Oksana Gavrosh, Karelia's acting minister of agriculture, fishery and hunting, told state-run news agency TASS that trout production in the region expanded to 21,200 tonnes last year, and that by 2020, this is expected to further rise to 35,000 tonnes.
"Karelia's government jointly with the [Federal Agency for Fishery] Rosrybolovstvo have finalised the plan [to develop a] fishery cluster which would include professional training for the sector, infrastructure of closed-loop cycle… its processing and selling,” Gavrosh said.
The project is estimated to be worth more than RUB 2 billion (€29.5 million).
The 43 farms active in Russia’s Leningrad region produce 98% of the country’s rainbow trout. Last year, the region’s aquaculture industry players reported a total production of 7,562 tonnes, and in the first quarter of 2017, production already reached 3,700 tonnes, according to data from the state authorities.
On a related note, a new feed mill was recently opened in the region. The facility, operated by local company Karelian Fish Plants Korma, is designed to decrease the region’s dependence on feed imports, according to Ilya Shestakov, Russia’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture and president of the Rosrybolovstvo, who took part in the ceremony. The mill was fitted with an initial capacity of 2,500 tonnes per year, and this could be further expanded to up to 12,000 tonnes annually.
Shestakov recently said that the government aims to boost the country’s aquaculture industry, with plans to reach an annual production of 700,000 tonnes of fish and seafood by 2030. To foster growth, the state plans to allocate close to RUB 400 million (€6 million) this year to various aquaculture investments by local entities.