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Natalka: new release of young peled

11 October 2019
Natalka: new release of young peled

247,000 young peled (northern whitefish) have been released into the river in the Magadan Region on the Russian Pacific coast as part of Polyus Magadan’s (Natalka) environmental programme.

This was one of the largest fish releases this year, supported by Polyus. The whitefish are bred in a fish farm to repopulate the local rivers.

The peled fish is highly valued in this region. It lives mainly in the East-Siberian basin, while in the Far East it has almost disappeared. That is why peled is literally worth its weight in gold. This spring the fish roe were brought to Magadan from Novosibirsk and then raised at the Olsky fish farm. Peled are not typically found in the Magadan Region, but scientists have helped local gold miners breed young fish to populate the basin of the Kolyma River.

Polyus has participated in the Magadan Region’s aquatic bioresources conservation programme since 2017. In that year, Polyus sponsored the release of 36,000 young peled to the Kolyma River basin near the Obo settlement for the first time. In 2018 the programme continued, selecting rare species listed in the region’s Red Book, such as round-nose whitefish and Siberian sturgeon.

This time peled were chosen once again, however the number of young fish released increased by a factor of seven.

The young peled traveled almost 700 km from the Olsky fish farm to their new home in the Buyunda River in the Omsukchansk District, where the river basins offer more favourable conditions for the whitefish family. 2% of these fish are expected to swim back to spawn a few years later, enough to form the basis for future generations.

Yury Chekaldin, Head of the Okhotsky District Division of the Federal Agency for Fishery, commented:

“Peled is a very adaptable species which grows quickly. It is tastes nice and is a healthy fish. There used to be a lot of them here — now they only a few of them swim up to [the town of] Seymchan, so it’s really important that they reproduce.”

Alexey Yeremeev, Environmental Engineer at Polyus Magadan, said:

“We need to comply with the requirements of bioresource conservation to address the impact of our business on the natural environment. This is not the first time we have released fish, and we plan to continue with this programme.”