Winter raid on Nabil


We are returned from  anti-poaching raid  in the north-east of Sakhalin, checked the Nabil Bay of the Okhotsk Sea of ​ ​ and the Nabil and Vazi rivers flowing into it. This is a very valuable habitat of the Red Book Sakhalin taimen - a relict species, the largest representative of salmon.

⠀With the beginning of freezing Sakhalin taimen enters the rivers from Nabil Bay for wintering, and poachers actively catch it from ice and nets, and on the spinner. Government agencies previously very rarely carried out winter anti- poaching  raids on the taimen and its catch was quite free. We decided to fill this gap, and together with the local police and fish guards organized two snowmobile trips.

We went around all the poaching "evil places" and found only one net on the river Vazi, there was no taimen in it. But we also stopped a resident of Nogliki settlement riding a snowmobile who was carrying a rather large taimen (82 cm in length) caught on a spinner. Now a citizen is waiting for a criminal case under Art. 258.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

This article introduces criminal punishment for any circulation of especially valuable Red Book animals included in a special list (such as Sakhalin Taimen). That is catching, buying, selling, storing, transporting such animals or parts thereof is all an automatic criminal offence. And the punishment there is more serious than for ordinary poaching - up to 9 years in prison.

In June-July, when taimen after spawning slides into Nabil Bay, it is also actively caught by poachers. During this period, since 2017, we have been organizing regular raids here together with border guards, we detained large poaching "taimen" brigades several times, filmed many nets. As a result the number of species in the Nabil Bay and the Nabil and Vazi rivers has grown markedly over the past 7 years. But in December the press of illegal catch here was always high and almost uncontrolled. Now we close this "poaching window."

⠀ In other regions of Sakhalin the number of Sakhalin taimen continues to decline, in many rivers and bays this previously common species has already completely ceased to occur. We are trying to preserve it at least in separate river basins, and on Nabil it is still working out.

We can add that inspector Alexei Batrakov protects Lake Ainskoye in a similar way, and the number of taimen is also growing there.