YEREVAN, April 7. / ARKA /. Only eight fish farms in Armenia have switched to semi-closed water recycling system, according to Artur SAtoyan, the head of the Armenian Association of Fish Farms.
Last year the government gave 18 months to all fish farms in the country to shift to semi-closed water recycling system, whereby some 70 % of the water is used several times thus contributing to its more efficient use and reduction of costs.
However, the transition suggests installment of expensive new technology, the price of which, depending on the size of farms, may range from 700,000 to 1.5 million euros.
A recent USAID-funded study, managed by Clean Energy and Water Program (CEWP), has revealed that over the last 6-8 years, the level of groundwater resources in the Ararat Valley that has the bulk of fish farms, has significantly decreased, leaving over 30 communities without reliable access to potable and/or irrigation water.
According to Artur Atoyan, these eight companies have themselves developed new technologies to adapt them to local conditions. He said many other companies which are unable to buy modern technologies had to shut down.
Thus, according to last September data, 77 of 234 fish farms had already been closed.
Atoyan argued that the government’s efforts to save water resources should not hinder normal operation of fish farms. He suggested that a special task force be set up to look into the problem.
According to the agriculture ministry, fish production last year rose by 2,800 metric tons to 11,600 tons.-0-