Salable fish has become more, despite the sanctions

Compared with the pre-pandemic in 2019, the volume of commercial fish production in the Vologda region actually doubled, and sales volumes reached half a billion rubles. At the same time, under the conditions of the sanction, industrial companies are forced to solve the problem of providing feed, which was previously usually imported.

growth factors

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Resources in the region, fish farms in the Vologda region caught 405.5 tonnes of salable fish during the first quarter of this year. This is an increase of 41% compared to the same period in 2021. This is largely due to an increase in trout production of 1.7 times.

58.7

million rubles was financial support from the regional budget for aquaculture companies from 2018 to 2021.

An increase in the number of companies engaged in the cultivation of marketable fish was also noted. If in 2014 there was only one organization specializing in aquaculture in the region, there are now already 28 of them – in Babaevsky, Belozersky, Vozhegodsky, Vashkinsky, Vytegorsky, Kaduysky, Kirillovsky, Syamzhensky, Kharovsky and other districts.

An important factor in the development of aquaculture can be regarded as increased regional support for the industry. This initiative was taken by Governor Oleg Kuvshinnikov.

Organizations can count on compensation for the purchase of fish farming equipment, construction and reconstruction, modernization of fish farming facilities and production of fish products, production of salable fish (feed and fish seeds) and the cost of insuring their facilities. In 2018, subsidies from the regional budget for these purposes amounted to almost 2 million 900 thousand rubles. By 2020, this figure has already exceeded 12 million. The same amount is planned for this year.

From Vologda to Krasnoyarsk

As explained in the Department of Agriculture and Food Resources, most of the fish grown in the Vologda region is sold in bulk. In addition, farmed fish are easily accepted by processing companies in the region, cafes and restaurants. A number of fish farming organizations have formed traveling trade by participating in trade fairs and exhibitions. Local fish products are also presented in regional retail chains. But residents of the region would like to see even more Vologda fish on store shelves and at affordable prices.

– The geography of deliveries grows every year. Fish grown in the lakes of the Vologda region, in addition to Cherepovets and Vologda, are already on the shelves in Yaroslavl, Ivanovo, Tver regions, Moscow and Moscow region, as well as thousands of kilometers from the production site – in Krasnoyarsk. The products are in demand and popular with wholesalers, retailers and chefs. During the period autumn 2021 to spring 2022, the company sold more than 100 tons of rainbow trout. This figure will increase every year. This can be seen in the amount of fish grown: if in 2018 we produced four tonnes, then in 2021 – more than 300 tonnes of products, – Alexey Blinovsky, head and founder of Aquaculture LLC, comments on the situation.

If oil for the whole of Russia is considered black gold, it is for Vologda Oblast caviar. Neither more nor less, in the country, in fact, two thirds of the volume of this delicacy product is produced in Kaduy at the company Diana. During the first quarter, 7.3 tonnes of black caviar were produced. The Kaduy company has long been recognized as one of the brands in the Vologda region. As a rule, it is shown to all prominent guests who come to this district center.

What type of fish is grown in the region

Ten organizations are involved in cage breeding in fish farming areas: Clean Lake LLC in Belozersky District, Aquaculture LLC in Belozersky and Vytegorsky Districts, IP Koreshkov AI and Vologda Lakes LLC in Vozhegodsky District, Delta-Service LLC in Vytegorsky, IP GKFH Golovsky district in Kiryat , LLC RTF Diana, LLC Vologda Sturgeon Company, GKFH Novikov MA in Kaduysky, LLC Fish Breeding Complex Immid in Sheksni District.

Two fish farming organizations (IP GKFH GA Shamraev in the Tarnogsky district and Kovzhskaya Trout LLC in Vytegorsky) grow trout in ponds. And the chicks of this fish from caviar in recirculating water supply installations are IP GKFH Golovin NV in Kirillovsky district and Aqua Fish LLC in Cherepovets.

Whitefish species are grown by Aquaculture LLC (whitefish and muksun) in the Belozersky district and Delta-Service LLC (whitefish and nelma) in Vytegorsky.

The production of sturgeon species is carried out by RTF Diana LLC, VOK LLC, IP GKFH MA Novikov in the Kaduysky district, RA (collective farm) Rusryba in Vologda.

– The eastern low tide regions of the region – Velikoustyugsky, Babushkinsky, Kichmengsko-Gorodetsky, Tarnogsky, Nikolsky – and the central Ust-Kubinsky region are actively involved in the development of fish farming. In these municipalities, fish are grown to a greater extent in ponds on private farms, to a lesser extent – in basins: trout, cyprinid fish species (carp, crucian carp, crucian carp), grass carp, carp, etc., the regional department of agricultural listings and pro-resources.

