Ahmad Ghana’at Parast, the aquaculture deputy of Gilan's Fisheries Organisation, told local news agency Mehr that Poland and Russia had expressed an interest in receiving more trout from Iran.
Iranian entities currently catch about 15,000 tonnes of trout per year in the Caspian Sea. Meanwhile, according to Parast, aquaculture produced around 30,000 tonnes of trout in the inland waters of Gilan province in 2016, and by 2021, this figure should reach 130,000 tonnes.
In addition to this, the Iranian authorities expect that the country’s Mazandaran province will become a major aquaculture hub, with an estimated capacity of some 170,000 tonnes per year. By 2021, the provinces of Gilan and Mazandaran alone are expected to provide a total of 300,000 tonnes of fish from aquaculture, Ghana'at Parast said.
Iranian officials have said they aim to develop trout aquaculture in the Caspian Sea region, and barramundi and sea bream aquaculture in the Persian Gulf.
In 2014, the country's total capture fisheries production stood at 627,180 tonnes. Capture fisheries in the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea have more than doubled since 1998, reaching close to 536,000 tonnes in 2014, according to data from FAO. Aquaculture production has rapidly increased from 27,000 tonnes in 1990 to 320,200 tonnes in 2014, representing about 34% of Iran’s total fish production that year. Production has been dominated by Chinese carps and rainbow trout grown in freshwater.
The province of Gilan is located in the country’s north-western part, on the shores of the Caspian Sea, and has a population of about 2.5 million inhabitants. Mazandaran province lies in northern Iran, also on the country’s Caspian Sea shore, and has a population of more than 3 million.