Students from Politovo Udora region, took part in an environmental areastudy expedition “Long Live Salmon”. Together with Dina Chuprova, the initiator of this event, just for a few summer days the students could work not only in their village, but in other places – Muchkas, Patrakovo, Latyug and Bolshaya Pyssa.
The main goal of the group was to know how fisheries resources of the Mezen River had been used throughout its history. So, students had meetings and conversations with the old-timers and fishermen, the inhabitants of these villages. First of all, they paid attention to the most valuable species of fish, Atlantic salmon, the population of which unfortunately is reduced in the Mezen River now. When interviewing fishermen, the guys tried to learn about their traditions and unwritten rules formed by different generations and strictly followed by locals to ensure the sparing use of the river resources.
In conversations with old-timers the students were particularly interested in changes that had occurred over the past decade with the Mezen River and its tributaries, with the places of traditional fishing, with the attitude of people to nature. The guys also learnt a lot about the features of Atlantic salmon, which migrates from the sea into fresh water to spawn, got to know the origin of local place names, many of which are associated with fishing. Students took interesting photos capturing traditional fishing spots, antique fishing equipment and tackle, and their interlocutors.
All documents, including local fishermen’s stories, myths and legends about Mezen Salmon are being analyzed by now. According to the results of the summer job organized in the framework of Model River Mezen Project, Yana Pahneva, Maria Trofimova and Alex Mikhailov are preparing an information board and a PowerPoint presentation.
Translated by Ksenia Matyusheva