Oyster production in Russia has grown 265 times

Over three years of the food embargo in Russia, the production of marine delicacies has dramatically increased: mussels - more than 12 times, oysters - in 265. Most of the increase in production of the Crimea.
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The flowering of the mariculture

The production of mussels and oysters in Russia has increased since the introduction of food counter-saturations by more than 17 times, to 1.7 thousand tons, from data prepared by Rosrybolovstvo at the request of RBC.

Until 2014, mussels and oysters were supplied to Russia from abroad, mainly from the European Union. But in August 2014, these products were on the list of prohibited goods from the EU, the US, Canada and a number of other countries that imposed sanctions against Russia. In Russia until 2014 there was no mass production of oysters, and mussels in the volume of about 100 tons were produced only in the Primorsky Territory.

Subsequently, oyster farms appeared in the Krasnodar Territory: in 2014 there were produced, according to Rosrybolovstva, only 2 tons of oysters. In the same year in the Krasnodar Territory began to grow and mussels - in just a year was grown 9 tons.

In 2015, oyster production increased 15-fold compared to the previous year, to 30 tons, mussels - almost four-fold, to 345 tons. The geography of production expanded: in 2015, the mussel farms appeared not only in the Krasnodar and Primorye Territories, but and in Sevastopol, the Crimea and Karelia.

A year later, oyster farms appeared in Sebastopol and the Crimea, as well as in the Maritime Territory: the total production of this delicacy increased seven-fold, from 30 to 216 tons. By the end of 2017, 531 tons of oysters were grown in Russian farms and almost 1, 2 thousand tons of mussels. Thus, for three full years since the introduction of counter-forces, the production of mussels increased by 12.4 times, and oysters by 265 times.

In Rosrybolovstvo clarified that it is only about mariculture, that is, the breeding of mollusks in artificial conditions.

New law and low base

Food embargo is not the only reason for the heyday of Russian production of sea delicacies, noted in Rosrybolovstvo. A representative of the federal agency reminded that after the adoption of the so-called law on aquaculture, a large-scale distribution of new fish-breeding areas began in 2015. In addition, the legal and regulatory framework for fish farming was improved, and enterprises engaged in the development of aquaculture began to allocate subsidies. These measures, together with the increased demand for Russian seafood, prompted investors to implement projects to grow shellfish, Rosrybolovstvo noted.

The sharp increase in production is primarily due to the effect of a low base, said Alexander Fomin, vice president of the Association of Manufacturing and Trade Enterprises of the Fish Market (Fish Association). In 2017, Russia imported, according to the Federal Customs Service, almost 283 tons of fresh, cooled and frozen oysters, which is 29% more than in the previous year and 1.1 thousand tons of mussels (+ 4%). Oysters are imported to Russia mainly from Tunisia, New Zealand, South Korea, Morocco and Japan, mussels from New Zealand, China, Chile and Tunisia.

The Crimean barn

The most actively increase the production of aqua farms in the Crimea, recognized in Rosrybolovstvo. According to the agency, the peninsula became the largest producer of marine delicacies: according to the results of the last year, every second Russian mussel and two-thirds of all oysters were grown in the Crimea.

In 2017, Crimean farms produced 39 tons of commercial oysters, 319 tons of oysters that did not reach marketable weight (40 grams), and 604 tons of mussels, the head of the Department of Fisheries of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Crimea, Andrei Dedyukhin, told RBC. Now, according to his information, 11 farms are engaged in the cultivation of mussels and oysters on the peninsula (there are only eight enterprises on the ministry's website).

The bulk of marketable oysters and mussels are produced by enterprises that are part of the Crimean seafood group, whose farms are located on Donuzlav Lake, Dedyukhin specified. In 2017, the group, as RBC told its former executive director Vladimir Mazanov, produced 60 tons of mussels and about 700,000 pieces of oysters, and intends to increase production to 2 million oysters, thanks to the previously introduced spate (juvenile mussels and oysters ). Planting material for oysters company imports from nurseries in France, because its in Russia there. The capacity of the mussel farm in Donuzlav will increase to 500-700 tons of mussels by the end of the year, according to Mazanov. The company does not disclose financial indicators.

