Ukrainian fisheries and aquaculture in tatters


Source: Ukghydroenergo

Destruction of the Kakhovka Dam on the Dnypro River could be the worst thing to date to have happened to the already heavily-troubled sectors

While the ongoing conflict with Russia raged on, Ukrainian fisheries companies faced all manner of challenges throughout 2022. Among these was the seaport blockade which, according to the state agency for land reclamation and water resources Gosryboagentsvo, resulted in commercial fishing in Black Sea becoming virtually paralysed, with fishers only able to conduct operations in small pockets of coastal zones near the regions of Mikolaiv and Kherson.

There, they could feel relatively safe, but caught only a very modest 10,100 tonnes of fish last year, Gosryboagentsvo calculated.

“Years ago, we caught about 220,000 tonnes of fish [per year]. After the annexation of Crimea, this figure halved to about 100,000 tonnes. In 2021, it stood at between 65,000 and 70,000 tonnes,” said Dmitry Zagumenny, general director of the Ukrainian Association of Fish and Seafood Importers.

It’s also a grim picture in the fish farming segment, with Gosryboagentsvo confirming that in most of the regions that saw conflict in 2022, the fish farms present in those territories sustained damage, with many losing their ponds, equipment and fish. Some farmers also lost access to their assets after the territories around them were mined, it added. Indeed, it’s estimated that landmines and unexploded shells can now be found across 30% of the country.

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