Japan, Russia strike deal on salmon, trout fishing despite sanctions

Japan and Russia have clinched a deal on Tokyo's fishing quota for salmon and trout spawned in Russian rivers, Japan's Fisheries Agency said Saturday, reaching an agreement on the issue despite Japan's economic sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

The two countries agreed on Japan's quota of 2,050 tons within its exclusive economic zone for 2022, the same level as last year, and the payment to Russia of a fee between 200 million yen ($1.5 million) and 300 million yen, depending on the actual catch.

The two sides are expected to sign the document on Monday.

Japan pays a "cooperation fee" to Russia as salmon and trout, according to the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, belong to the country in which they were spawned.

Japan and Russia started negotiations on April 11 even as Tokyo has been stepping up sanctions against Moscow in an effort, along with the United States and European countries, to pressure Russia to stop the war in Ukraine.

The agency said it is likely the Japanese side will start fishing in early May following the latest agreement.

In Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost main island, the ban on net fishing for salmon and trout is normally lifted on April 10. But this year there has been no fishing allowed as the ban remains in effect pending the outcome of negotiations.

The two countries have held talks on Japan's quota of salmon and trout every spring.

© Kyodo News