A group of conservation experts, fly-fishing enthusiasts and businesses have formed the “Taimen Conservation Alliance” -- unified concern for the future of wild taimen and taimen habitat. Alliance members have worked for years to help secure the conservation of these valuable assets. This includes inspiring and sponsoring conservation programs such as the GEF Taimen Conservation Project and the WWF/Rare Taimen Awareness Campaign.

Alliance members are dedicated to using fly-fishing as a tool to protect Mongolia’s unique natural history and to diversify economic opportunities for rural communities. The few rivers in Mongolia that currently have strong partnerships between responsible fly-fishing outfitters and rural communities are proving that nature can be protected while providing a platform for sustainable economic development.

Over the last twenty years, Mongolian owned small businesses have quietly engaged with rural communities, government and NGO’s to help conserve many hundreds of kilometers of wild Mongolian rivers. These “fly-fishing only” businesses have contributed substantially to local economies and generated hundreds of valuable employment opportunities. With years of hard work and diligence, fly-fishing operations have established a global reputation for good business practices. The handful of responsible companies are creating positive exposure for Mongolia and enhancing the nation’s reputation for “green” business investment.

One of the more successful results of member efforts is the establishment of Taimen Sanctuaries. This innovative conservation approach partners rural communities and small fly-fishing businesses to conserve ecologically viable expanses of taimen habitat. The Taimen Conservation Alliance believes that this model should be strengthened. The Alliance believes that the Taimen Sanctuary model should be replicated and advanced on other rivers. This will create national opportunities to conserve taimen habitat and diversify rural economies.

Mongolia is on track to becoming an international example for fisheries conservation catalyzed by responsible fly-fishing businesses. Adopting catch-and-release provisions and national efforts to support sustainable tourism development are progressive and laudable steps. However, several challenges persist such as poaching and unprofessional tourism practices.

The Taimen Conservation Alliance is proposing two additional steps be taken in the near-term to promote fly-fishing’s continued contributions to Mongolia’s rural economy. These steps include: making four small amendments to existing legislation; and, promulgating regulations to fully secure existing and establish new Taimen Sanctuaries.

The Taimen Conservation Alliance includes:

 

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See the Alliance’s display at the 2015 Fly Fishing Film Tour!