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"Russian salmon" invades Norway: – Dip it



In the 1950s, when the Soviet Union first introduced the humpback axis into watercourses on the Kola Peninsula, the idea was that fish would become a resource.

Instead, the Pacific-born salmon has become a plague and a plague – not only in Russia, but in much of northern Europe

In Finnmark, the spread of the humpback axis – Gorbusya in Russian – is referred to as "invasion" ,

RECORDING: In the summer and fall of 201
7, there were record highs for humpback waterways in Norway. The largest part is in Finnmark. Video: Rune Muladal / Nature Services in the North Show more
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Expect hundreds

– They invade the rivers up here. This morning I was traveling and took about 20 "Russian salmon", says Øystein Hansen from Kirkenes to Dagbladet.

He is part of the Sør Varanger Hunters and Fisheries Association, which has set up a salmon trap in Karpelva, a few miles east, for Kirkenes, not far from the Norwegian-Russian border. Here is the Norwegian front line in the fight against the Russian "invasion".

The local hunting and fishing team, after consultation with the county governor, manages four rivers in eastern Finland. Karpelva is one of them

The association fears that there will be far more river salmon this year and that the blacklisted salmon type will repeat the historical entry from 2017.

– We have a great job ahead of us because it's a highly undesirable species, says Hansen.

  LARGE COLLECTION: When Øystein Hansen and his grandson August Sørensen (15) checked the fish trap in Karpelva before the weekend, there were over 20
COLLECTION: As Øystein Hansen and his granddaughter August Sørensen (15) Over the weekend, the fish trap in Karpelva checked over 20 "Russian salmon". Photo: Øystein Hansen
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Encouraged to kill

He is supported by the Norwegian Academic Community. Eva Thorstad, a researcher at the Norwegian Institute of Natural History (Nina) and a professor at Tromsø University, describes the spread of "Russian salmon" in Norway with negative connotations.

– They can simply replace our own salmon and become a problem. says Thorstad.

She explains that humpback whales have a strict biennial cycle and that everyone dies after spawning. Because the salmon can become so numerous, it can cause problems even after its death.

– The problem then is that he lies in the rivers in autumn and rots. It can provide the rivers with extra food, but if it's too much, it's not good, says Thorstad.

The salmon is therefore placed on the so-called "black list" of alien species posing a risk to Norwegian biodiversity. The reputation of scientists and authorities is therefore clear.

  PUKKEL: The males get their distinctive hump and elongated jaw when spawning approaches. The women and young men can be confused with sea urchins. Photo: Øystein Hansen
PUKKEL: The males get their characteristic hump and elongated jaw when spawning approaches. The women and young men can be confused with sea urchins. Photo: Øystein Hansen
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– Give it up, says Thorstad.

More stocks

Norwegian fishermen were able to catch "Russian salmon" in Norway as early as the 1960s, but the stock that the Soviets erected in the 1950s and beyond probably was not in line with the climate in the north says Thorstad.

When the launches ended in 1978, the hump disappeared.

But then the Soviets brought new humps from a river further north in the Pacific. They then settled in rivers around Kvitsjøen and on the Kola peninsula and have long been widespread in parts of Finnmark.

Since the Russians did not make new sloop-wing wings in 2000, salmon fishing in Russia has increased only to the northwest. According to Thorstad, the Russians caught on average twice as many humpback whales per year after 2000 as in previous years.

Fear of a new record

In 2017, humpback whales were registered in more than 100 Norwegian rivers throughout Norway. According to Nina, a total of 6390 "Russian salmon" were caught, killed and registered.

Over 1000 "Russian salmon" were only caught in Vesterelva in Finnmark. Pink salmon has also been caught in several other locations, including southern Norway, Denmark and the United Kingdom.

  LAKSEFRYKT: Freshwater biologist Rune Muladal fears that this year's
LAKSEFRIKE: Freshwater biologist Rune Muladal fears that this year's "Russian salmon invasion" in 2017 will be larger than the previous one. Photo: Conservation in the north.
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In 2017, Norwegian researchers were simply surprised at how large the population was and how far it spread.

– It's more extensive this year than it was in 2017. They are more numerous in the rivers where they also existed in 2017, and it's still early in the season, says Rune Muladal, freshwater biologist and general manager of Natural Services in the north ,

He fears that the ongoing invasion may be even greater than the record year of 2017.

– We can expect a rise in the next two weeks and fear that there are many more humpback whales than usual local salmonids everything in the north, says Muladal.

Auxiliary scientist

The catch trap Sør-Varanger settled in Karpelva not only contributes to the reduction of the stock, but also to the research of humpback whales, says Rolf Kollstrøm, head of the fisheries committee in associations.

  FISHERIES AREA: The Sør-Varanger and Øystein Hansen Hunting and Fishing Association inspect the fishing trap in Karpelva several times a day. Photo: Øystein Hansen
FISKEFELLE: The Sør-Varanger and Øystein Hansen Hunters and Fishermen Association are looking for fishing traps in Karpelva several times a day. Photo: Øystein Hansen
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The volunteer managers deliver tissue and DNA samples to the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomics (Nibio) and to the veterinary institute and shellfish samples to Nina.

Nibio uses the samples to determine in which rivers the fish hatched. Nina oversees the scale of The Invasion "and the Norwegian Veterinary Institute is investigating whether the fish carries parasites, for example, that can be devastating to native fish," says Kollstrøm.

– In 2017 we were completely surprised, and we are now very worried because we do not yet recognize the consequences, says Kollstrøm.

  ANIMAL WORK: Maja Kruuse examined the humpback text taken in Karpelva before the weekend. Photo: Øystein Hansen
ANIMAL WORK: Maja Kruuse examined the humpback text taken in Karpelva before the weekend. Photo: Øystein Hansen
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As the researcher Thorstad also confirms, the pink salmon can surpass Atlantic salmon, sea trout and sea trout.

When Hansen and his grandson brought about 20 salmon from Karpelva before the weekend, veterinarian Maja Kruuse came to Karpelva to pick up the samples

– We do not really know much about humps and what kind of things it involves brings. That's why sampling is important, she says.

She takes samples on behalf of the veterinary institute, which has a project over the hump. Together, they analyze samples from 60 humps. During a week she hopes to be able to take samples of another 40 "Russian salmon".

Ask for help

Kollstrøm praises the Finnmarkseiend and regional authorities of the governor who have done their utmost to prepare for this year.

He says the Sør-Varanger hunting and fishing association has received grants to continue the work they have done, but acknowledges that this may not be enough. If this becomes a problem every two years, we will not stop voluntary basis. Here, environmental authorities need to get on the track at national level and develop national action plans to counter this, says Kollstrøm.

The Norwegian Federation of Hunting and Fishing Associations in Finnmark has informed the parent organization to maintain pressure against the national authorities, according to Kollstrøm.

– In 2017 it was banging at this time of year. Now we all follow excited, says Kollstrøm.