Fisheries

  1. Fisheries current status indicators

Production volumes and dynamics

The gross output of fishery products in 2019 amounted to KGS 402.0 million, or 0.2 percent of all agricultural production in the Kyrgyz Republic. The dynamics of fish production in the recent period has evolved considerably. Following a period of a relatively stable production during 2010-2015 in the range of KGS 45-65 million, in 2016 the production had started to grow and reached KGS 402 million as of the end of 2019 (Fig. 1).

 

Fig. 1. Gross output of fishery products in the Kyrgyz Republic, million KGS

 

In physical terms, in the period 2016-2019, in the Kyrgyz Republic the fishery production increased from 1,100 tons to 3,028 tons, respectively, the growth was 50 percent.

 

Table 1. Dynamics of fish production in the Kyrgyz Republic *

 

2016 

2017 

2018 

2019 г.

Fish production, tons

2020

2138,4

2577,0

3028,4

* Data of the Fisheries Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Industry and Melioration of the Kyrgyz Republic

 

An important characteristic of production growth dynamics is the proportional exports growth. As Figure 2 shows, the dynamics of the fishery products gross output almost completely coincides with the exports growth.

 

Fig. 2. Dynamics of fishery products gross output and export, thousand US dollars [1]

 

Fishery products consumption by the population of the Kyrgyz Republic

According to the average physiological norms of basic food consumption for the population of the Kyrgyz Republic [2], fish consumption should be at least 9.1 kg per year. In accordance with the subsistence minimum structure for the main socio-demographic groups of the population of the Kyrgyz Republic [3], the minimum set of food products includes fish (pike-perch), the consumption of which must be at least 0.35 kg per month (4.2 kg per year).

Currently, in Kyrgyzstan, «Fish and fishery products» per capita consumption [4] is 0.1 kg per month (1.2 kg per year).

 

Export and target markets

As shown above, the export of fish for the period 2014–2019 in value terms increased from 2 thousand US dollars to 4 250 thousand US dollars (nominal). In 2019, 2 340.8 tons of products were exported.

The export structure by countries and by types of exported products is as follows.

 

Table 3. Kyrgyz Republic fish exports in January-December 2019 *

 

 

Fish, fresh or refrigerated (0302)

Frozen fish (0303)

Fish fillets and other fish meat (including ground fish meat) (0304)

Dried, salted, smoked, processed fish, etc. (0305)

Total

Total

Tons

115,9

590,4

1634,1

0,4

2340,8

 

thousand US dollars

304,4

2473,3

1467,4

4,9

4250,0

Kazakhstan

tons

74,4

67, 6

4,3

0,2

146,5

 

thousand US dollars

190,1

108,2

6,8

0,9

305,9

Russia

tons

41,5

522,6

0,4

0,2

564,7

 

thousand US dollars

114,3

2364,5

2,5

4,0

2485,3

Lithuania

tons

 

 

1629,4

 

1629,4

 

thousand US dollars

 

 

1458,1

 

1458,1

UAE

tons

 

0,2

 

 

0,2

 

thousand US dollars

0,0

0,6

 

 

0,6

* Data of the National Statistical Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic.

 

Most fish in 2019 were exported to Lithuania — 69.6 percent of all exports by weight. Exported products — Fish fillets and other fish meat (CN FEA code 0304898000). There was no export to this country in 2018. During the first half of 2020, 635 tons of fishery products were exported to Lithuania for 491 thousand US dollars.

In 2019 fish exports to Russia accounted for 24 percent of the total fish exports. Mainly, «Fish frozen» (93 percent of fish exports to the Russian Federation) and the rest — «Fish, frozen and refrigerated» were exported in 2019 (24%). Exported «Fish frozen» — 93% and the rest — «Fish, fresh and refrigerated».

According to the website «Export and import of Russia by goods and countries» [5], in 2019, as well as in 2018, all trout frozen were exported only to the Omsk region. Until 2018, according to this website, fish was not supplied to Russia.

According to the website «Foreign Trade of Russia» [6] in 2019 Kyrgyzstan ranked 25th among the «Fish and crustaceans, shellfish and other aquatic invertebrates» exporters to Russia (in 2018 — 32nd position). The largest exporters to Russia in 2019 were Chile, the Faroe Islands, China, Belarus. Armenia took 12th position, Kazakhstan — 22nd position.

In 2019 fish exports to Kazakhstan amounted to 6.3 percent. Mainly «Fish, fresh and refrigerated» was exported — 51 percent and «Fish frozen» — 46 percent. To other countries (UAE, Tajikistan) fish was exported in extremely insignificant volumes.

 

Table 4. Export positions of the Kyrgyz Republic in 2019 by types of products

Code

Product name

tons

thousand USD

price per 1 kg, USD

0302

Fish, fresh and refrigerated

115,9

304,4

2,6

0303

Fish frozen

including:

590,4

2473,3

4,2

 

Trout frozen

335,2

1577,0

4,7

 

Trout without viscera, weighing more than 1.2 kg, frozen

241,7

827,9

3,4

 

Other trout 

12,0

67,2

5,6

0304

Fish fillet and other fish meat (including ground fish meat)

where:

1634,1

1467,4

0,9

 

Anglerfish fillet, frozen

1629,4

1458,1

0,9

0305

Dried, salted, smoked, processed fish, etc.

