The pink salmon was artificially introduced by Soviet researchers in north Russian rivers in the 1960s. For several decades, the spreading of the species was moderate. Then, after 2015, it explosively multiplied and is now found along major parts of the Norwegian coast.
But the situation is most serious in the east Finnmark region and Norwegian environmental authorities now support local efforts to eradicate the intruder. Local fishing associations are getting funding to catch the fish.
“The biggest influx of the pink salmon happens in the rivers in Eastern Finnmark and this is where we want to concentrate our efforts,” says Ellen Hambro, Director of the Norwegian Environment Agency. “If we manage to remove most of the pink salmon from this area we will get a buffer zone towards Russia, which will be instrumental in preventing further spreading westwards and southwards,” she underlines in a comment.
But the volumes are now far too big to handle for the local groups.
In Sør-Varanger, the local fishermen are planning to install special traps with technology that efficiently separate between Atlantic salmon and pink salmon. But that will not come before in 2022.