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Sakhalin taimen salmon on brink of extinction, scientists warn

Sakhalin taimen salmon, a fish inhabiting in the Russian Far East and on Japan's northernmost Hokkaido island has proved on the brink of extinction, study results published in Tokyo on Saturday suggest.

An international team of scientists, including from Russia and the Oregon salmon research centre conducted the study that shows that the population of this already rare fish in its main habitats in Russia had deceased by 98 percent over the past three-four decades.

Scientists came to the conclusion that that oil and gas projects pursued on Sakhalin, and the construction of dams and river pollution on Hokkaido can further aggravate this situation.

Some of Sakhalin taimen, which is called "ito" in Japan, is larger than two metres.

This fish once occurred in rivers in the northeast of Japan's main island Honshu, but at present it remains only on Hokkaido, where its habitat has decreased by 60 percent over the past 30 years.

The Hokkaido ministry of ecology and authorities have entered taimen salmon on a list of disappearing species, but in the opinion of scientists, no effective measures are taken for conservation of this fish.

© Itar-Tass

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