Experts of Caspian states agree on positions in combating illegal production of biological resources

Another meeting of authorised representatives of Caspian states, which was organized by the Foreign Ministry, Ministry of Economy and Finances and Institute of Caspian Sea, has accomplished in Ashgabat. 

The agenda of the meeting with participation of representatives of relative ministries and profile structures of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan included an agreement of the Draft Protocol on cooperation in combating of illegal production of biological resources (poaching) in Caspian Sea. 

The document, which development was undertaken by Turkmen side, is to supplement the Agreement on cooperation in security sphere in Caspian Sea, which was signed at the III Summit of the Heads of Caspian States, which was held in Baku (Azerbaijan) in 2010. 

At the same time, the Protocol is closely related to the Agreement on protection and rational use of aquatic biological resources of Caspian Sea developed by initiative of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. Adopted at the IV Caspian Summit in Astrakhan, it entered into force in May 2016 after necessary interstate procedures. 

Intergovernmental Commission for protection, rational use of aquatic biological resources of Caspian Sea and management of joint reserves has been established according to the document. 

Having big authorities, the Commission determines total permissible production of joint aquatic biological resources and distribute them to national quotas each year, regulates production of these resources, approves fishing regulations and coordinates joint programmes of scientific and research works. 

It is worth to mention that biological resources of Caspian Sea are distinguished with big variety and good productivity. It has more than 1,500 inhabitant, which includes the most valuable sturgeon fish species like beluga, sturgeon and other species making up the base of the world reserve of the gene pool, which remained and reproduced on the planet. 

In addition, it has populations of other valuable fish species like Caspian roach, sazan, pike perch, kutum, mullet, bream, sprat, bass, pike and Caspian seal, the only mammal. 

Continuing the subject, it is worth mentioning that at present time, several species of sprat and seals were included to the list of joint aquatic biological resources of the region in addtio to sturgeon. 

Protection of biological wealth of Caspian Sea in on the agenda of not only Caspian States but also of nature world community. Being an active member of international dialog in this direction, Turkmenistan put maximum efforts for this cooperation would have steadfast, integrated and constructive character including in the context of achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the UN. 

Recently, meetings of authorised representatives of Caspian states for discussion of the Draft Protocol on cooperation of safety of navigation as well as intergovernmental Agreement on cooperation in search and rescue in Caspian Sea took place in Ashgabat. 

During current three-day session in Turkmen capital, the experts continued the process of coordination of the draft Protocol, which is to form up effective mechanism of combating against illegal production of biological resources and elimination of poaching. During the meeting, each side presented their proposals aimed at solution of one of the current issues of natural protection sphere. At the same time, special attention has been paid to the subject of protection of sea fish resources, regulation of fishery activities in the sea. 

In this regard, it is worth to mention that recently, Caspian states do not catch sturgeon in industrial scales. At the III session of the Commission for Protection and rational use of aquatic biological resources and management of their joint reserves, the ban on commercial fishing of sturgeon was extended until the end of 2020. 

Discussing the forms of joint combating against poaching, the participants of the session highlighted the importance of close coordination of activities in the sphere of border guard, fish protection and ecological services of coastal states. 

Meeting of the representatives of Caspian states on discussion of the Draft Agreement between the Governments of Caspian States on cooperation in the sphere of scientific studies in Caspian sea will start in Ashgabat on February 6.