Despite its long history, the intensive development of aquaculture in Ukraine began only in the middle of the last century. Production peaked in 1990 at 136 500 tonnes (Kukharev and Romanov, 1998). After that there was a significant decrease in gross output from aquaculture. In 2004 only 31 000 tonnes were produced. The area of reservoirs which are to some extent used for fish cultivation in modern Ukraine reaches 1.5 million ha (in the area of water basins of the river Dnepr, lakes and estuaries), of which nearly 180 000 ha are ponds. Thus the overall area of lakes specialized in fish breeding amounts to nearly 50 000 ha. At present in the Ukraine there are practically no intensive forms of aquaculture. The main cultured species are the common carp (Cyprinus carpio) , silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix ), bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthyss nobilis) and grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus ), goldfish (Carassius auratus auratus ), and to a lower degree paddlefish (Polyodon spathula ), Northern pike (Esox lucius ), the wels catfish (Silurus glanis ), pike perch (Stizostedion lucioperca ) and trench (Tinca tinca ). The dominant technology is the semi-intensive pond cultivation of carp in polyculture with herbivorous fish. The waste of processed grain crops is used as additional forage for carp. The general fish production of the ponds in the best facilities does not exceed one tonne per hectare. Marine aquaculture is practically not developed. The cultivation of valuable species such as salmonids and sturgeons started in 2004, at a very low level and does not exceed several tens of tonnes a year. For 2002 the value of aquaculture production was estimated at US$ 81 millions (FAO, FishStatJ).
The aquaculture traditions of modern Ukraine go back several centuries. In the birth of a new branch of modern pond fishing culture, an important role was played by the stock farm Dombalya in Antoninsk, which was organized in 1922 on the basis of facilities of Count Pototsky, who delivered carp from western Galicia in 1887. Output over a three year period in 1911-1915 averaged about 140 kg/ha. The stock farm had 245 ponds of various categories with a total area of 3 100 ha. In terms of size it was the largest enterprise in the former Soviet Union.
During the interwar period in Ukraine the Institute of Fishery was established on the basis of the Kiev experimental station of fish culture and there the programme of developing Ukrainian breeds of cultured carp began and was successfully completed in 1953 by creating the Ukrainian scaly and framed breeds. During this period the rapid growth and development of aquaculture in Ukraine began. The largest lake facilities in east and central Ukraine have been constructed and put into operation. The total area of lakes in Ukraine has reached 180 000 ha. Except for classical pond fish culture, facilities of cage and basin type which use the warm waters of power stations have started to develop intensively. The aquaculture sector in Ukraine experienced a special development in the 1970-1980s when the intensive introduction of polyculture based on the use of herbivorous fish coming from the Far East lake fishing. In these years the industrial cultivation of rainbow trout, sturgeon and catfish developed actively. There was a special direction of aquaculture connected with the use of greater reservoirs – water basins of the Dnepr, lakes-estuaries of the lower parts of the Danube as water reservoirs for valuable kinds of fish. Marine culture developed steadily. For example, in 1991 about 800 tonnes of the Mediterranean mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) were produced. Aquaculture production peaked in 1990 at 136 500 tonnes (Kukharev and Romanov, 1998), including 110 000 tonnes of common carp (Cyprinus carpio), 13 000 tonnes of herbivorous fish (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix, Hypophthalmichthys nobilis), 1 700 tonnes of catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) and about 950 tonnes of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Later, in connection with the change of the political, economic and social situation in the country there was a significant decrease in volumes of production of fish and fish products. In 2004 aquaculture production was only approximately 31 000 tonnes.
Based on approximate data the number of people working in the aquaculture sector does not exceeded 8 000 persons. The general level of qualifications of experts is adequate, but requires improving. Professional training of the top skills is carried out at two higher educational institutions. (See Applied research, education and training).
There are nearly 60 specialized fish facilities in Ukraine. Ninety-five percent of them are classical pond fishing facilities which grow fish by means of traditional semi-intensive or extensive technology with the use of polyculture of carp and herbivorous fish. There are nearly 15 large pond fishing facilities with an area of more than 1 000 hectares, including five areas of more than 3 000 hectares.
