Marine culture surging in the Russian Far East to chase huge potential

November 29, 2020 23:41

Marine culture in the Russian Far East has been surging in the last few years still tapping only a fraction of the potential of millions of metric tons in the region, reports

According to TASS, during the first half of 2020, more than 45 thousand tons of scallops, mussels, sea cucumber and kelp were grown at sea gardens in Primorsky Krai province (capital Vladivostok). The growth compared to the same period last year amounted almost to 18 thousand metric tons. The products are mostly shipped for export as the domestic market for these species still lacks development for the volumes achieved.

Back in 2019, in the province 30.4 thousand metric tons of products were grown for the whole including scallops, sea cucumbers, mussels, oysters, kelp and sea urchins. For comparison, in 2016, the figure was five times smaller, according to the “Window into Asia Pacific” magazine.

The best dynamics of indicators, compared to 2018, was achieved in the cultivation of sea urchins (597%), scallops (200%), kelp (134%).

Marine culture farms in the Russian Far East have been granted 311 fish-breeding sites with an area of 78.4 thousand hectares. In the near future, they can be increased to 100 thousand hectares. This is to bring the production of marine culture in the Far Eastern Federal district to the level of 90 thousand tons by 2030.

It is no coincidence that the Russian Far East has become the birthplace of Russian marine culture beacause its potential in this area is very high. All marine areas of the Russian coast of the Sea of Japan and the South of the Sea of Okhotsk have favorable climatic conditions for the cultivation and reproduction of the most expensive commercial species.

The southern regions alone have an estimated capability to produce more than 3.5 million metric tons of mollusks, shellfish etc. grown in seawater.

The productivity of the area off the coast of Sakhalin for the development of marine culture is estimated at more than 1.9 million tons, and the Primorsky territory at more than 600 thousand metric tons, while Khabarovsk territory stands at 700 thousand tons.

As regards science, in 2019, the innovative research and production center for marine culture on Popov Island was put into operation. It was created as a leading skills center in the field of scientific support for industrial cultivation of marine species.

The issue of supplying farms with high-quality domestic stocking material is one of the key problems of marine culture today. The import of material of marine invertebrates currently amounts to 7.7 million oyster juveniles and 300 million scallop juveniles.

That is why on the basis of the Center on Popov Island, work is underway to create a selection and breeding center. The center will have production and experimental parts. The production part allows for industrial cultivation of sea cucumber juveniles in the amount of up to 10 million and kelp seedlings to stock 100 ha of suspended or bottom plantations. Other species, such as bivalves, holothurians, and macrophytes, can also be cultivated.

The first results of the INPC Center are impressive. For the first time in the Russian Far East, it was possible to obtain young oysters in factory conditions. The Center was also able to develop an appropriate method and create an express technology for obtaining resilient kelp growths. The establishment has also succeeded in industrial-scale production of starter and production feeds from microalgae. Concentrates of "nutritious broths" have been created. Two kilograms of this frozen defracted mixture replace a ton of traditional feeds.

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