The Russian Aquaculture is owned by Gleb Frank and Maksim Vorobyov, two businessmen closely associated with powerful tycoon Gennady Timchenko and Moscow Governor Andrey Vorobyov respectively.
In a visit to the dump site this week, representatives of the regional Ministry of Natural Resources together with veterinary authorities and other public bodies confirmed that the owner of a nearby agriculture farm and the Russian Aquaculture had signed a deal on dumping of the fish.
A document from the ministry, obtained by BarentsObserver, states that experts will further investigate the case and that legal action might follow.
Before 2014, Russian Aquaculture produced only trout. In 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 has previously promised regional investments in Murmansk Oblast of up to 13 billion rubles and aimed at a production of 21,000 tons by years 2019-2020, four times more than in the period 2014-2015.
The company has its main facilites in the Pechenga Bay, only few kilometers from Norway, and in the neighboring Ura Bay.
Satellite pictures from the Pechenga Bay show as many as 150 pen nets scattered over only a five kilometer of water. The outbreak of infection in one of the nets would quickly spread to the neighboring nets and distort major parts of the facility.
Pictures from the dump site show containers marked with «Titovka-1», a name which indicates that the load comes from the Pechenga Bay.
News site Bloger51 has previously reported that Russian Aquaculture lately has sold salmon without heads in a bid to conceal the disease. Furthermore, a major number of fish in spring this year escaped from a facility operated by the company, the website informs. The infected salmon could pose a serious threat also to salmon in neighboring Norway.