Russian Aquaculture: “It is very risky for us to only sell our fish the Russian market”

A rare glimpse inside the workings of Russia’s largest aquaculture company.

In a Youtube Video produced by China’s government-funded news service, Xinhua got access to Russian Aquaculture operations in Barents Sea in the Murmansk region.

Xinhua visited its largest fish farm, which has 16 cages with 2.1 million fish inside. The company said that it expects to reach 35 thousand tonnes by 2025.

CEO Ilya Sosnov said: “It is very risky for us to only sell our fish the Russian market. Therefore the Chinese market is certainly important to us for the long-term strategic perspective. I think the Chinese market will be the largest market for salmon consumption in the world.”

While China is most certainly an important market, short-term it will not be its focus.

In March, the deputy head of Russia’s Federal Agency for Fisheries Vasily Sokolov announced that the Russian government is drawing up plans to make salmon production account for 37 per cent of all aquaculture by 2030.

Russia’s import ban on western nations means that the domestic market is a potential gold mine, a 150,000-tonne market which is even bigger than China’s today.

The company expects to produce about 18,000 – 20,000 tonnes of fish by the end of 2019.