RUSSIA – The Russian government has unveiled plans to foster the development of the aquaculture industry in Karelia, in the country’s north-western part. With this aim in mind, Russia’s state-run Federal Agency for Fishery (Rosrybolovstvo) will perform a feasibility study to build a new fish breeding centre and a fish feed mill in the region.
The facility will be part of the designed aquaculture cluster that is to be launched in Karelia. Under the plan, the region’s annual fish harvest is to total more than 35,000 tonnes by 2020, according to data from the Rosrybolovstvo.
Currently, two companies are carrying out projects to launch new fish feed mills in Karelia. Of these, one company aims to launch production activities this spring, and the second one is currently completing the necessary paperwork to obtain a permission to construct its facility, the agency said in a statement.
The initiative was announced by Ilya Shestakov, the Rosrybolovstvo’s president, during a meeting at the Russian Ministry of Agriculture. To support the development of the cluster, the agency will provide funds to companies that aim to obtain bank loans for their investments.
The project is part of the Russian government’s plan to reduce the country’s dependency on fish imports. Earlier this year, Russian authorities said a new fish processing facility, ensuring an annual processing capacity of some 75,000 tonnes of fish, will be launched on the Crimean peninsula in late 2017, allowing Russia to replace up to 19 per cent of its fish imports.
The facility will have a cold storage capacity of 10,000 tonnes, and it will process fish from the Black and Azov Seas. These will include sprat, anchovy and mackerel. The Ukrainian peninsula was annexed by Moscow in March 2014.
Karelia is located on Russia’s White Sea shore.