Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan (10 June 2012 ) – 9-10 June 118 000 (one hundred and eighteen thousand) young fish of issyk-kul marinka, an endangered endemic species, were released into Issyk-Kul lake. This is the first release this year which starts a new phase of UNDP/GEF Strengthening Policy and Regulatory Framework for Conservation of Biodiversity in Fishery Sector Project. Spawn was grown in two mobile incubators in spawning areas of this endangered fish – in Kara-Bulun Bay (southern coast of Pokrovka village) and a bay nearby Ornok village, located in southern and northern coasts of the lake.
This year the incubation and release process of endangered fish species has been improved and they are now conducted simultaneously, which proves to be highly productive. Artificial reproduction of young endemic fish is critical as these endemics (issyk-kul naked osman and issyk-kul marinka) are on the brink of extinction and the project is planning to release more than a half million of them by the end of its activity.
Experimental reproduction of issyk-kul chebak demonstrated that artificial reproduction of these species is possible, however less effective than natural spawning. Therefore the project is alsom implementing meliorative activities to protect spawning and wintering areas of these endangered species that give better results than artificial reproduction. These activities are implemented in cooperation with the Fish Department.
As one of the measures to protect endemic fish species project experts catch pike perch, an alien fish species that eat out young and spawning endemics. These fish is then distributed among orphanages, healthcare and social facilities, low income families through the village administration free of charge. More than 3 thousand kilos of this valuable dietetic fish have been caught and distributed among these facilities.
The project is also working on development of pond fishery to meet fish market demand, which will help mitigate human pressure on the lake fauna. These efforts are also aimed at creating new jobs and alternative income sources in legal fishing industry and thus discouraging population from illegal fishing and poaching. In early 2012 the project handed over three sets of equipment for production of fish forage for a total amount of 829 662 soms (17 850 USD) to associations of pond farms of Lipen and Tyup districts of Issyk Kul province.
Fish Farmers Association “ Issyk-Kul Pond Farmers” and Kol-Toru will install received equipment in three outlets in accordance with concentration of large fish farms. The equipment has the capacity to provide for up to 500 tons per year, which is the calculated need of Issyk-Kul province population for fish products.
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Strengthening Policy and regulatory Framework for Conservation of Biodiversity in Fish Sector Project is implemented by UNDP and financed by the Global Environment Facility. It works in the following areas:
- Improvement of regulatory framework in fishery area
- Artificial reproduction of endemic fish species (issyk-kul naked osman and issyk-kul marinka)
- Implementation of activities on control of introduced fish species
- Implementation of alternative income-generating activity
- Capacity building of government structures involved in fish sector
The project is implemented in Issyk-Kul province.