August 2004

The Salmon Festival “Let’s Help the River Avacha”

L. Ignatenko, Head of Ketkino-Pinachevskaya territorial community “Aleskam” and Union of Communities “Yayar” of Kamchatka Oblast

The public organisation “Aleskam” Community and the Kamchatkan Union of the Communities of Northern Indigenous Peoples of the North “Yayar” organised the third Salmon Festival “Let’s Help the River Avacha”. The festival was organised with the help of the indigenous peoples of Yelizovskiy Rayon, using traditional skills and knowledge of natural resource use. It formed part of the project “Establishing nature preservation posts” for sports fishing and camping for environmental and ethnographic tourism.

The Festival was opened on the 22 August 2004 , in the village of Razdolny situated near the River Kolokolnikova. The aims of the Festival were attracting people’s attention to preservation of wild salmons, as well as environmental education of the population.

Welcoming speeches to the Festival were given by

Besides the official part of the Festival, competitions were carried out and “The Oath to Salmon” was signed. The following exhibitions demonstrated the ways of traditional nature resource as an alternative to poaching, were organised together with the native enterprise “Association of Environmentally and Socially Responsible Producers of Non-wooden Products Using Kamchatkan Forest Resources”:

The Foundation “Rare Fish Species and Biological Diversity”, Yelizovo, headed by Vyacheslav Zvyagintsev, sponsored the Festival. Our partners, The Kamchatka League of independent experts (head: Olga Chernyagina), and the director of the school of the village of Razdolny, Viktor Rimovich Li, helped us with transportation festival participants. The bulletin “We Are the People of the Salmon Country” was (“Pilot”, head: Dmitriy Panov); the bulletin “Reserve Area” and T-shirts were granted by the UNDP/GEF projects “Demonstrating Sustainable Conservation of Biological Diversity in Four Protected Areas of Russia’s Kamchatka Oblast” (head: Sergey Karmadonov), and “Preservation of Salmon Biodiversity and Sustainable Development in Kamchatka ” (head: Sergey Sinyakov). Books were presented by the Northern Pacifica Foundation (head: Sergey Vakhrin).

We are very grateful to the local division of the Emergency Control Ministry (leader: Vasiliy Vasilievich Shevchuk) that always helps us with the field-kitchen. The fish-soup they cooked this year was very much appreciated by the Festival’s guests.

Members of the communities “Aleskam”, village of Razdolny, “Koyana”, village of Koryaki, “Lukichi”, village of Zelyony, “Diveevs’”, village of Nikolaevka, the indigenous enterprise, joint-stock company “Kronos” (head: Aleksandr Velitskiy), and Aleksey Bobryakov, a member of the city’s branch of RAIPON, helped us with preparations for the Festival, and provided it with fish, vegetables and even tents, models of chums, that are always very useful at such occasions. We also would like to thank volunteers from the community “Aleskam”, the elder Gennadiy Ivanovich Koptsev, Nikolay Ignatenko, an artist and designer, Marina Timonina, Aleksey Vedyashkin, Vladimir Popov, Sergey Tkhor, Vasiliy Pavlusenko, Maxim Krivogornitsyn, - who not only helped us to prepare the place for the feast but also guarded the camp overnight. Special thanks to Yakov Pavlovich Bebko who facilitated the Festival with a diesel generator. On completion of the feast, a group of the community’s volunteers were tidying up the area, and it was a nice surprise when three of the guests from the city, who still stayed there, offered their help. They were provided with garbage bags and cleaned the place together with the volunteers.

Judging from the guests’ thankful responses, the Festival has been a success.

Contact information:

L. Ignatenko
Tel.: 8 (231) 37140, E-mail: