Fisheries and aquaculture in the Republic of Kazakhstan: a review

FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular No. 1030/2



Serik Timirkhanov
Deputy Director
LLP Kazakh Fisheries Scientific Research Institute
Almaty, Kazakhstan

Boris Chaikin
Senior Fisheries Adviser, Kazakhstan Agency of Applied Ecology
Director, the Environment Consulting Centre

Zhannat Makhambetova
NGO “Aral Tenizi” (the Aral Sea)
Aralsk, Kazakhstan

Andy Thorpe
University of Portsmouth
Portsmouth, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Raymon van Anrooy
Fishery and Aquaculture Officer
FAO Subregional Office for Central Asia
Ankara, Turkey

Rome, 2010

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© FAO 2009

Timirkhanov, S., Chaikin, B., Makhambetova, Z., Thorpe, A. and van Anrooy, R.
Fisheries and aquaculture in the Republic of Kazakhstan: a review.
FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular. No. 1030/2. Rome, FAO. 2010. 76 pp.


The inland capture fi sheries and aquaculture sectors in the Republic of Kazakhstan have gone through a dramatic decline in production, which lasted until 2001 for capture fi sheries and continues until today for aquaculture production. While in 1989 some 89 000 tonnes of fi sh were produced within the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR), the production in 2007 was around 43 000 tonnes. The upward trend in capture fi sheries production is remarkable, as in 2001 production amounted to just 21 000 tonnes. Aquaculture production is almost insignifi cant, with production accounting for less than 400 tonnes of marketable fi sh in 2007. In recent years, the contribution of the fi sheries sector (including capture and culture) to the gross domestic product (GDP) was less than 0.8 percent. Imports of fi shery products in 2006 were some 44 000 tonnes, while exports added up to 32 000 tonnes. Per capita consumption of fi sh is estimated at just over 3 kg, which makes fi shery products a small contributor to the diet of the Kazakh people. The employment provided by the sector may be over 17 000 jobs. In recent years, the Ministry of Agriculture of Kazakhstan, with support from its Fisheries Committee, has made many improvements to the legal framework for the fi sheries sector. It is however recognized that there are still many gaps in the policy and legal framework for the sector and that enforcement of rules and regulations needs more attention. International collaboration with the Kazakh fi sheries sector has increased in recent years, particularly on sturgeon issues and at regional level. This FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular aims to increase general understanding and awareness of the current status of the fi sheries and aquaculture sectors in Kazakhstan. The document presented in this Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular was cleared for publication by the Fisheries Committee of Kazakhstan in February 2009.


Preparation of this document  (Download pdf 198 kb)
List of acronyms

PART I  (Download pdf 523 kb)


Executive summary

Chapter 1  – Introduction

Chapter 2 –  Historical background

Fisheries and aquaculture up to independence
Capture Fisheries
Fisheries management
Independent fi sh processing and trade organizations
Fisheries and aquaculture 1991–2009
Institutional setting for fi sheries
Aquaculture and fi sheries production
Chapter 3 – The current status of capture fi sheries and aquaculture
Natural resources and the potential of the fi sheries sector
Geography and climate
Fish fauna
Inland capture fi sheries
Illegal, unreported and unregulated fi shing
Recreational fi sheries
Facilitating industries
Landing facilities
Ice supply
Aquaculture supplies
PART II  (Download pdf 603 kb )

Chapter 4 – Processing, marketing and trading of fish and fish products
Fish processing
Fish storage
Distribution and marketing of fi sh and fi sh products
Fish Trade
Fish trade data
Fish demand and consumption
Chapter 5 – Governance and institutional frameworks
Fisheries administration
Fishery training, research and extension
Fishery statistics
Fisheries related organizations
International cooperation in fi sheries management and development
Chapter 6 – Policy, regulatory and management frameworks
Policy and planning
Legal and regulatory framework
International and regional conventions and agreements
Fishery management
Licenses and quotas
Chapter 7 – Social and economic aspects of fisheries and aquaculture
Social security of fi shers, aquaculturists and other workers engaged in the sector
Economics of fi sheries and aquaculture
Credit and investment in fi sheries and aquaculture
The role of fisheries and aquaculture in food security and poverty alleviation
Chapter 8 – Sectoral diagnosis

1.   A list of fi sheries bodies under the Ministry of Fishing Industry of the Kazakh SSR
      (Kazakh Soviet Socialistic Republic)
2.   Aquaculture
3.   List of legal documents that are of relevance to fi shery sector development in Kazakhstan
      in the period 2004–2006
4.   Main reasons for the decline in fi sheries production in Kazakhstan after independence
      from the Soviet Union in 1991
5.   Fish species and subspecies found in Kazakhstan
6.   Species included in the Red Book of the Republic of Kazakhstan
7.   Fish prices (whole fi sh/per kg) in September 2007 in major cities in Kazakhstan
8.   (Map) Watershed and administrative subdivision of the Republic of Kazakhstan