August 27, 2018


Russia aims 700,000 tonnes of aquaculture outputs by 2030


Geographically ideal for growing fishes, Russia encompasses 20 million hectares of lakes, five million hectares of impoundments, 400,000 hectares of onshore sea aquatorium, more than one million hectares of waters used for agriculture, and 150,000 hectares of fishery ponds.

However, according to statistics from Russia's Federal Agency for Fisheries, in 2017, the sector produced only 219,000 tonnes of seafood, including 186,500 tonnes of fish and 33,100 tonnes of fish seed, explaining that the country's aquaculture industry has yet to reach its fullest potential.

Today, the situation has transitioned in terms of volumes of production and the attitude of authorities and investors since 2014, when Russia imposed a ban on imported food in response to the Crimea-related sanctions enacted by the US, Canada, Australia, Norway and the EU.

In 2014, a federal law was set in motion to help the industry accelerate and the Federal Agency for Fisheries began to actively prepare sites for growing fish and selling them through auctions.

Vasily Sokolov, deputy head of the agency, shared that the number areas prepared for aquaculture use have doubled from 1,900 hectares to 4,500 hectares, since 2015.

The local government has also set aside RUB400 million (US$6.1 million) to relief aquaculture businesses of loan burdens for purchasing of modern equipment, aquaculture feed and investments in building up capacity infrastructure.

At present, more 63.5% of the country's farmed seafood is produced in the south, mainly from the Crimean Peninsula, which specialises in farming mussels and oysters, and the Krasnodarsky Krai, Rostov and Astrakhan regions.

Russia's north-west regions are ranked second, with Murmansk, Leningrad, and the Republic of Karelia producing mainly salmon and char while the far-east regions focus on scallops, oysters, sea cucumbers, crab and mussels.

Aquaculture production has increased gradually over the years as well. In 2015, output was 153,200 tonnes and in 2016, the figures rose to 174,000 tonnes.

By 2030, Russia aims to increase it farmed seafood to 700,000 tonnes, according to the head of the Federal Agency for Fisheries, Ilya Shestakov.

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