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Russia to ban fishing for delicacy whitefish on Baikal

The ban takes effect as of October 1

MOSCOW, September 22. /TASS/. Russian Agriculture Ministry has banned the commercial and sport fishing for the Baikal omul [Coregonus migratorius], an endangered delicacy whitefish species that makes habitat in Lake Baikal and tributary rivers, the Russian Federal Agency for Fisheries (Rosbybolovstvo) said on Thursday.

The ban takes effect as of October 1.

"The ban on commercial fishing for the Baikal omul embraces the Chivyrkui bay of Lake Baikal and the rivers flowing into it, in the Barguzin River basin, the Sor and Sor-Cherkalovo bays, and in the Selenga River," the agency said in a press release. "There will be no opportunity to produce the omul in the form of by-catch either."

Sport fishing falls under the same ban, too, with the exception of ice fishing with the aid of special traditional short rods.

The Baikal fishery area includes Lake Baikal, the basins of the rivers flowing into it, the Angara River and the artificial water reservoirs located on it, as well as water reservoirs in the Republic of Buryatia, the Trans-Baikal territory and the Irkutsk regions, exclusive of ponds owned by municipal authorities and private individual.

The Russian authorities placed the omul on the list of endangered species in 2004. The risks for its populations heightened recently after a sharp shallowing and sloughing of the delta of the lake’s larges tributary river, the Selenga.