Aquaproduct breaks ground on salmon RAS in Russia

Published on
September 3, 2019

A new aquaculture operation is planned for the Russian region of Vologda in 2020, and it will be the first recirculating aquaculture system (RAS)-based farm in the country.

Aquaproduct is planning the facility, which held a groundbreaking in the town of Gribkovo, roughly 500 kilometers from Moscow. According to the company, the facility has a projected annual capacity of 2,500 metric tons (MT) of Atlantic salmon; the company claims that the feed used will not contain antibiotics.

The groundbreaking was attended by Aquaproduct’s CEO Alexander Churkin and Vologda regional governor Oleg Kuvshinnikov. Regional governments throughout Russia are often eager to support initiatives in aquaculture, as the segment brings not only new tax revenue and creates new jobs, but also supplies retailers in the area with relatively cheap fish. That’s even more important for territories like Vologda, which is located a few hundred kilometers from fishing areas.  

The farm is planned to be roughly two hectares, with 17 cubic meter tanks. Monthly, 50,000 fish will be stocked, and no antibiotics will be used, Churkin said during the ceremony.  

The second development phase of the farm involves the construction of more facilities for another 2,500 MT of production, as well as processing plant and a feed factory. While the first stage is claimed to start production in 2020, no terms have been announced for the second stage. 

Aquaculture is on the top priority list for Vologda as the region has plenty to offer to investors: 650,000 hectares of ponds are available for farming, and logistics options include the Volgo-Balt canal system, railways, and an extensive road network. The climate is rather favorable for aquaculture, too. 

Currently, 12 companies are operating in the segment, bringing 174 MT of fish and fish seed in 2018, and 300 MT believed to be in 2019. In 2020, it will go up to 1,000 MT.

Contributing Editor reporting from Saint Petersburg, Russia

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