Russian Aquaculture, the country’s largest salmon farming business, experienced lower harvests and earnings in 2020, the company’s – as yet unaudited – operating results for last year show.
But it says the main reason for the 8% decrease was not the coronavirus pandemic, but the shift in some fish slaughtering activity to this year due to slower fish growth to its marketable weight . The company blames abnormally low water temperatures during the first half of 2020.
Harvest volumes (heads on gutted) totalled 15,500 tonnes, against 16,900 tonnes in 2019, all of which was sold.
Revenues for last year came out at RUB (roubles) 8,346m or around £80.7m against RUB 8,798m (£85m), down by 5% on 2019.
The Murmansk region, which shares the southern Barents Sea coastline with northern Norway, is Russian Aquaculture’s largest salmon farming area and accounted for 14,200 tonnes of the 2020 harvest total.
The company said the average salmon selling price increased overall by 4% to RUB 538 (NOK 61.3) per kilo, which is higher than the average price its Norwegian neighbours were earning during much of last year.
Along with salmon and trout farming around Murmansk, Russian Aquaculture’s other activities include the production of trout and some caviar on the lakes of the Republic of Karelia.
The group currently owns cultivation rights for 37 sites for farming salmon and rainbow trout. The total potential production volume for these sites is around 50,000 tonnes of salmonids.
The company’s long-term development strategy involves the creation of the largest vertically integrated player in the aquaculture market, including the production of feed and stocking material, primary processing, and distribution of its own products.
Meanwhile, the Russian government has announced plans for a £3m salmon and trout broodstock facility in the Murmansk region as part of a huge general industrial and mining investment programme in the Arctic region.

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