary to reduce the number of fish, which otherwise may suffer from a lack of oxygen due to a decrease in the water level. The Ministry of Agriculture cannot prohibit this activity. Moreover, two years ago, the department proposed to include Argazi in the list of reservoirs where commercial fishing is prohibited, but the proposal was not supported by the Nizhneobsky Territorial Administration, which in its response pointed out the inappropriateness of introducing this ban, since the harm to the reservoir from fishing has not been proven.
According to Mikhail Akatiyev, the authorities of the region could have long ago introduced a ban on industrial fishing in the Argazinsky reservoir, if there was political will. Unlike most lakes where conflicts arise, Argazi has the status of a natural monument of regional significance, which means that the issue of industrial fishing can be solved by changing the regulation on the natural monument.
“It does not require any coordination with the federal authorities, we talked about this two years ago,” Akatiev said, “the same ban is set on two other well-known monument lakes Uvildy and Turgoyak. There was nothing difficult and new in this decision”.
The entrepreneur himself, the head of the Kyshtym fish farm, Alexander Novikov, spoke about the conflict, who told 74.RU that fishing works almost for defense, and countering fishers is “wrecking”.
“In the Kurgan region, fishing enterprises received a military order to produce marketable fish. There is a completely different attitude. There, not a single amateur will go fishing on a fish farm. This is written in the law. And we have it all distorted and sabotaged. We prioritize a handful of people. What is recreational fishing? This is rest. It's not life support. The economy, the creation of jobs, they don't care. In Russia, only one Chelyabinsk region is in such a position where amateurs behave this way. This is sabotage and sabotage. I think they are generally against Russia! Go to their website. In our country, an amateur is allowed to catch 5 kilograms a day, and they spread and brag that they caught 50, 70 kilograms of pike per day in a day. And they still flaunt it”, - he said.
But fishermen are ready to argue with this opinion. According to Akatiev, from the fishing committee, for the last two years, when fishing was banned, activists have been collecting abandoned nets that kill fish. And most of these networks had permit numbers issued specifically to the entrepreneur Novikov. In addition, his company was checked using the Mercury system, which tracks the path of agricultural products from harvest to sale; officially, he sells only native species.
“For two years he was not allowed into the reservoir, and fish began to appear there,” says Akatiev, “the contract for catching fish is now concluded only for 2 months. But what's the point in that? Soon ice will begin to appear, you can’t put a net from a boat, from the first ice either. It will be possible to return to the catch only from December 15th. What is the economic meaning of this? Now he is allowed to catch 150 tons of perch, 50 tons of chebak, 5 zander and pike, and 30 tons of bream. At the same time, the fishermen see that a net with a cell of 100 is used there: neither roach nor perch will fall into it. Who are they going to catch? In addition, spawning of whitefish will begin on November 1. And fishing is prohibited! But for some reason there is no such ban on Argazy. Fishing for caviar for further breeding requires a separate permit and other procedures. We already now see pike perch and bream caught on collective farm fish, as indicated on Argazy. And the prices bite. There is no talk of any support for the NWO. This is purely a commercial benefit. As soon as they see that the fishermen are catching something, they immediately run there with nets.
According to Mikhail Akatiev, the activists are preparing a lawsuit to cancel the fishing permit.
The Ministry of Agriculture of the Chelyabinsk region assures that fishing on Argazy not only does not harm, but even benefits. And in the region as a whole, fish are caught much less than the standards allow.
“In the Chelyabinsk region, it is possible to harvest 6,000 tons of fish annually, without damage to natural resources, but only about 900 tons are caught. This is the official data of the Nizhneobsk Department of the Federal Agency for Fisheries, which will coordinate them with the All-Russian Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography", - the ministry said.
But amateur fishermen point out that industrial fishing is concentrated on the most “fishy” lakes and the load on water bodies is exorbitant.
“Based on the maximum volume of 6,000 tons allowed for fishing, then 240 tons, which were produced by the end of the year at Argazy, is the 20th part of the total,” says Mikhail Akatiev, “despite the fact that in our region there are more than 2000 lakes and reservoirs suitable for industrial fishing. The distribution is very uneven".
It should be noted that conflicts between professional fish farmers and fishermen regularly arise in the Chelyabinsk region. As a rule, because of the tenants' attempts to drive amateurs out of the reservoirs. The “Fishing Committee” also notes that tenants are poorly controlled, they can apply for one type of fish, but catch other more valuable ones, exceed volumes, throw nets, etc. In September , a precedent court decision took place in the region: a fisherman won the right to fish in a reservoir where a tenant is already working.