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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nationsfor a world without hunger
  1. Characteristics, structure and resources of the sector
    1. Summary
    2. History and general overview
    3. Human resources
    4. Farming systems distribution and characteristics
    5. Cultured species
    6. Practices/systems of culture
  2. Sector performance
    1. Production
    2. Market and trade
    3. Contribution to the economy
  3. Promotion and management of the sector
    1. The institutional framework
    2. The governing regulations
    3. Applied research, education and training
  1. Trends, issues and development
    1. References
      1. Bibliography
      2. Related links
    Characteristics, structure and resources of the sector
    Summary
    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 2016 only 21 425 tonnes were produced (according with official statistic data). 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 not much intensive forms of aquaculture. The main cultured species are the common carp (Cyprinus carpio), silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix), bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis), grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus), rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and Acipenseridae (sturgeon) species. 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 ton per hectare. Marine aquaculture is practically not developed. The cultivation of valuable species such as salmonids and sturgeons is developing rather fast, but actually it is at relatively low level (both kinds up to 450 tonnes in 2016).
    For 2016 the value of aquaculture production was estimated at US$ 56 millions.
    History and general overview
    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 2016 aquaculture production was only approximately 21 425 tonnes (according with official statistic data).
    Human resources
    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 eight higher educational institutions.
    Farming systems distribution and characteristics
    There are nearly more than 150 specialized fish facilities in Ukraine. About 85 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.
    Fishing farms with using intensive technologies of cultivation are basically sturgeon and salmonid farms (about 30 aquaculture subjects). The total volume of its production in 2016 reached, according official data, almost 450 tonnes (but in accordance with expert evaluation the real amount can be up to 2 500-3 000 tonnes).

    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.
    90 percent of all the specialized fish-breeding facilities in Ukraine are open joint-stock companies. About 5 percent of facilities are state owned and 5 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 up to 12 percent. 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.
    Cultured species
    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 2016 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.
    Sturgeon aquaculture is developed most intensively in the central (Kyiv) and south region of Ukraine.
    Practices/systems of culture
    About 85 percent of Ukrainian aquaculture production is produced according to classic pond culture, where fish are grown using traditional semi-intensive or extensive technology with the use of polyculture of common carp (Cyprinus carpio) and herbivorous species.
    But intensive forms of aquaculture (recirculating systems etc.) are developing, mainly for cultivation of valuable fish species (salmonides, strgeons). In 2016 this sector of aquacuture provided producing of about 3-4 percent of the all amount of the national aquaculture production.
    Sector performance
    Production
    The graph below shows total aquaculture production in Ukraine according to FAO statistics:

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    Market and trade
    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 percent, fishery (in the all water bodies, including open sea) - about 12 percent, import - 83 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 5-8 US$/kg.
    Basically, aquaculture production is realized exclusively on basis of live fish, with herbivorous fish used partially for processing, mostly for the production of canned food and smoked products.
    Fish is a traditional food for the population of Ukraine. The annual consumption level of fish products in the country is relatively stable during recent years and in 2015-2016 was about 10-11 kg. Aquaculture products are rather cheap and accessible to the majority of people of Ukraine.
    Contribution to the economy
    At present, given that the value of aquaculture production in Ukraine does not exceed US$ 60 millions, its contribution to the general structure of the economy is not significant. The manpower involved in this sector does not exceed 8 000 persons. Trends of last decade have shown that Ukrainian aquaculture is staying in a deep crisis, despite the fact of step by step development of industrial aquaculture.
    Promotion and management of the sector
    The institutional framework
    The national authority on the field of fisheries is the State Agency of Fisheries of Ukraine (Kiev, http://darg.gov.ua). The activities of the Agency are controlled by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine through the Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine.
    The main functions of the State Agency are:
    • to realize the state strategy on fisheries and aquaculture;
    • to provide control of fishing (using of water living resources, combat IUU-fishing);
    • to organize scientific monitoring of bio-resources in the water bodies of Ukraine and to develop the appropriate conservation measures;
    • to provide advice for sustainable development of fisheries and aquaculture industry in Ukraine, in cooperation with fishery and aquaculture associations;
    • to organize participation of Ukraine in international activities and international cooperation on the field of fisheries and aquaculture.
    • The State Agency of Fisheries of Ukraine is responsible for collecting aquaculture data.
    The governing regulations
    The main national law acts which are regulating aquaculture activities in Ukraine are:
    • Law of Ukraine "On Fishery, Industrial Fishing and Protection of Aquatic Bioresources" (2011)
    • Law of Ukraine " On Aquaculture" (2013)
    • Law of Ukraine "On Fish, Other Living Aquatic Resources and Food Products of them" (2003)
    The use of water bodies for aquaculture purposes is regulated in particular by the “Water Code of Ukraine” (1995) and by the “Land Code of Ukraine” (2002).

    For more information on aquaculture legislation in Ukraine please click on the following link:
    National Aquaculture Legislation Overview - Ukraine
    Applied research, education and training
    Aquaculture research in Ukraine are carried out mainly by:
    • the Institute of Fishery (Kyiv, http:// naas.gov.ua), acting under the National Academy of Agrarian Sience of Ukraine ;
    • the Institute of Fisheries and Marine Ecology (Berdyansk, http://en.irem.org.ua), acting under the State Agency of Fisheries of Ukraine;
    • the Odessa Center YugNIRO (Odessa), acting under the State Agency of Fisheries of Ukraine.
    Education to B.Sc. and M.Sc. level and of specialists on aquaculture is carried out mainly by the Kherson State Agrarian University (Kherson) and the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine (Kyiv) and six more high education Universities.
    Ph. D’s and courses for aquaculture specialists are offered by the Institute of Fishery.
    Trends, issues and development
    The Ukrainian national aquaculture is being in deep crisis now, despite the fact of development of industrial aquaculture. The main cause of very low development of this fishery sector is difficult conditions for business on the field of aquaculture, lack of state support due general circumstances (general political and economical crisis).
    One of the most significant problems for development of national aquaculture is very complicated formal procedures for using water bodies for aquaculture purposes.
    In the near future, the basic tendencies in domestic Ukrainian aquaculture will be:
    • improvement in the quality of traditional fish – objects of cultivation, in the production of common carp – increase the commodity weight up to 1-1.5 kg and above, transition to the cultivation of less scaly forms and breeds; in the cultivation of herbivorous fish to increase the commodity weight up to 2-4 kg, orientation on product processing (smoking, conservation);
    • increase the share of additional and predatory fish in traditional pond polyculture: first of all Northern pike, the wels catfish, pike perch, and in the south – so-iuy mullet; it is particularly necessary to allocate the development of pond sturgeon breeding – cultivation of paddlefish, sterlets and other kinds and hybrid forms of sturgeon;
    • development of industrial aquaculture, in particular the cultivation of sturgeon, rainbow trout and catfish;
    • development of pasturable fish culture with the use of the water basins of the river Dnepr, lakes near the Danube, the Azov- Black Sea fresh and salty estuaries;
    • development of mariculture, in particular the cultivation of mussels, oysters, seaweed and other objects, although it should be noted that potential opportunities of Ukraine in development of intensive forms of marine culture are limited; the lack of deep bays which do not freeze is a powerful limiting factor.
    References
    Bibliography
    Kukharev, N. and Romanov, V. 1998. The Fishery Industry in Ukraine. EASTFISH Fishery Industry. Volume 13.
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