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Mariculture is rapidly developing in Primorsky Krai

The state budget support promotes development of maricultures. In 2017, according to the state program on the development of the fishery complex, seaside aquaculture enterprises are planned to be subsidized up to 20 million rubles. These funds are aimed to be used for resettlement of young species, leasing and acquisition of equipment.

It is believed that the climate conditions of Primosrky Krai are the most favourable for artificial reproduction of different species of mollusks, seaweed and fish on an industrial scale.

New areas for the cultivation of hydrobionts are being currently developed; the existing areas are increasing their production volumes. The key to the successful development of mariculture is a careful attitude to nature and serious investment in its production. However, the return of the investment can be expected no earlier than in 3–5 years. Taking into account the proximity of almost unlimited in their capacity foreign markets, where marine bioresources are in high demand, the prospects for investment in sea cucumber, scallop and laminaria are very high.

Gennady Podkorytov, General Director of Zhilsotsservis, LLC: «It is important to love the business that you are working with. Also, it is essential to keep a balance between profit and environmental friendliness. Each area of mariculture should be operated in different ways, taking into account its own features. It is absolutely outstanding that President Putin and Deputy Prime Minister Trutnev want our mariculture to develop, which reduces the number of administrative barriers. We have growing hydrobionts on the island of Ricorda for 19 years. Tourists and residents have a great opportunity to try fresh local sea products; they can even dive for scallop with a scuba, which makes their experience even more exciting.

Few people know, that mariculture also has a positive impact on the environment. We started working with mariculture at Primorrybpro, JSC in 1975. What have noticed so far? The breeder stock increases, and gives more larvae. The larvae are carried by currents and settle to the bottom even in places where there are practically no hydrobionts in nature. The amount of scallop around the plantations increases. Anthropogenic pressure on the water area is growing. If we want to preserve valuable species in a natural habitat, we must reproduce them artificially».

The most delicious and useful

The possibility of aquaculture development is determined by a variety of aquatic organisms that inhabit Primorsky Krai. There is a great number of bays, suitable for locating mariculture farms.

The quality of the aquatic organisms grown in Primorsky Krai is highly evalated by experts and ordinary consumers. In the Yellow Sea, where a huge number of mariculture products are grown today, the water is dirty and there are no free water areas. This is not «native» water for most hydrobionts, they prefer lower temperature waters. The taste and qualities of seafood from Primorsky Krai are immeasurably higher. Therefore, scallop, sea cucumber, mussels, and seaweed grown in Primorsky Krai are very popular at Asian markets.

Sea cucumber, grown in the cool and clear waters of the Sea of Japan is the most delicious, clean and healthy. The Far Eastern sea cucumber is hard, however, the Korean one is more liquid. It is believed that the harder the sea cucumber is, the better its taste is.

Vitaly Dudko, a farmer in the field of mariculture: «Sea cucumber, of course, is the most resource-intensive bioresource. Since it attracts a lot of investors, there are a lot of «sea gardens». Before releasing a sea cucumber into a marine plantation, it is necessary to grow it from the larva to a viable condition. This is the main purpose of our company.

Since there is not a well-established way of raising a young sea cucumber in Primorsky Krai, we collaborate with foreign specialists who visit our plant. There are a lot of nuances here; we have had both successes and failures. Primorsky Krai is the most attractive region for the cultivation of mariculture. We have a lot of good closed bays here».

According to experts, the industry potential in Primorsky Krai is huge; it is up to 3 million tons of hydrobionts a year. The most promising objects of reproduction are sea cucumber, sea scallop, Pacific mussel, Japanese laminaria, and salmon fish. Scallop has been cultivated in Primorsky Krai since 1972; laminaria started being cultivated a few years later. Over the past few years, reproduction of oysters, surf clam, ark shells and other hydrobionts has significantly increased.

Also, Primorsky Krai is full of many freshwater reservoirs that are available for rent and growing fish. The natural conditions of the region make it possible to build up to 10–15 fish-breeding plants on salmon rivers of Primorsky Krai; today, there are only four plants.

Since 2016, fish farms are distributed through auctions, which are conducted by the Federal Agency for Fishery or its Territorial Administration in Primorsky Krai. In the first case, marine areas given for rent have great depths and are particularly suitable for growing sea cucumber and scallops). In the second case, in the second case, they are coastal areas.

