YEREVAN, March 5. /ARKA/. Armenian fish-breeding farm are making efforts to start exporting their fish products to European markets, head of Armenia’s Association of Fish Farmers Artur Atoyan said.
Armenia’s food safety service is currently developing a program to standardize local fish products in line with the European market safety requirements. European experts are expected to visit Armenia this summer, and exports of Armenian fish products may be launched already in September, Atoyan said.
Works are under way to make exports of black caviar, trout and sturgeon to Europe possible, he told ARKA.
Atoyan also said Armenian fish farms face a challenge to ensure compliance with European standards, which are quite strict compared to the Russian Federation requirements. In particular, fish farmers have to demonstrate what conditions fish was bred in over the last five years. Export volume will depend on demand, the head of the association said.
Atoyan noted fish farmers need support from the government to set exports and production going. A number of problems have recently occurred in fish-breeding in Armenia, for instance the ten-fold increase in water prices, he said. Licensing is required for fish farms from now on, which implies additional costs, Atoyan said.
Under a government decree of September 2013, fish farms will have to turn to semi-closed cycle water supply regime to ensure efficient use of water resources and reduction of costs. In order to meet the requirement fish farms will have to install new technologies that cost from 700,000 to 1.5 million depending on the size of a fish farm.
According to Armenia’s ministry of agriculture, fish production output rose by 2,800 tons to 11,600 tons in 2013 compared to the year before. –0--