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Ponoi Research Project

The Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) and the Knipovitch Polar Research Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanography (PINRO), a premier Russian federal marine science institution based in Murmansk, Kola Peninsula, Russia, recently began the Ponoi Salmon Research Program (www.ponoisalmonresearch.org). The goal of the program is to conduct fundamental and applied scientific research that will better support management of Atlantic salmon in the Ponoi and world wide.

Scientists from PINRO and the ASF have demonstrated their ability for effective scientific collaboration in the design and implementation of the Ponoi River project beginning in 1994.  Dr. Fred Whoriskey, ASF's VP of Research and Environment, was a project leader until 1999. Much of the work was completed by then but PINRO continues the tagging program and parr surveys to this day.

It is important that current management of fisheries incorporate the Precautionary Approach.  Atlantic salmon are most effectively managed on a stock-by-stock basis.  This minimizes the depletion of salmon populations and ensures sustainable use and maximum socio-economic benefits of  the resource for the long-term. While Ponoi salmon are healthy now, there are threats to this, such as the mixed-stock fisheries in Finnmark, Norway and in the White Sea, Russia, where Ponoi salmon get intercepted. Also, there are several distinct populations of Atlantic salmon within the Ponoi river system and managers should take this into account when regulating the in-river fishery.

Our first research project under the Ponoi Salmon Research Programme is Genetic Stock Identification (GSI) of the Ponoi Atlantic salmon. PINRO collected the genetic samples in 2008-2009 and is now seeking funding to complete the genetic analysis in the lab and establish the Ponoi Atlantic salmon genetic baseline, an important tool to conserve the genetic diversity of this wild fish.

To raise the funding, we have a simple request of the anglers who have had the opportunity to fish for Ponoi salmon. Please donate one dollar for each salmon caught by you on the Ponoi River. For more information please visit PonoiSalmonResearch at www.ponoisalmonresearch.org.

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