The regular meeting of the Model River Mezen project Working Group took place on November, 22. It was devoted to 2013 working results and also to intermediate results of the first project stage and activity planning for the nearest future.
Silver Taiga ecologist Nikolai Shuktomov informed the participants of the meeting about the results of October expedition under annual monitoring of natural salmon reproduction conditions and efficiency in Mezen river basin and about an initiative of nonmigratory fish species monitoring by «AgroUdora» cooperative.
One of the Working Group members Yury Shubin, head of aquaculture and fishing department of Komi Ministry of Agriculture and Foods told about one more project initiative realization – creation of Interregional purpose-oriented Program focused on the Atlantic salmon conservation and reproduction in Mezen River. The given initiative has already been supported by the Head of the Komi Republic. The joint meeting of two regions representatives held in the end of May 2013 has become the important starting point of further actions. The Coordination Council and the Program development Working Group were formed and agreed during the previous period. On November, 15 the Working Group discussed the Program directions and also the content of each of the Program sections. The Program development should become a mechanism for coordination and further implementation of a complex approach to the problem of Mezen salmon conservation. The lack of such approach and coherence in management decisions nowadays prevents from managing the river in a proper way. This is also one of the main reasons of the present depression of this valuable resource.
While discussing the Model River Mezen project plans for 2014 the main attention was first of all paid to the new direction. It is examination of extensive loggings influence on the state of the river net, living and reproduction conditions of aquatic bioresources. According to the local population the consequences of loggings are among the main reasons of river shallowing and poor state of fish resources. However, the special investigations of such influence have not been done in the Komi Republic yet. It must be mentioned also, that such investigation requires a long period of time and participation of specialists to make any conclusions. The statistical information collection from different sources and old local residents polling will be done under the project in order to have any evidence base.
The evaluation of a long-term loggings influence on aquatic resources is going to be done on three levels: in the large river basin (Mezen); in the basin of several middle-size rivers (second and third-order tributaries), where the intensive loggings were performed in the past or are carrying out now; on a water-producing area of a small stream. It is planned to evaluate the change rate of each chosen water-producing area size destroyed by the loggings of different years with the help of LANDSAT data. The general evaluation of loggings influence on aquatic resources including the influence on changes in regimen of river water-producing area, changes in water content and regimen of river and small streams water-producing area, the influence of the mentioned changes on the state of fish and other bioresources of different rivers will be done on the basis of the received and statistical data analysis.
Photo: Sergei Davydov
Translated by Anastasia Popova