Certifier : 
SCS Global Services
Certified status : 
Certified
Certified since : 
10 Sep 2009
Certificate expires : 
25 Feb 2026

Overview

Fisheries are composed of one or more parts, each of which is entitled to receive an MSC certificate. These parts or “units” are defined by their target stock(s), fishing gear type(s) and if relevant vessel type(s), and the fishing fleets or groups of vessels.

When the term “Unit of Certification” is used for fishing units that are in assessment, it refers to the “Unit of Assessment” or “Unit of potential certification”. Expand a status below to view the parts that form this fishery. To check the detailed scope, download the latest certificate or open the Assessments page to get the latest report. Find out more by visiting our page on Fisheries

Units of Certification & Certificate Information

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Catch by Species

Species Reported Catch Year Metric Tonnes
Pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) 2018 26,608
Chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) 2018 11,500

Information is provided by an independent Conformity Assessment Body as live weight (the weight of species at the time of catch, before processing) and where a fishing season covers multiple years, the end year is given as the reported catch year. Additional information is available in the latest report, see the assessments page.

About this Fishery

Pink salmon are the smallest and most abundant of the Pacific salmon and are found throughout the north Pacific. The Iturup Island pink salmon return currently averages 18 million fish per year and has varied from 6 to 32 million.

Historical natural populations of chum salmon on Iturup Island were relatively small but numbers have been building island-wide over the last decade. This increase has been attributed to the combined effects of reduced high-seas harvest and enhancement activities such as salmon hatcheries.

The pink and chum salmon fisheries of Iturup Island in the Russian Far East were the first Russian fisheries to become MSC certified. They use stationary fish traps set along the coastline and in the bays near the mouths of the rivers. Pink salmon are targeted from mid-July to September and chum salmon in September and November.

The fish are transferred into holding tanks towed by small tugboats. At this stage, any non-target species are released. The catch is then delivered to local on-shore processing facilities.

The various salmon rivers on the island – 18 in total – are managed as individual units. Managers ensure minimum spawning levels are maintained each year and that the stocks are not depleted. Monitoring programmes collect data on the age and size of fish caught and on escapement levels for both pink and chum salmon stocks.

Pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) image © Scandinavian Fishing Year Book

Market Information

Iturup Island pink and chum salmon is sold in Asia, Europe and North America.