Ambitious aquaculture development plans may supplant Norwegian salmon on Russia's fish market
Ambitious plans for aquaculture development in Russia's North Fisheries Basin may enable national fish farmers to win competition with Norwegian salmon and trout producers on the Russian market, reports http://www.megafishnet.com/.
The first project which has been launched in the Pechenga Bay of the Barents Sea is implemented by Baltiisky Bereg Company and its regional branch called Russian Salmon. This year Liinahamari farms have already supplied 5,000 MT of fish (for comparison, two years ago when the farms belonged to another owner they produced less than 400 MT). Baltiisky Bereg purchased two fish farms which condition was far from good at that moment, merged them and restored production actually from zero stage. The company bought live fish boats to transport salmon to Saint Petersburg for processing, installed farming equipment, system of biological protection from birds and seals and a feed distribution plant. The company even owns a small submarine. Along with the above facilities the company has also commissioned a packaging factory. Total investments into the project are estimated at ca.RUR12-15 billion. The project is really ambitious with the farmer planning to raise production to 20,000-25,000 MT of salmon per year.
Similar investments into aquaculture have been attracted to the region by Russian Sea Group of Companies which has leased five bays and is planning to launch production in the following year 2012. Now the Group is engaged in project development, workforce formation, equipment purchase and installation. The project implies use of up-to-date technologies and launch of fish farms each having 20-30 cages capable of producing 300 MT of fish. The farms will have dedicated vessels with a feed distribution plant and underwater cameras for automatic control. Production volumes of Russian Sea farms are targeted at the same 20,000 MT of salmon per year.
If those two projects meet production targets domestic salmon may supplant Norwegian salmon on the Russian market.
At the next stage plans of the above companies provide for construction of fish processing facilities and they will probably cooperate in the issue. Moreover, a fish feed plant and a smolt production plant are also in question.
In the meantime, Norway so far remains Russia's biggest supplier of Atlantic salmon. In October 2011 the country exported 11,010 MT of salmon to Russia, 10% up on October 2010. Russia remains the second biggest importer of valuable farmed fish from Norway (France winning leadership in the sector).