YEREVAN, March 6. /ARKA/. The temporary restrictions imposed by Rosselkhoznadzor, Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance, on four Armenian fish-breeding companies’ exports to Russia now apply to only one company – Dimitri, Arthur Atoyan, head of the Armenian Fish-Breeders Association, told journalists today.
The restrictions were imposed on the fish exported by Aquatekhautomatica, Unifish, Dimitri and Gos companies on September 27, 2012 because of the excessive level of coliform bacteria found in the fish imported in Russia from Armenia and Iceland.
Later, the Russian surveillance agency lifted the restrictions from the products of three of the mentioned companies leaving only Dimitri Company’s exports banned.
Nevertheless, Russia continues to apply pre-emptive measures against Armenian fish exports from time to time, and Armenian fish-breeders are not secured from future bans.
Armenian Fish-Breeders Association says fish exports, as a rule, are carefully examined by Armenia’s food safety agency, but no coliform bacteria had been found.
“Russia is the only country imposing ban on fish imports because of coliform bacteria,” Atoyan said. “Colifom bacterium can appear on a fish if it falls on the floor, but disappear after the fish is rinsed or undergoes thermal processing.”
The Russian surveillance agency didn’t say on what stage of transportation or sale coliform bacteria had been found, Atoyan said.
It is known, he said, that Rosselkhoznadzor’s officials admitted in private conversations that it was nothing more than a mere collusion against Armenian fish-breeders designed to bar them from entering Russia’s market.
“Armenia produces organic fish, which can be competitive at world markets, and we should to enter new markets,” he said.
Armenian Fish-Breeders Association says 215 fish breeding companies operate in Armenia now instead of 180 in 2011.
Armenia exported 1,530 tons of fish in 2012, 800 tons in 2011 and 600 in 2010.
Armenia’s fish sent to Russia makes up about 80% or 90% of its fish exports. Armenia exports its fish also to Georgia, the United Arab Emirates, the United States and other countries. -0-