The distribution of land in Primorsky Krai continues. On August 14–15, 21 plots with a total area of 3.64 thousand hectares were distributed at various auctions. At the moment, the region has formed 292 territories with a total area of 63.6 thousand hectares. This is more than 84% of the area of??all fish breeding areas in the Far Eastern Basin. 153 sites have already been allocated for use. In the process of organizing and holding trades there are 139 fish-breeding areas (with an area of 41.8 thousand hectares).

Sergei Maslennikov, director of the scientific and educational center Marine Biotechnopark: «It’s not a secret that Primorsky Krai has a great potential for the development of mariculture; its natural conditions are outstanding. However, production volumes are still insignificant. Until now, the process has been severely affected by administrative barriers. Now, when the branches are supported by the plenipotentiary Trutnev and Ministry for Development of the Russian Far East, the situation is changing for the better.

For the first time in many years, fish farms were exhibited at auctions and many of them found their tenants. Investors are representatives of big business. The second positive change is that the port workers and the military try to collaborate the muriculture specialists on defining the boundaries of the fish-breeding areas in the Far East of Russia. If it is necessary, the boundaries may be shifted».

Alexander Platonov, President of the Coastal Fisheries and Mariculture Association of Primorsky Krai: «The development of aquaculture in fresh waters is not as intense as in the sea waters. At the same time, this is a very promising direction: for both domestic and foreign markets.

There are new enterprises that lease areas of lakes and rivers and start breeding and growing species. The most common cultivated species are crucian carp, sazan, snakeheads, and trout. Our silver carp is popular in the People’s Republic of China. There are two state-owned and two private-plant-built plants in Primorsky Krai that grow chum salmon. Its fries are grown at the plant in the conditions favorable for their growth, and then released into the natural environment. In 3–4 years, adult fish return to the same river where it can be caught. In my opinion, it would be beneficial to start breeding other species of the salmon family, which also live in the natural environment of Primorsky Krai».

On the wave of growth

In the first half of 2017, aquaculture enterprises in Primorsky Krai harvested up to 7.87 tons of products, which is 2.7 thousand tons more than last year. The harvest of scallop was 4,757 tons, sea cucumber — 1,727 tons, laminaria — 928 tons, mussels — 382 tons, and oysters — 72 tons. Most of the harvest has been produced by the companies Zarubinskaya Navy Base, Nereida, Biobank, Biont-K, and Preobrazhenskaya Base of Trawling Fleet.

Denis Bochkarev, Vice Governor of Primorsky Krai noted that the increase in production volumes is associated with the usageof new aquaculture areas, as well as the growth in the capacity of enterprises, and the balance of unrealized products left for cultivation.

The state budget support promotes development of maricultures. In 2017, according to the state program on the development of the fishery complex, seaside aquaculture enterprises are planned to be subsidized up to 20 million rubles. These funds are aimed to be used for resettlement of young species, leasing and acquisition of equipment.

Fedor Novikov, Adviser of the General Director at the Nereida plant, member of the Public Expert Council on Aquatic Biological Resources and Mariculture: «The development of mariculture has gained momentum, and it’s developing in the right direction. Volumes of production will fluctuate; they are mostly determined by demand, as well as by natural and climatic factors. However, coastal enterprises will gradually reproduce hydrobionts more and more. Scallop is in the first place, sea cucumber is in the second place, followed by oysters, sea urchin, seaweed, and etc. Our neighbors from the APR countries have new technologies for growing shrimp and crab, which will soon be tested in Primorsky Krai. Vice Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev and Ministry for Development of the Russian Far East have made a great impact in the development of fishing and aquaculture. There has been a lot of work completed in order to improve the legislative framework and the distribution of fish-breeding areas».

Due to the fact that aquaculture enterprises in Primorsky Krai are experiencing a shortage of personnel, Far Eastern State Fishery University and Far Eastern Federal University work on training qualified specialists who can work at aquaculture enterprises. Students can gain valuable experience during their internship at the aquaculture enterprises. Far Eastern State Fishery University has its own scientific and experimental center of mariculture, a mini-factory and a section of the water area. Scientific research in the field of cultivation and use of marine hydrobionts is carried out by the TINRO-Center, the Pacific Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, the Pacific Institute of Marine Biology, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and colleges located in the Far East.