In addition, in the village of Gribkovo in the Vologda region, Aquaproduct LLC is carrying out a large-scale investment project for the construction of a modern fish farming complex based on the principle of a closed water supply system for cultivating Atlantic salmon (salmon) in the amount of 2,500 tonnes per year. Previously, the investment amount – more than two billion rubles, the time for commissioning of new production – was called until the end of 2022.

In addition, many organizations have been given fish farming sites in the region’s waterways for use and are currently upgrading fish farming infrastructure there until they start growing fish.

Diana Fish Company is a member of the Russian Caviar House group, which is a supplier to the Kremlin, among the company’s customers are Lukoil, Russian Railways, Gazprom and the largest federal retail chains. Caviar produced in the Vologda region even goes into space – it is delivered to the International Space Station and is part of the meals on board for our cosmonauts, “shared Valentina Artamonova, State Duma deputy from the Vologda region, shared her impressions of what she saw on their side on social networks.

And what about feed?

The sanctions imposed on our country also affected aquaculture companies. First of all, the problem of the supply of feed, which was previously generally imported (from Spain, the Netherlands and other countries), has become more acute. To solve this, fish farming organizations in the region have already signed contracts with domestic feed factories. In addition, food is imported from other, as they now say, friendly countries.

– The events that take place in the world could not help but affect our industry, because we all work in the global market. The disruption of supply chains and production of feed components in different countries has affected the supply of imported feed. Domestic producers are facing high capacity utilization, but at the same time with a lack of feed components for their formulations and are actively looking for solutions. The same applies to fish stocks. Most of the caviar was imported and fry were already made from it. As a result, in 2022, a certain shortage was formed in the fish seed market, which we also faced, – states Alexey Blinovsky.

– So far, the change in the price of fish feed has been felt very strongly, and it can be seen from the companies’ own activities, how they are starting to approach purchasing and adjusting budgets. You can certainly predict the price increase for red fish. This year, the difference in trout feed can reach up to 60-70% per kilo compared to 2021. The most relevant support measures for the regional industry will remain the issue of subsidizing feed and fish seeds, as this is the lion’s share of the cost of producing products, – says Mikhail Kutuzov, CEO of MID Biotech LLC.

At one of the meetings in the regional anti-crisis headquarters, a proposal was even put forward to build a feed production facility in the Vologda region. However, as pointed out in the Department of Agriculture and Food Resources, “this is not economically viable to run feed mills, and new investors are afraid to build and risk not being able to compete with feed coming from China, Iran, Armenia, Turkey . ”

The department also reminded that companies in the industry receive subsidies from the regional budget for the purchase of feed. The issue of reimbursement for these costs is also being worked out at the federal level. The problem of subsidizing the construction of feed mills is being solved.

If the problems with the production of feed, the formation of broodstock and the reception of fish seeds are solved, then nothing threatens fish farming. Our companies have a good start in the production of sturgeon strains, as well as their own breeding animal. One of the companies began to form a broodstock of whitefish, which is a good guarantee for self-sufficiency in products. The question of forming a breeding strain of rainbow on one of the existing companies is being considered, the department concerned states.

Science to the rescue

The prospects for the development of the industry are largely related to the training of professional staff. Since 2021 Vologda Dairy Academy named after NV Vereshchagina began training qualified fish farmers.

– If we recruited 12 people for the first time, this year we will have 15 students in the direction of “Water bioresources and aquaculture”. Subjects they study cover the entire breeding process chain – from fry to salable fish in recirculation systems and cages. And since fish farming is usually a private company, special attention is paid to the study of economics. On the basis of the academy, there is an Aquabiocenter, where catfish and tilapia are grown. On the basis of this, students can train the practical skills of a fish farmer, – explained Tatyana Novikova, professor at the Department of Microbiology, Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnology at VGMHA.

According to her, Aquabiocenter also allows the academy’s researchers to conduct scientific research at a high level.

– Recently, our young researchers won a grant from Skolkovo of 1.2 million rubles. These agents were used to study the effect of stress (changes in water temperature, water basin, and so on) on fish health, because when negative factors decrease when using the same feed, the cost of growing fish decreases significantly. In addition, the region challenges us to maximize the use of food waste that contains protein for use as feed for aquaculture. Now this topic is particularly relevant. We have already held talks with two companies, on whose equipment we will soon conduct joint tests of the feed we have developed, – said Tatiana Novikova.

According to experts, the fact that specialists in the field of aquatic biological resources and aquaculture are being trained in our region indicates that this field has a great future.

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