In July this year, the Republic of Kazakhstan banned the sale of so-called ‘Chinese’ fishing nets manufactured by “machine or manual method from synthetic nylon or other polyamide threads less than 0.5 mm in diameter and with mesh sizes less than 100 mm” (link). Cheap and practically disposable tackles quickly come to disrepair and are thrown out without regret. As a result, the riverbed the Ural, the numerous channels of its delta and the coastal waters of the Caspian are strewn with treacherous traps. Fish die right away in them, and sometimes the clever Caspian seal can escape, but, alas, the thin and strong threads cut the skin of the animal, leaving deep non-healing wounds, which leads to a slow and painful death.
“This is a very serious problem, and in many respects its acuteness was that our officials were inconsistent. By banning the importation of fishing nets into Kazakhstan a few years ago (link), they somehow forgot to impose a ban on their sale. As a result, dangerous tackles were freely sold in the markets and shops. We hope that the long-awaited decision will change the situation”, said Andrey Nabibulin, the Director of the Pudnenskiy Underwater Hunting Club, which participants together with members of the youth non-governmental organization’Zhastar’ each year carry out actions to clean water from ‘Chinese’ gear.
The regulatory authorities of Kazakhstan will be able to seize banned fishing nets, as well as electrical gear (link), bringing sellers to administrative responsibility.
Photo: Mirgaliy Baimulanov (the Caspian seal, the Institute of Hydrobiology and Ecology, Kazakhstan), Erlan Omarov (fish in nets, Kazakhstan)