July 13, 2011

 

US Georgia consumes 80 tonnes trout monthly

 

 

Trout sales reach 80 tonnes per month in Georgia, which is up to a thousand tonnes annually according to Irakli Pataraia, Executive Director of Aquafeed Georgia, exclusive distributor of BioMar feed in Georgia.

 

While export is 5-6 times less, the total export of fish both live and frozen amounted to US$5 million in 2009 and US$7 million in 2010.

 

Import includes approximately 98% of frozen fish from different countries such as China, Vietnam, Spain, Norway and Japan.

 

"Due to the reason that Georgia is located among exporter countries live fish is not brought into the country, which is usually three times more expensive compared to imported frozen fish.

 

"Fish catching in Georgian waters is so insignificant that its consumption share is not even considered. Live fish is a luxury product in Georgia. Considering this background fish farming is developing in Georgia rapidly," explained Pataraia.

 

"Trout is a priority fish in Georgia as it is impossible to offer other types of live fish to the population. The ecological quality of trout is governed by three factors: genetics, water and the feed. To produce a kilo of quality trout one needs a kilo of feed," Pataraia added.

 

Bio Mari is one of the big players in fish production in Georgia. The company's fish is sold in major trade chains of Tbilisi as well as in restaurants. The company supplies Goodwill, Populi, G-Mart, Ioli, M Group and GMC Group.

 

"Bio Mari holds a significant segment of the Georgian fish market. I believe this is due to our high quality fish, as according to current competition terms this is a vital factor. The company has used BioMar feed exclusively since 2008 which governs the consistent high quality of the fish," said Zurab Khitarishvili, the owner of Bio Mari.

 

The aim for each Georgian farmer is to export Georgian trout. All the conditions necessary for its achievement are in place. As well as major players in the sector the market is also led by small farmers.

 

"Aquafeed Georgia started its operations in 2007. The company imported premium quality fish feed from different countries which gave farmers the chance to observe which one was most effective. We supported fish market development and boosting competition among farmers," said Pataraia.

 

"For three years already Aquafeed Georgia has been the exclusive distributor of BioMar in Georgia, while our clients are the most successful farmers. We are working in different directions in aquaculture. The Georgian fish market is small in terms of its capacity so our priority is market diversification," Pataraia said.

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