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Russia increases oyster production. Russian aqua farms have increased oyster production by more than a third over the two years of the pandemic. Growth was provided in the Primorye region (Russian Far East), but in the Crimea and Kuban, production has dropped sharply due to abnormal heat and floods causing mortalities.

Over the two years of the pandemic, the production of mussels and oysters on Russian farms has increased by a total of 57.8% – from 5.2 thousand tons in 2019 to 8.3 thousand tons in 2021, follows from the statistics provided by RBC Rosrybolovstvo. Separately, by category: the production of live oysters during this time increased by 38.7%, to 4.6 thousand tons, and live mussels – by 89.7%, to 3.7 thousand tons.

The growth of mariculture production has been observed in Russia for more than five years, a representative of the Federal Agency for Fisheries points out. The policy of import substitution and the improvement of the regulatory framework in the field of aquaculture allowed Russian aquaculture to increase the production of mussels and oysters, the department explains. Until 2014, oysters and mussels were mainly imported to Russia from Europe, recalls German Zverev, president of the All-Russian Fisheries Association (VARPE). There was no mass commercial production of oysters in the country; small volumes of mussels (about 100 tons per year) were produced only in Primorsky Krai. But after the introduction of the food embargo, oyster farms began to appear in the Krasnodar Territory, and since 2015 the geography of production has expanded: oyster and mussel farms began to appear in Sevastopol, Crimea and Karelia.

But, despite the overall increase in production, according to the statistics of the Federal Agency for Fishery, a sharp decrease in oyster production was recorded in the regions where it had been actively developing before: we are talking about the Crimea and the Krasnodar Territory. Now the main volume of oyster production is in Primorsky Krai: in 2021, 4.2 thousand tons of oysters were grown there, in two years production increased by 84%. After the introduction of the food embargo, the Federal Agency for Fishery began to auction plots in Primorye for the cultivation of oysters and other mariculture objects, Valentin Bogoslavsky, general director of the seaside company Nereida, told RBC. According to him, in 2016, investors received 967 hectares of fish farms. Now there are more than 114 enterprises in the region, to which 327 fish breeding sites are assigned, Zverev says.

In Crimea, the second largest producing region, only 212 tons of oysters were grown in 2021, four times less than in 2019 (922 tons). In the Krasnodar Territory, production fell by 47.2% over two years, from 36 to 19 tons. Only Sevastopol increased the figures: in 2021, oysters were grown there 2.6 times more than two years ago (101 tons). Prior to this, the production of oysters in these regions was growing: in 2018, in Crimea, on the southern coast and on Lake Donuzlav, production amounted to 706 tons (twice as much as a year earlier), in Sevastopol – 87 tons (+ 34%), in Krasnodar Territory – 55 tons (2.8 times more than a year earlier).

The decline in shellfish production in the Crimea and Kuban is caused by a number of reasons, including adverse weather conditions, Sergey Tatko, chairman of the board of the Black Sea Association of Mariculture Enterprises, explains. “In 2020 and 2021, a thermocline arose in the Krasnodar Territory due to abnormal heat – a temperature jump in different layers of water (the water temperature rose more than 27 degrees). Also, last year’s heavy rainfall and storms in the Black Sea affected mariculture cages, causing oyster kills on aquaculture farms,” Tatko says.


Source: rbc.ru