In the first half of 2018, 11 tons of commodity oysters, 4 tons of oysters that have not reached marketable weight and 213,000 tons of mussels have already been grown in the Crimea, Dedyukhin said. The main harvest of shellfish will be collected in the autumn, but in the republican Ministry of Agriculture they expect an increase of 5-10% compared to last year.

Expensive pleasure

While oysters and mussels remain a delicacy product and the main channel for their sales - the HoReCa segment (hotels, restaurants and cafes), as well as medium and high-end retail chains, Ilya Bereznyuk, managing partner of Agro and Food Communications agency, said. In his opinion, the volume of industrial production of mollusks can be increased tens of times, but for this it is necessary to solve the problem with the culture of consumption. "The Russian consumer, for example, still perceives mollusks as an ingredient for salads, and the peak of their sales falls on the pre-holiday period," Bereznyuk complained.

Applications for the formation of the boundaries of new fish breeding areas for the cultivation of oysters and mussels come quite often, Dedyukhin said. In total, according to him, since 2015 in the Crimea, 32 new fish breeding areas have been formed, and 12 of them have already been traded and contracts have been concluded. The production of Crimean aqua farms is in demand with the local population, so at least half of the mussels and oysters produced remain in the Crimea, and the remainder is sent mainly to Moscow and St. Petersburg, Dedyukhin added. Growth of consumption of Russian mussels and oysters was confirmed by restaurateur Arkady Novikov, owner of Novikov Group (network of burgers #Farsh, restaurant Bolshoi, coffee houses Krispy Kreme, gastronomarket "Vokrug sveta"). "I do not eat oysters at all, but the guests, if the price is good, they are going with a bang," Novikov admitted. Minus Russian seafood restaurateur called the price: according to him, sometimes they are more expensive than imported. In the restaurant Novolny Vostok, owned by Novikov Group, one oyster from Tunisia costs, as indicated on the site of the establishment, 350 rubles.

On average, the launch of a single farm with specialized equipment for growing mussels with a capacity of up to 250 tons of finished commodity can cost the investor 10-15 million rubles. In general, the capital costs for a complex of three farms with a total output of up to 750 tons will be about 40 million rubles, according to Bereznyuk. According to him, the first harvest can be obtained in 2.5-3 years.

Known Oyster Investors

In May 2016, the company "Southern Citadel" received plots for the cultivation of oysters and mussels under Gelendzhik. The plots are located along the coastline from the village of Divnomorskoe to Cape Idokopas, where there is a resort complex that became known as the "Putin Palace" (a building with an area of ​​17.7 thousand square meters on a land plot of 67.8 hectares), while in the Kremlin many times refuted the president's connection with him. In March 2011, businessman Alexander Ponomarenko called himself the owner of the complex (he takes 34th place in the Forbes magazine's latest rating of "200 richest businessmen of Russia" with a fortune of $ 3.4 billion): he then told Kommersant that he bought a finishing object worth $ 350 million from Nikolai Shamalov.

The only owner of the "South Citadel" as of May 2016 is its CEO, Alexei Vasilyuk. In November 2017 LLC "Southern Citadel", according to the USRLE, ceased to exist, as it was transformed into JSC "South Citadel". According to the Unified State Register of Legal Entities for March 2017, the owner of the LLC was already Alexander Ponomarenko. Information about the shareholders of JSC "South Citadel" in the Unified State Register of Legal Entities is not available.

The company associated with the family of ex-Minister of Agriculture Alexander Tkachev is also engaged in the production of mussels in the Krasnodar Territory. In 2016, the "Agrocomplex named after. N.I. Tkachev "initiated the formation of a fish breeding site in the Blue Bay area of ​​the Tuapse region, where the agrofirma planned to develop the production of mussels and oysters.

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