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


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