Kamchatka Oblast

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kamchatka Oblast


part of the RSFSR. Formed Oct. 20, 1932, as a part of Khabarovsk Krai; became an independent oblast of the RSFSR in 1956. Kamchatka Oblast includes the Koriak National Okrug. Area 472, 300 sq km; population, 311, -000 (1972).

Kamchatka Oblast includes the Kamchatka peninsula and the adjoining part of the mainland, as well as the Komandorskie and Karaga islands. To the west is the Sea of Okhotsk; to the east, the Bering Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The oblast has 11 raions, one city, and 14 urban-type settlements. The administrative center is the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii.

Natural features. SeeKAMCHATKA (peninsula), in vol. 11, and KORIAK NATIONAL OKRUG, in vol. 12.

Population. Russians constitute most of the population (more than 80 percent); Ukrainians, 7 percent; and native nationalities (Koriak, Itel’men, Even, Aleut, and Chukchi), more than 3. 5 percent. The average population density is 0. 7 per sq km. The highest population density is found in some areas of the southwestern and southeastern coast of the peninsula and in the valley of the Kamchatka River. The urban population is 78 percent. All urban-type settlements were created in the Soviet period.

Economy. Industry accounts for more than 90 percent of the total gross production. The gross industrial product of Kamchatka Oblast increased by a factor of 2. 7 from 1960 to 1971 and by a factor of 1. 8 from 1965 to 1971.

In the years of Soviet power, Kamchatka Oblast has become one of the most important fishing regions of the USSR. The fishing industry accounts for 69 percent of the oblast’s total gross industrial product; if the branches directly connected with the fishing industry, such as ship repair and the production of wooden crates, are included, the figure is about 77 percent (1971). The major commercial catches are salmon herring, plaice, bass, cod, mackerel, halibut, hake, and sablefish.

Kamchatka Oblast produces up to 10 percent of the fish catch and about 4 percent of the canned fish of the USSR. Until 1957, 60 percent of the fish were caught directly in the coastal waters and in the mouth of the spawning rivers. Since 1958 active fishing on the high seas has taken a leading role, reaching a share of 95 percent of the total. The fish catch was 7. 8 million centners in 1971. New fishing regions have been developed in the eastern half of the Bering Sea and in the Pacific Ocean. The output of fish is almost entirely in the form of refrigerated, frozen, or lightly salted and canned fish. The main fish-canning combines are Petropavlovsk, Oktiabr’, Ozernoi, Kirov, Ust’-Kamchatskii, and Oliutorskii.

Hunting for fur, as well as caged fur farming, is important in the oblast’s economy. The oblast supplies furs of the fur seal, sable, silver fox, and mink. Crabs are caught along the western shore of the oblast.

The timber industry plays a considerable role. Its enterprises are situated in the basin of the Kamchatka River, where larch and spruce trees grow; it covers 10 percent of the forest areas and its reserves are 170 million cu m. The total reserves are 1 billion cu m. In 1971 enterprises of the timber industry produced up to 549, 000 cu m of commercial lumber for shipment out of the oblast; the Ust’-Kamchatsk and Kliuchi wood-products combines produce sawmill materials, semifinished products for construction, and crates and barrels for the fishing industry.

The electric power output of the oblast increased by a factor of 3. 5 from 1960 to 1971. The oblast has a variety of fuel and power resources: coal, hydroelectric power, and subterranean hot springs. Thermal springs are of special importance; the USSR’s first experimental industrial geothermal electric power plant has been built on the Pauzhetskii thermal springs. A central heating plant has been built in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii.

Kamchatka Oblast produces up to 1. 3 million construction bricks and 100, 000 cu m of prestressed reinforced-concrete structural members and items per year (1971).

