Kamchatka Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography

About the Institute

Federal State Budgetary Scientific Institution “Kamchatka Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography”

The history of Kamchatka Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (KamchatNIRO) began from 1932. In early period it was known as a branch of Pacific Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography, and since 1995 it has been operating as a separate federal institute. The research priorities of KamchatNIRO imply organization and implementation of complex fisheries monitoring studies on the freshwater bodies and on the shelf of Kamchatka, adjacent waters of the North Pacific Ocean, the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea, including:

  • Studies of biology, stock abundance and perspectives of fisheries  of  commercial fish and shellfish species;
  • Oceanographic studies;
  • Development of fishing gears and improvement of existing fishing methods;
  • Making environmental impact assessment for freshwater and marine ecosystems;
  • Working out scientific basis  for artificial rearing fish and shellfish;
  • Studying fish and shellfish diseases and providing recommendation how to prevent or to stop distribution of main known infections.


KamchatNIRO provides methodical, advisory and practical assistance in the fields including:

• organization and implementation of research works for the fisheries;

• aquaculture and first of all activities of salmon hatcheries, including recommendations on construction;

• making assessment of potential environmental impacts, effects on fish and fish habitats from  human activities (construction of different economic objects, mining mineral resources, etc.) and providing recommendations to mitigate the impacts;

• commercial fishing (testing and invention of fishing gears and methods of fishing);

• informing about achievements of fishery Sciences;

• providing methodical recommendations for keeping marine mammals  in captivity and supply of the mammals for keeping in zoological parks or aquariums



Experts from the FSBSI "KamchatNIRO"

perform annual stock abundance assessment and make forecasts of the catches of the aquatic biological resources in the waters of the Sea of Okhotsk, the Bering Sea and Pacific Ocean adjacent to Kamchatka.


Walleye pollock

Kamchatka region is one of leaders in the catch of walleye pollock, where the proportional contribution of this species  to the total catch of aquatic biological resources is more than a half. The main stock of walleye pollock, which is commercial resource number one in Russia and in the World, lives in the Sea of Okhotsk and in the bering Sea in the waters adjacent to Kamchatka peninsula. In the years of high abundance of the stock the catch of walleye pollock can reach 1,8 million tons. For today the annual catches are about 1,0 million tons in view of downward trend.


Pacific salmon

Thousand rivers and lakes of Kamchatka are extremely rich of fish, including resident and anadromous salmonids. Kamchatka is the only region in Russia, where wild stock of five Pacific salmon species (chum, pink, sockeye, coho and chinook salmons) is of commercial level. Freshwater bodies of the peninsula provide spawning for adult and nursery for juvenile Pacific salmon until smoltification and leaving for a huge feeding area in North Pacific Ocean they could return and close the loop of reproduction. The stock of salmonids of Kamchatka, enormous in its diversity and abundance,  provides significalt contribution to the annual catches of pink salmon (41%), chum salmon (40%), sockeye and chinook salmon (almost 100%), coho salmon (82%)  on Far East. Pacific salmon make up 10-15% in the weight of harvested bioresources, but  as food products made of salmon is highly valuable, the economic role they play is very important.  Commercial fishing of Pacific salmon provides to Kamchatka region about 50% of budget incomes.


Kamchatka region

Kamchatka region completely occupies Kamchatka peninsula on the north-eastern Russia and the Commander and Karaginsky Islands. The territory covers the square of 464 thousand km2. The region currently involves Kamchatka and Koryaksky okrug. Kamchatka peninsula is washed by the waters of the Sea of Okhotsk on the West and by the Bering Sea and Pacific Ocean on the East. The waters have complex systems of sea currents and provide high biological production. The total square of marine commercial fishery districts adjacent to Kamchatka region is taking 1473 thousand  km2 or 427,5 thousand miles2. The districts provide a huge resourse for the fisheries: 5 species of Pacific salmon and more than 40 commercial species of fish (16 marine species) and shellfish. The total allowable catch (TAC) is determined for all these species. The TACs are realized in the course of ocean and  coastal commercial fishing.