Business, regional and local authorities have signed an agreement to develop aquaculture in Murmansk. (Photo: gov-murman.ru)
The company Russian Salmon plans to invest €20 million in aquaculture in Liinakhamari on the coast of the Barents Sea. The new facilities could give 300 new jobs and make Russia less dependent on smolt and fodder from Norway.
The Government of Murmansk Oblast, Pechenga municipality, the town of Pechenga and the company «Russian Salmon» have signed an agreement on establishment of a factory for production of salmon smolt and fish fodder in the Liinakhamari fjord close to the Norwegian border, the Regional Government’s web site reads.
The factory has a price tag of €20 million and will have a capacity of 10 million smolt, Interfax reports. Russian Salmon’s future plans for the area include expanding the fish farm and establishing a fish processing plant that can give work to 300 people.
Aquaculture will have a high priority in Murmansk in the years to come. The area where the factory will be built will be closed for other activity that could harm the environment in the area, Acting Governor of Murmansk Marina Kovtun says. The authorities are now preparing regulations for the use of four different bays in the area – Ambarnoy, Pechenga, Malaya Volokovaya and Bolshaya Volokovaya.
The smolt factory will be ready by 2017, Interfax reports.
In 2012 Russian Salmon and Norwegian aquaculture company Kirkenes Charr announced that they had entered a cooperation plan that involved smolt production in Norway for fish farms in Russia. It is not clear what will happen with these plans now when Russian Salmon has decided to establish its own smolt factory: “We will have to see how to ensure the letter of intent between Russian Salmon and Kirkenes Charr when we have had time to evaluate this issue a bit more,” Frode Stålsett, Chairman of the board in Kirkenes Charr says to BarentsObserver. “An agreement with Russian Salmon is not crucial for our plans and we are continuing working on our concept. One important part of our concept is to have the plant approved for delivery to both Russia and Norway”, Stålsett explains.
In May 2013 Liinakhamari port management authorities informed about negotiations with potential investors on construction of a port for reloading of 15 million tons of oil and 4 million tons of fertilizers. Since then, there has been no news about these plans.