YEREVAN, May 5. / ARKA /. The prime cost of Armenia-grown fish is very likely to grow again in the near future, Arthur Atoyan, chairman of the Armenian Fish Farmers and Exporters, told a news conference today.
"Higher international prices of fish food, a tenfold increase in the price of water used by fish farms, the mandatory introduction of semi-closed water recycling system and licensing of fish farms will increase the cost of locally grown fish and force also many fish farms to shut down,” he said.
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. 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), 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 Atoyan, the increase in the price of water used by fish farms has pushed the primary cost of trout from 1,580 drams per kilogram in 2012 to 1,800 drams now.
According to the ministry of agriculture, fish production in 2013 increased by 2,800 metric tons from the previous year to 11,600 metric tons. ($ 1 - 413.59 drams). -0