Fisheries sector in Kazakhstan is set to increase its production volumes

Fisheries sector in Kazakhstan is set to increase its production volumes
Currently, no other agricultural product in the country can compete with the export volumes of the Kazakh grain and flour. However, there is some progress observed in Kazakh fisheries sector. After all, the main thing is to become popular among the customers and to build up your own niche. According to Kazakh Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources, as a result of fish processing, 30,000 tons of products totaling US$60 million (or 24.2 billion tenge) were exported last year. This is 16.6 percent more than in 2018.

The fish processing plant in Zhambyl region is among the well-established exporters. The enterprise exports nearly 400 tons of fish per year. The finished goods conquered the markets of Russia, China, Turkey and Europe. 70 percent of all processed fish is exported to these foreign countries and the rest is supplied to the domestic market. The fish products are in demand in Nur-Sultan, Almaty and Karagandy.

“Every day we process nearly four tons of our fish, mainly the bream. We produce nearly 10 types of fish products. For example, bone meal, fillets, fish sticks and meatballs,” said the technologist of the fish processing plant Svetlana Tretyakova.

A raw material, which is the fish itself, is delivered to the enterprise using a special equipment directly from the shore of the Balkhash Lake. The fishermen deliver their catch there. The plant in the Mynaral village of Moiynkum District was launched four years ago under the state program of industrial and innovative development. Nearly 470 million tenge (US$1.1 million) was invested in the renovation of the enterprise. The plant operates only at 30 percent of its capacity by now due to the lack of raw materials.

“We have only two fishing areas and their total volume is only 230 tons of fish. We need more fishing areas and more quotas in order to operate at the full capacity of the plant, which is 1,500 or 2,000 tons of raw materials,” said Director of the fish factory Sergei Ni.

The allocation of the reserve fishing areas will help solve the deficit issue, the enterprise says. Indeed, Kazakh Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources intends to pay attention to the development of the fishing industry. Currently, the Ministry is working on a number of legislative measures, including subsidizing the industry, which will help attract investment and create jobs. The Ministry has no doubt that there is a high potential for increasing the volume of the domestic fish product market. The numbers indicate the same. In 2019, 45,000 tons of fish were caught in Kazakhstan, which is 23 percent more than in 2018. To date, 180 farms are involved in fish farming in the country. The growth of the volumes of commercial fisheries is being observed. Last year, 6,900 tons of fish were grown, which is 19 percent more than in 2018. It is planned to grow 7,800 tons of fish in 2020.