Fishing in Russia's Arctic Circle

Monday 22 January, 7.30pm on One

This week Paul Henry meets South Islander John Gendall, a professional fishing guide, working seasonally in Russia’s arctic circle.

For five years, Gendall has guided guests catching and releasing the exclusive Arctic Salmon, and under now he’s going to come up against his most difficult client yet – Paul Henry, who thinks going fishing is trying for a compliment! Gendall also takes Henry to explore the extreme landscape and a community on the edge of the world where the land meets the Barents Sea – a day that Paul describes as one of his most fascinating ever.
“I have been to a lot of far-flung places but this really deserves to be called the ends of the earth,” says Henry. “In the artic circle, where you’re standing with a family of people who live thousands of kilometres from the nearest road, and they’re cold and bereft of any luxury in life. In the winter, they’re hunkered down in darkness in stone houses to keep warm and you’re right on the doorstep of the barren sea, which is frozen in winter and you just look around and you think, ‘this definitely qualifies to be the ends of the earth’.”

Paul then lands in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s former capital city to meet Mark Jackson, trouble-shooter for the massive oil and gas industry that arrived in Kazakhstan after it declared independence in 1991. Jackson spends his weeks airlifting injured workers off rigs in the Caspian Sea, or arranging the rescue of sick ex-pats from the extraordinarily remote steppe of Northern Kazakhstan. In between, his job is to try and make sure people don’t get ill or injured in the first place as the oil and gas platforms are inherently dangerous to begin with and their isolated locations make risks even greater.

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