The organizations have signed a cooperation agreement within the Baikal Without Fishnets project.
The Baikal Without Fishnets project includes a set of measures such as an independent ecological Circum-Baikal research expedition, aimed at obtaining reliable data on the fishnet pollution (such as abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear) of the shoreline of Lake Baikal, laboratory analysis of water and fishnets samples to identify the dimension of damage caused by fishnet pollution to the lake ecosystem, and for parallel extraction, analysis and disposal of found fishnets. Field work within the project will take place this summer, followed by an analysis of the data obtained during the expedition. Besides that, the analytical support of the research results will be prepared in order to develop measures (incl. legislative ones) aimed at solving the problem of fishnet pollution not only on Lake Baikal, but also on other water bodies in Russia.
In order to implement the project, Lake Baikal Foundation and the Irkutsk Regional Environmental Non-governmental Organization «Glubina Otevetstvennosti» (IREOO «Depth of Responsibility») signed a cooperation agreement, which is based on competence principle. Due to focus on the cleaning Lake Baikal from the fishnet pollution over last years, the IREOO «Depth of Responsibility» is responsible for organizing the expedition, which includes formation of an expedition team (professional divers, microbiological scientists, an operator and other), purchase of equipment and consumables for laboratory studies of water and algae, and other practicalities, including interaction with local governmental bodies and prosecutors and guarantee that the expedition complies with all legal requirements.
In turn, Lake Baikal Foundation acts as a guarantor of the project, providing a grant support of at least 1,500,000 rubles. In case of winning the projects competition for young NGOs «Support Will Come», organized by Tinkoff Bank and the Foundation «Help Needed», Lake Baikal Foundation will additionally transfer 2,000,000 rubles for the implementation of the Baikal Without Fishnets project. A grant from Tinkoff Bank will allow organizing a full-scale expedition, taking and analyzing a sufficient number of water and algae samples, as well as cleaning Lake Baikal from large amounts of the fishnet pollution. In addition, the Foundation is responsible for establishing communication with research institutes, including LIN SB RAS and IO RAS, with the expert community for the preparation of analytical materials based on the results of the field research and expedition, which will be submitted to relevant governmental bodies at the federal level in order to solve the problem of fishnet pollution.
The expedition is scheduled from the 25 July until the 5 August 2021. All information obtained during the expedition, as well as the results of laboratory analysis, will be available for the public. The conclusions of a comprehensive analysis of the problem of fishnet pollution and proposals for solving this problem will be brought to the attention of key stakeholders.