The trees blanketing one-third of the Soviet Union constituted more than one-quarter of the earth’s forest cover. Most densely wooded was a latitudinal belt stretching from the western border to the Pacific, bounded in the north by tundra and in the south by steppe lands. Growth was mostly conifers in the northern part of the belt, broad-leafed trees in the south, and a mix in the center. The forestry industry supplied commercial timber, firewood, and raw material for the pulp and paper, chemical, and woodworking industries. Total production was about 400 million cu m (about 14 billion cu ft) in the late 1980s, the same as two decades before. Soviet output of roundwood (wood that has not been squared off) was 12 percent of world production; about 5 percent of it was exported.
Soviet planners valued fish as a cheap source of protein. The USSR had the world’s biggest fishing fleet, with more than 3500 netting and processing vessels in 1984. The total catch was 10.6 million metric tons, second only to Japan and 45 percent more than in 1970. About 90 percent of the catch was in marine fisheries, the largest being in the Pacific Ocean. The largest landings were of cod, haddock, herring, and sardines. Once a major whaling nation, the USSR agreed to cease whaling in the North Pacific in 1979 and ended all commercial whaling after the 1987 season. "USSR" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia.
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