Aquaproducts starts RAS farm in Russia
By Nestor Arellano
By Nestor Arellano
An aquaculture project being billed as the first of its kind in Russia is expected to produce some 2,500 metric tons (MT) of Atlantic salmon and boost job prospects in the country by next year.
Local officials of the Russian region of Vologda and top executives of seafood company Aquaproducts LLC recently conducted groundbreaking ceremonies in the town of Gribkovo, some 500 kilometers from Moscow, for a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS)-based farm facility.
The facility being built in a two-hectare area in Gribkovo will be a full-cycle fish farm with closed water supply. When fully built, the total volume of the reservoir will be 17,000 cubic meters and its biofilters will have a depth of nine meters. It is said to be the first of its kind in Russia.
“More than 50,000 fry will be stocked on a monthly basis,” Alexander Churkin, chief executive officer of Aquaproduct, said in an interview with the Volga Region News. “The fish will be grown without antibiotics and hormones.”
This salmon farm is only the first stage of Aquaproduct’s plans. The company also has plans for a second fish farm capable of producing 5,000 tons of fish per year. A fish processing facility and feed factory are also being proposed.
The initiative is being closely watched by regional governments across Russia. With a projected capacity of about 2,500 metric tons of Atlantic salmon, the facility has the potential of creating new tax revenues, jobs, ancillary business and a cheap supply of fish even for areas such as Vologda which is several kilometers away from traditional fishing areas.
Vologda is betting big on aquaculture. The region has 650,000 hectares of ponds available for investors interested in fish farming. The Volgo-Balt waterway provides an ideal canal system and the region also has an extensive road network, railways and favourable climate for aquaculture.
Aquaproduct is the 13th company involved in fish farming in Vologda. The region’s current fish production is expected to reach 300 MT this year and is expected to go up to 1,000 MT by 2020.