Locals in the area of Molochny, a village south of Murmansk city, have probably long wondered where the intense stench of rotten fish comes from. This week it became clearer. Tons of distorted salmon is dumped in the area, parts of it bulldozed into the ground, parts located in the open.
According to locals, every week up to eight trucks have dumped fish loads in the area, news site Bloger51 reports. Pictures from the site show major volumes of rottening salmon scattered on site.
It still remains unclear where the fish comes from, and the reason for the dumping. However, the findings published by Bloger51 increases pressure on the regional aquaculture industry, and first of all on Russian Aquaculture, the powerful company operating the lion’s share of fish farms in the area.
As previously reported, local salmon fishermen this summer cried alarm as numerous discoveries of infected wild salmon were made in regional rivers. Suspicions were quickly directed against Russian Aquaculture, however the allegations were rebuffed by the company.
Sources told Bloger51 that the regional aquaculture industry is seriously troubled by infection outbreaks, and that big numbers of fish in spring this year escaped from from a fish farm.
Following the discoveries of infection, Murmansk regional authorities in mid-August decided to introduce a moratorium on salmon fishing in the major rivers and initiated investigations.
The Russian Aquaculture have major plans in Murmansk Oblast and promise regional investments of up to 13 billion rubles. Production is planned boosted to 21,000 tons in years 2019-2020, four times more than in the period 2014-2015.
However, the ambitious plans have not progressed smoothly. On 18 July, the company’s new major storage refrigerator facility outside Murmansk burnt to the ground giving material damage of up to 130 million rubles, Vedomosti reports. In addition, the company admits that the outbreak of disease in its salmon farms in the first half of the year have given major economic losses.
According to the newspaper, first half 2015 results from the company show total losses of 325,5 million rubles.
Before 2014, Russian Aquaculture produced only trout. From 2015, the company expanded with salmon and that same year delivered 4500 tons of salmon and 600 ton of trout to the market. The company is owned by Gleb Frank and Maksim Vorobyov, two businessmen closely associated with powerful tycoon Gennady Timchenko and Moscow Governor Andrey Vorobyov.