Agriculture consists of two branches: reindeer raising in the Koriak National Okrug and animal husbandry and vegetable farming in the southern part of Kamchatka Oblast. The oblast has 31 sovkhozes, 12 fishing kolkhozes, and 11 subsidiary farms of industrial enterprises (1971). Agricultural fields amount to 173, 000 hectares (ha), of which 35, 000 are plowed and, 75, 000 are hayfields, and 61,000 are pastures. The total sown area of all agricultural crops is 32, 000 ha (1971), 80 percent of which is planted with fodder crops; the remaining area is planted with potatoes and vegetables. Drained lands (6, 900 ha) are planted mainly with vegetables and fodder crops. Animal husbandry is mainly of the dairy type. As of Jan. 1, 1972, the herd of livestock consisted of 27, 100 head of cattle (45 percent of which were cows), 25, 700 pigs, and 619, 900 fowl. The chief regions of agricultural production are in the valleys of the Avacha, Kamchatka, and Bol’shaia rivers. The plains and mountain tundras, covering 34 million ha, are used as pastures for reindeer. As of Jan. 1, 1972, the oblast had 162, 000 reindeer, 90 percent of which were in the Koriak National Okrug. A large hothouse-nursery combine has been built on the basis of the Sredniaia Paratunka thermal springs. All foreign economic links and most of the domestic links are by sea. The main ports are Petropavlovskii and Ust’-Kamchatskii. Air transportation plays a great role in passenger traffic. Motor roads connect Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii with settlements in Elizovo Raion (Nachiki and Paratunka) and with the valley of the Kamchatka River (the village of Mil’kovo). The Kamchatka River is navigable, with the river port of Ust’-Kamchatsk.

Eastern Kamchatka is the chief region of the fishing industry. Its center is Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii; the settlement of Elizovo is a center of agricultural production. Western Kamchatka is an old fishing region with fish-processing and fish-canning enterprises (the Ozernoi, Oktiabr’, and Kirov combines). Central Kamchatka is a region of lumber procurement (Kozyrevsk and Atlasov), wood products (Kliuchi and Ust’-Kamchatsk), and agriculture (Mil’kovo). The Komandorskie Islands are a region of trapping of fur seal and the raising of silver fox. The Koriak National Okrug is a region of the fishing industry, reindeer breeding, and the fur industry.


Educational institutions and scientific and cultural institutions; public health. In the 1914–15 academic year the territory of Kamchatka Oblast had 20 general-educational schools, with 404 students, and no secondary specialized or higher schools. In the 1971–72 academic year the oblast had 138 daytime general-educational schools, with 48, 800 students; evening and correspondence schools, with 4, 600 students; 12 vocational and technical schools, with 3, 100 students; and six secondary specialized schools, with 5, 400 students. The pedagogical institute in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii had 1, 700 students. In 1972 the oblast had 195 preschool institutions, with 22, 400 children.

Kamchatka Oblast is the site of the Institute of Volcanology of the Far East Center of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, divisions of the Pacific Ocean Institute of Fishing and Oceanology, and the Institute of Hunting and Fur Farming.

As of Jan. 1, 1972, the oblast had 156 people’s libraries, with 1, 550, 000 books and magazines, an oblast drama theater, and an oblast museum of local lore in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii; 154 club institutions; and 225 motion-picture projection units. Extracurricular institutions are represented by six Houses of Pioneers, oblast young technicians’ and young naturalists’ stations, excursion and tourist facilities, and four sports schools.

The oblast newspapers are Kamchatskaia Pravda (Kamchatka Pravda; since 1918) and Kamchatskii komsomolets (Kamchatka Komsomol Member; since 1924). The oblast radio and television broadcasts on two radio channels and one television channel and relays programs from Moscow. The television center is located in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii.

As of Jan. 1, 1972, Kamchatka Oblast had 75 hospital institutions, with 4, 200 beds (13. 6 beds per thousand) 1, 400 doctors (one doctor for 227 people); and two balneological resorts, Paratunka and Nachiki, with hot mineral springs.


Narodnoe khoziaistvo Kamchatskoi oblasti: Stat. sb. Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii, 1971.
Rossiiskaia Federatsiia: DaVnii Vostok. Moscow, 1971. (Sovetskii Soiuz series.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Table 2: Territorial Structure of GRP 1994 1995 1996 1997 Far East 100 100 100 100 Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) 24 25 23.6 21.5 Jewish Autonomous Oblast 1.7 1.5 1.3 0.9 Chukotskii Autonomous Okrug 1.5 1.7 2 1.7 Primorsky Kray 21.1 23.7 21.7 22 Khabarovsk Kray 17.4 18.5 20.7 22.6 Amurskaya Oblast 12.1 10.2 10.9 11.3 Kamchatka Oblast 6.9 6.7 6.8 5.9 Magadan Oblast 6.3 4.2 4.7 4.6 Sakhalin Oblast 9.1 8.5 8.3 9.6 Goskomstat Rossii, Natsional'nye scheta v Rossii v 1991-1998 godakh.