The preservation of the traditional livelihood of the indigenous peoples of the Russian North is one of the State’s policy priorities in the Russian Federation. This is declared in such documents as, inter alia, the Development Strategy of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation and the National Security for the period up to 2020 and the Paper on the Sustainable Development of the Indigenous Small-Numbered Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East of Russia for the period up to 2025. Fishing is one of the basic traditional practices for the indigenous peoples of the Russian North. Despite the legal recognition of the right to traditional fishing of indigenous peoples, the practical realization of this right is complicated. While analysing the current situation, the author attempts to shed some light on the reasons of the problematic realization of this right.