Russian Aquaculture Company explores farming salmon in Russia’s Far East

Published on
October 8, 2020

The Russian Aquaculture company plans to become the first fishery to farm salmon in a region which previously has been deemed unfit for growing the species.

The company is thinking of establishing a mariculture facility on a site it leased through an auction in July 2020. 

As Russian Aquaculture’s CEO Ilya Sosnov told RBC newspaper, the site is in the south of the Primorsky region, in the Posyet Bay, 30 kilometers from North Korea. 

At the moment, there are no salmon farms throughout the Russian Far East, which is ironically the main source of wild salmon. In the words of the Association of Industrial and Trade Enterprises of the Fishery Market’s Deputy Director Alexander Fomin, the local natural conditions don’t favor farming of the species due to a lack of creeks and bays shielded from winds. The water’s temperature is another negative factor: In winter it’s too cold, which means higher expenses and lower effectiveness.  

Russian Aquaculture is Russia’s biggest producer of farmed salmon, with a 20 percent market share in this segment. The company runs farms in the Murmansk region growing salmon, and in the Republic of Karelia with rainbow trout. A few years ago, the fishery conducted an IPO and SPO to raise funds for expansion. To secure stocking material, the company Aquaculture bought two plants in Norway. 

In the first six months of 2019, the company’s turnover was RUB 4.8 billion (USD 61.58 million, EUR 52.27 million) – 16 times higher than in H1 2018 – with a net profit of RUB 1 billion (USD 12.82 million, EUR 10.9 million).

The first half 2020, however, was not so good. While sales rose to RUB 5.2 billion (USD 66.7 million, EUR 56.62 million), despite the COVID-19 pandemic, net losses were RUB 402 million (USD 5.16 million, EUR 4.4 million). The reason, the company explained, was the cold June, which resulted in a lowered weight of fish, which was in its turn translated into the reassessment of the assets. Warmer temperatures in July and August helped partially make up the losses.  

Photo courtesy of Andrei Stepanov/Shutterstock

Contributing Editor reporting from Saint Petersburg, Russia

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