Japan’s fisheries agency has announced that Tokyo and Moscow have reached an agreement over the country’s annual salmon and trout catch quota amid ongoing tensions with Russia over the war in Ukraine.
Japan and Russia concluded negotiations on Friday, agreeing to a catch quote of 2,050 tons of salmon and trout this year in Tokyo’s 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone, according to the agency’s statement.
The agreement is similar to the quota from the previous year, with Japan paying Russia between 200-300 million yen (€1.5-2.2 million) in fees this year depending on the actual size of the catch.
The deal is set to be formally signed on Monday, with the payment required for fish that originated in Russian waters under the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea.
Despite increasing tensions between Tokyo and Moscow after Japan imposed sanctions on Russia over the military actions in Ukraine, the two sides began engaging in negotiations on 11 April over the salmon and trout fishing quota.
Since Russia launched the conflict in Ukraine in late February, Japan has introduced a series of financial sanctions in line with G7 nations, freezing the assets of Russian oligarchs and leaders, reducing trade and removing Moscow’s “most favored nation” trade status. Russia responded by suspended peace treaty talks with Japan over disputed territory that Tokyo wants to regain control of.
Fishing in the waters near the disputed territory around the islands north of Hokkaido had been on hold as Japan had a ban in place on Tokyo fishermen operating until negotiations were completed.
Moscow reduced the lower end of the fee from 2021 by 60 million yen (€440,000) due to a decline in the number of fish caught in recent years.