Ashgabat is hosting a meeting of representatives of the competent authorities of the Caspian states dedicated to the discussion of the draft agreement on the conservation and sustainable use of biological resources of the Caspian Sea on April 11-12, the Turkmen government said on Thursday.
The Caspian Sea washes the coasts of Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Iran and Turkmenistan.
The session will discuss the preparation of a regional instrument aimed at preserving the rich natural world of the Caspian Sea and providing an agreed level of nature management that serves the interests of the economy and the environment of each of the parties.
The meeting was organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the State Enterprise for the Caspian Sea under the President of Turkmenistan. It is being attended by heads and leading specialists of ministries and departments, including of Fisheries, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection as well as other state structures of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan.
The state information agency Turkmen dovlet khabarlary noted the agenda includes issues concerning the procedure for determining the rules of use of biological resources, including quotas for sturgeon fishing and the coordination of national programmes in the field of environmental protection.
According to Turkmen media reports, the meeting will mainly focus on the restoration of marine fisheries resources and regulation of fishing activities in the waters of the sea.
Among the urgent tasks are implementation of a systematic monitoring of the state of biological resources and the marine environment of the Caspian Sea and conducting a wide range of research in this area.
The Caspian Sea is the world's largest inland water reservoir of climate generating importance not linked with any world ocean. It is unique for preserving various relict flora and fauna, including the world's largest shoal of sturgeon (90 per cent of the world's supply).
There are a number of prerequisites for possible pollution of the Caspian Sea. Among those are the development of hydrocarbon reserves in the sea and the surrounding areas, the high density of population and industry in the adjacent areas, intensive agricultural development in the valleys of rivers flowing into it, the lack of the 'river-sea' explicit geochemical barrier and a closed basin.