Russian Aquaulture fears export ban on smolts

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The Ukraine war creates uncertainty for Russian-owned smolt suppliers.

On Thursday morning, Russia began its war of aggression against its neighbour Ukraine. On the same day, SalmonBusiness’ sister site, iLaks, called in an editorial for the end of Norway’s exports of smolt to Russia.

Much of this smolt export goes through two smolt producers, Villa Smolt and Olden Oppdrettsanlegg, owned by the Russian fish farming company Russian Aquaculture. SalmonBusiness has revealed that this company has close ties to the power elite in the Kremlin.

Arne Geirulv, chairman of the board of Villa Smolt and Olden Oppdrettsanlegg fears that the Norwegian authorities will introduce an export ban on smolt to Russia.

“Then we are left sitting with fish that need to be put in the sea but that we can not sell, Geirulv told media outlet Nationen.

“If there is an export ban, we must put the fish up for sale in the Norwegian market. I would assume that most food fish farmers in Norway have already ordered the smolt they should have. I do not envisage that there is a simple market to sell fish in, and in that case it must be destroyed in accordance with laws and regulations,” he continued.

The Norwegian-produced smolt is transported by well boats to the Kola Peninsula on the Russian side of the border, where it is released into cages in fjords controlled by the Russian Northern Fleet.

Russian Aquaculture has facilities in the Murmansk area. ILLUSTRATION PHOTO: Russian Aquaculture