”We are in the same boat”, Deputy Governor Aleksey Tyukavin said about the regional government’s position on Russian Sea Aquaculture and the major violations discovered in the Murmansk salmon farm industry.
Speaking in a press conference this week, Tyukavin blamed the ”tabloid press” for making fuss around the case.
”Nobody, including the government, needs this gossip and the featuring of various perspectives”, he said, adding that the media is ”casting doubt about the overall viability of the aquaculture industry in Murmansk Oblast”.
As previously reported, regional veterinary authorities are conducting investigations of the major volumes of dead salmon dumped on several sites in the region. According to Bloger51, the volumes might amount to as much as 2000 tons.
Only in Molochny, a village south of Murmansk, up to three meter thick layers of half-rotten fish is found stored near a local farm.
Yuri Kitashin, General Director of Russian Sea Aquaculture, in the press conference admitted that his company in early summer had ”a heightened level of fish death” in its two aquaculture farms in Ura Guba, fjord located about 100 km west of Murmansk city. However, the company does not take any responsibility for the dumping of the fish, Bloger51.com reports.
Kitashin confirmed that an agreement with farm owner Artyem Andronaki had been signed over the demolition of the fish and that it consequently has no responsibilty for the illegally storage at the site.
”Key principles for our company is law compliancy, transparency and social responsibility”, Kitashin underlined. ”We would never have allowed such a barbarian destruction of fish and pollution of the environment”, he added. At the same time, however, the company representative confirmed that some of the dead fish had been attempted transported to facilities in Karelia.
General Director Kitashin did not say anything about the actual reason for the massive fish death at the the company’s facilities.
According to Viktoria Gomerova, Acting Head of the Murmansk Veterinary Committee, the Murmansk region is nowhere close to be able to handle the major volumes of biological waste.
The veterinary leader now warns that the unsanctioned storage of rottening fish could pose a threat to people’s health in the region. The rottening process generates toxix chemicals and disease could potentially erupt and spread. Video footage from the site show big number of feasting birds which could spread the poisonous materials over bigger areas.
Furthermore, Gomerova raises questions about the company’s management of the fish farms. ”What is actually happening in the cage nets at Titovka-1 and Titovka-2 [the facilities in the Ura Bay] is only known by employees of Russian Sea – Aquaculture and the divers which are working on site”, she says.
According to Bloger51, the lion’s share of the waste will most likely be left rottenening on site.
Following massive fish death in one of its net cages, the company in spring this year decided to cut loose parts of the cage bottom in order to ease the weight pressure. That resulting in the escape of a major number of farm fish into the local fjord.