Pond fishing facilities in which intensive technologies of cultivation are actively used are basically trout farms, of which there are no more than five. The total volume of their production in 2004 did not exceed 40 tonnes. As a rule, all of them are legally included in the structure of larger enterprises.
The number of facilities based on reservoirs for cooling power stations, where cage and basin technologies of cultivation are used, does not exceed five. Their general total contribution to the production of aquaculture is insignificant and does not exceed 0.5 percent.
Ninety percent of all the specialized fish-breeding facilities in Ukraine are open joint-stock companies. About five percent of facilities are state owned and five percent are cooperative societies.
There is a number of agricultural enterprises under various patterns of ownership in which aquaculture is not the basic kind of activity, and their contribution to the total amount of fish produced in Ukraine is estimated at five-six percent (Goskomstat, 2004).
Geographically, fish-breeding facilities are located as a whole at regular intervals across the territory of Ukraine, but are not very prevalent in the southern part.
Traditionally lake-fishing facilities in Ukraine have focused on the cultivation of the common carp, but over the past years significant structural changes have been made. The share of herbivorous fish has considerably increased. In 2004 the situation was as follows:
In terms of regions, herbivorous fish are grown mainly in the south of Ukraine, while the common carp are farmed in the western, northern and central regions. Trout facilities are located in the western part of the country.
In the past few years some facilities have appeared for the cultivation of North African catfish (Clarias gariepinus ), as well as noble crayfish (Astacus astacus ), shrimps (Penaeus spp.) and mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis ).
Cage and basin systems of fish farming, which are based on reservoirs for cooling power objects, are very limited. Their general total contribution to the production of aquaculture is insignificant and does not exceed 0.5 percent.
In 2004 two industrial closed recirculating systems were constructed.
In 1990 the general production from aquaculture in Ukraine reached a maximum of 136 500 tonnes. The production of common carp (Cyprinus carpio ) was 110 000 tonnes. (Kukharev and Romanov, 1998). Later there was a significant decrease in the level of fish production, but during the last decade a relative stabilisation of production at a level of 30 000 to 32 000 tonnes has been observed. In terms of value aquaculture production has decreased from US$ 210 millions in 1988 to US$ 81 millions in 2002. A significant fall in volumes of fish cultivation has occurred for valuable fish species, especially rainbow trout, sturgeon and catfish.
The most important cultured species remain the common carp and Chinese carps.
The graph below shows total aquaculture production in Ukraine according to FAO statistics:
In 2003-2004 the domestic Ukrainian market for fish and fish products was estimated to be approximately 500 000 to 550 000 tonnes. Its structure in percentage terms was as follows: aquaculture 5-6 percent, distant fishing of the oceanic fleet of Ukraine 17-25 percent, fishing in the Black and Azov seas about 9-12 percent, fishing in internal reservoirs 2-3 percent, imports 53-59 percent.
Over the past years there has been a basic increase in standard items available on the domestic market due to imports which are the result of a fall in fishing by the distant oceanic fishing fleet of Ukraine. As a result, almost all of the domestic aquaculture production is consumed on the local market and not exported. Since the cultivation of fish in ponds is of a seasonal nature and depends very much on climatic conditions, the prices of aquaculture production are also subject to seasonal fluctuation. On average, the wholesale price for an ordinary carp of high quality reaches 1.7 US$/kg, silver carp less than 1 US$/kg, whilst at the same time, the price for rainbow trout or paddlefish can reach 7-10 US$/kg.
Basically, aquaculture production is realized exclusively on basis of live fish, with herbivorous fish used partially for processing, mostly for the production of canned food and smoked products.
Fish is a traditional food for the population of Ukraine. The annual consumption level of fish products in the country is high and in 2004 was about 11 kg, compared to only 3.5 kg/year in 1994 (Goskomstat, 2004). Aquaculture products are rather cheap and accessible to the majority of citizens of Ukraine.
