Abkhazia to Set Fishing Restrictions

The self-proclaimed Government of the breakaway region of Abkhazia has made the decision to restrict the amount of fish which can be caught in its waters to half its previous amount, due to the significant reduction in fish off the coast. This year, the catch limit will be 20,000 tons.

The decline was confirmed by statistics collected by both the Institute of Ecology of Abkhazia and the Russian Azov Black Sea Scientific Research Institute of Fisheries.

Because of the decline, only a quarter of the previous catch limit of 40,000 tons was met in 2017.

The Head of the Fisheries Department of the Ministry of Agriculture of Abkhazia, David Gadlia, says that this year’s figure will mostly be distributed between six republican enterprises engaged in anchovy fishing and processing it into fishmeal and fish oil, whereas 15% will be left for Russian enterprises as prescribed by the Abkhaz-Russian agreement.

“When the fishing season starts, we will see how many of the Azov anchovies will swim into our waters. The Institute of Ecology is conducting research so we use what we are provided with and distribute that quantity, so we can’t exceed that stock and the total allowable catch,” said Gadlia.

The Abkhaz Government added that if there is more fish that what was predicted then they might increase the limit, but only if environmentalists consent to it.

The Institute of Ecology estimated that the current anchovy stock off the coast of Abkhazia is approximately 80,000 tons.

Tom Day

11 January 2018 19:01