YEREVAN, February 24. / ARKA /. Armenian fish farmers can produce as much as 70,000 tons of fish a year, a deputy minister of agriculture, Grisha Baghiyan, told reporters today.
According to him, Armenian fish farms produce now about 11,000 tons of fish selling their products in Armenia and the Russian Federation.
He said the agricultural development strategy calls for increasing this number to 25,000 tons, but the farms’ capacity enables them to produce up to 70,000 tons, he said.
Baghiyan said local fish farms will have no selling problems because the monthly consumption in Russia’s Moscow or St. Petersburg is some 11,000 tons.
"Therefore, we expect that Armenia's joining the Customs Union will open up for local fish farms a huge market ," he added.
According to him, shifting to the so-called semi-closed water recycling system is an effective way to increase the production of fish.
Under a recent Armenian government decision, all fish farms are given 18 months to shift to semi-closed water recycling system, whereby some 70% of the water will be used several times to contribute to its more efficient use and reduce the costs.
However, the transition to the new system suggests introduction of expensive new technology, the price of which , depending on the size of farms, may range from 700,000 to 1.5 million euros.
According to the ministry of agriculture, last year fish output increased by 2,800 tons to 11,600 tons. -0-