Unrestrained fishing and water drainage from the lake has depleted Sevan’s salmon and trout population, according to Boris Gabrielian, the director of Armenia’s Hydrology and Ichthyology Institute. The lake’s salmon population has shrunk by almost six times since 1980, the Kavkazsky Uzel news website quoted Gabrielian as saying on March 22.
A Soviet-era irrigation plan has also supposedly damaged the lake’s ecosystem. One of the world’s largest high-altitude lakes, Lake Sevan contains 34 billion cubic meters of water.
Authorities plan to introduce tighter licensing rules for fishing, as well as enforce fishing quotas. Vladimir Movsisian, the head of an ad hoc government committee to help Sevan, said that a three-year fishing embargo would allow fish to spawn and enable the fry reach maturity, Kavkazsky Uzel reported.