At present, given that the value of aquaculture production in Ukraine does not exceed US$ 81 millions, its contribution to the general structure of the economy is not significant (0.13 percent of the gross national product of Ukraine). The manpower involved in this sector does not exceed 8 000 persons. Trends in recent years have shown that Ukrainian aquaculture is coming out of a deep crisis.
The management of fish facilities and aquaculture of Ukraine is carried out by the State Department of Fishing at the Ministry of Agrarian Policy of Ukraine. Its primary goals are the maintenance of administrative control over fisheries and aquaculture, the preparation of legislation, and the coordination of research. With respect to aquaculture the Department concentrates its efforts on the following:
Associations. In Ukraine there are some fish producer associations, the largest of which is the industrial state-cooperative association Ukrribhoz which includes more than 40 basic producers of fish in aquaculture conditions. In 2004, 21 200 tonnes of commodity fish were produced by the enterprises of this association, accounting for over 68 percent of all aquaculture production in Ukraine. The primary aim of this association is the all-round interaction between producers of commodity fish and government bodies, and to help the members in any administrative, legal, information-marketing matters connected with their industrial activities. The associations Ukrrybsojuz and Ukrribkolhozobedinenie bring together the producers of fish extracted from natural reservoirs, many of which have traditional pond fishing facilities. The enterprises of the Association Riga Management School (fishery-improvement stations) represent small pond fishing facilities, and efforts are directed at the manufacture of material for fish farms for the unspecialised agricultural enterprises.
Basic fisheries laws in Ukraine are Law No.486-IV of 2003 on fish, aquatic biodiversity and fish products and Law No.1516-IV of 2004 regarding validation of the National program of the development of fisheries for the period up to 2010 .
Law No.1516-IV of 2004 regarding validation of the National program of the development of fisheries for the period up to 2010 traces the main direction of the development of fisheries, concerns reform of the structure and property in the fisheries complex. It encourages young fish raising of marketable species by existing fish farms, its release in coastal marine areas, inland waters and water reservoirs at the expense of state budget, construction of new fish-farming establishments for raising sturgeon and flounder species, creation of database of cultivated fish species, rare and protected fish species for the purpose of their conservation and acclimatization of precious marketable fish species and aquatic biodiversity
Law No. 2894-III of 2001 on wildlife specifies that fish stocks, molluscs and crustaceans, all of their species, sub-species and populations at all stages of their development pertain to wildlife. Authorized state institutions in the sphere of protection, conservation and management of wildlife species are Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea, local state administration and central executive body in the sphere of fisheries and its territorial branches.
For more information on aquaculture legislation in Ukraine please click on the following link:
National Aquaculture Legislation Overview - Ukraine
The user and the coordinator of applied research in aquaculture in Ukraine is the State Department of Fishing at the Ministry of Agrarian Policy of Ukraine. There are some state research organizations and institutes which actively carry out research in the field of aquaculture. Firstly, there is the Institute of Fishery of the Ukrainian Academy of Agrarian Sciences which is the basic specialized scientific institute dealing with aquaculture in Ukraine. The basic research of the Institute is directed towards:
Aquaculture research in Ukraine is also carried out by:
Education to B.Sc. and M.Sc. level and of specialists of « Water bio-resources and aquaculture », is carried out by the Kherson State University and the National Agrarian University.
Ph. D’s and courses for fish culture specialists are offered by the Institute of Fishery UAAN, Kherson State Agrarian University.
According to the previously mentioned fish farming development programme for Ukraine, the volume of fish production in aquaculture should reach 50 000 tonnes in 2010, and the consumption of fish products and other live water resources should grow to 15 kg/year per capita .
In the near future, the basic tendencies in domestic Ukrainian aquaculture will be:
Kukharev, N. and Romanov, V. 1998. The Fishery Industry in Ukraine. EASTFISH Fishery Industry. Volume 13.
The nation-wide programme of development of fishery in Ukraine for the period until 2010. The law of Ukraine, 1516-IV, from February 19th, 2004.