An attack on a fish farm on Russia's Sakhalin island earlier this month that killed an estimated 5 million salmon fry has not stopped Rosneft from releasing a huge amount of young fish into a local river as part of the oil producer's programme to maintain biodiversity.»

RN-Shelf-Arctica, a regional exploration subsidiary of Russia's largest oil producer, released around 1 million fry into the Zyryanka river in the Kholmsk district.

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The fry were nurtured at one of four fish farms in the district, with associated costs covered by the Rosneft outfit.

The subsidiary has in the past five years sponsored the growth and release of over 2.5 million fry of various salmon varieties — including coho, chum and red salmon — into rivers on Sakhalin.

The latest release comes at a time of confrontation between salmon poachers and fish farm owners in Kholmsk.

A 1 June assault on a fish farm on the Chekhovka river saw unknown assailants break into the facility at night and pour chlorine and other chemicals into pools containing salmon fry, killing an estimated 5 million.

Fish farms in the district have been receiving threats from local poachers since days they had been built, according to local reports.

Salmon poaching is widespread on the island during spring when poachers install nets across numerous shallow rivers to catch all salmon swimming upstream to lay eggs.

The fish are then emptied of their caviar and discarded.

However, construction of fish farms has undermined this highly profitable business as farm personnel patrol the rivers to reporting poaching.