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employ imported technologies, all raw materials are expected to be sourced domestically.


New efficiency level The main problem with Russian fish feed is poor efficiency. Farmers usually complain that when using domestic feed, they encounter high mortality rates and slow weight gain. In addition, some Russian producers supply feed of uneven quality, with one batch better than the next. This makes the Russian products less competitive on the market, compared to imported fish feed. This problem will hopefully be solved by the All-Russian Research Institute of Fisheries and Ocean- ography VNIRO, which is working with feed companies to im- prove their formulations. “We developed and tested fish feed using new sources of protein, and the results thus obtained are not inferior to imported feed in terms of fish growth rates,” Roman Artyomov, the head of the feed department at VNIRO, told the Russian veterinary body Rosselhoznad- zor’s in-house publication. The new feed is also expected to secure better costs for Russian fish farmers. It is expected to be 20% to 30% cheaper than imported feed. During the last five years, the Russian ruble’s exchange rate experienced a nearly twofold slump due to international sanctions and price fluctuations on the global oil market. This downward


rally was painful for the companies relying on imported feed. While the poultry, pig, dairy, and beef industry in the country are almost completely self-sufficient on feed in Russia, in aquaculture, up to 80% of feed is still imported. As estimated by Artyomov, domestic aquaculture currently consumes around 320,000 tonnes of feed per year, mainly ex- truded feed for salmon, sturgeon, and whitefish and granu- lated feed for carp species. “The extruded feed consumption is about 90,000 tonnes, of which about 20,000 tonnes are produced in Russia; the rest is imported,” Artyomov said. This balance is likely to change thanks to the Russian scientists, who promise to provide Russian producers with new high-quality formulations shortly. “VNIRO has created a multi- functional testing centre for feed produced in Russia. And now the institute has cost-effective and competitive feed for- mulations for carp, sturgeon, whitefish, trout, and Pacific salmon. In 2020, our specialists began developing feed for crustaceans, in particular for Australian red claw crayfish and bath shrimp,” Artyomov said. Russian scientists are also cur- rently testing insect protein as a component of fish feed, he added, not providing additional details. This may be impor- tant since quite a few fish farms in Russia still apply the tradi- tional practice of feeding fish only with grain, refusing to ac- cept any innovations. “The majority of pasture farms in the


▶ ALL ABOUT FEED | Volume 29, No. 5/6, 2021


The quality of fish feed is a matter of major concern in Russia.


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