0,4

4,9

12,2

Summary total

2340,8

4249,9

1,8

 

The highest value of the exported products has «Dried, salted, smoked, processed fish, etc.» — 12.2 US dollars per 1 kg. There are supplies to Russia and Kazakhstan. However, the exported volumes are very small.

Frozen trout (sold in various forms) also has high price: from 3.4 to 5.6 US dollars per 1 kg. At the same time, the most significant volumes of trout exported at the price in the range of 3.4-4.7 US dollars.

 

Fish farms

Government sector enterprises  

State-owned enterprises are the Ton fish hatchery and the Talas, Son-Kul, Bazar-Korgon, Toktogul and Uzgen fish farms. Currently, the functionality is preserved by the Ton fish hatchery, which produces fish seed and the Uzgen fish farm. The rest of the public sector entities have lost their production capabilities to varying degrees.

Private sector enterprises

According to the Unified State Fisheries Register of the Kyrgyz Republic, there are126 entities (private farms) engaged in fishing and fish-farming.

The Register of organizations and persons of the republic engaged in the production, processing and (or) storage of controlled goods moving through the territory of the EAEU member states includes 12 fish production and processing enterprises.

Table 5. Fishery enterprises by regions

Region

Total farms

Types of farmed fish

Types of fish farms

carp

salmon

carp and salmon

whitefish

Non-full system

полносистемные

 

Chui region

89

80

6

2

 

88

 

 

Issyk-Kul region

21

20

 

1

 

20

1

 

Talas region

6

3

1

1

1

5

 

 

Naryn region

3

1

1

1

 

3

 

 

Jalal-Abad region

5

1

4

 

 

3

2

 

Osh region

2

1

1

 

 

1

1

 

 

Most of the fish farms are located in the Chui and Issyk-Kul regions — 87 percent. 84 percent of all fish farms are engaged in carp, 10 percent — in salmon, 5 percent in whitefish, and 1 percent of farms are engaged in carp and salmon at the same time.

Of all farms, 120 are non-full-system and 4 full-system farms [7]. The full-system farms include state-owned enterprises (Ton Fish Hatchery, Uzgen Fish Hatchery) and the largest private enterprises (Eftar Agro Complex LLC and Aqua Service LLC).

In terms of species of farmed fish in a full-system farm: for carp, out of 108 farms, there is only one full-system; for salmon, out of 13 farms, there are two full-system farms. The Ton Fish Hatchery is a full-system enterprise which deals with both carp and whitefish.

 

Table 6. Fishery entities by types of farmed fish and types of farms

Types of farmed fish

Total farms

Fish farm types

Non-full system

Full system

carp

108

106

1

salmon

13

11

2

whitefish

1

1

 

carp, salmon

3

2

1

 

Water resources for fishery activities

The total area of lakes, reservoirs, ponds, in which fishing and aquaculture activities can be carried out, is more than 701,100 hectares. Water basins of Kyrgyzstan are oligotrophic, have a low level of primary productivity — a low content of organic substances.

In the Kyrgyz Republic, there are more than 2000 rivers with a length of over 10 km, and their total length is almost 35 thousand km, which can be used for recreational fishing, as well as provision of new fish farm reservoirs with water.

Currently, the total area of the pond water fund is about 1020 hectares, including feeding — 825 hectares and rearing — 195 hectares.

 

  1. Some of the conclusions
  • The Kyrgyz Republic has quite large opportunities for the development of fish farming. Kyrgyzstan has many water basins with clean water, which make it possible to develop an efficiently functioning fishery complex. Favorable opportunities for the sale of fish products in the Eurasian Economic Union countries, an increase in domestic demand for fish and fish products are among the factors that contribute to the production growth.

It is also important to note the high entrepreneurial activity and self-organization of fishery entities, which allows planning and implementing large projects and finding large markets for products abroad. Apparently, these factors have become decisive for the rapid growth in production and export in recent years.

The development of the fishery complex faces the following problems:

  • In the conditions when large fishery reservoirs of the country have lost their fish resources, aquaculture is the main factor of fish production growth. At the same time, there are a number of hardly identifiable problems: the construction of new artificial reservoirs (ponds) requires significant capital expenditures, the development of cage culture fishery (salmon) is prohibited on the Issyk-Kul lake and is technically difficult in many other water basins that have irrigation and/or hydropower purposes, the development of basin fish farming is associated with access to water resources of rivers, most of which are also used for irrigation purposes.
  • Relatively small total production volumes to ensure sustainable exports to large sales markets. The frozen trout exported only to the Omsk region of Russian Federation with a population of 1.9 million people, including 1.1 million people in Omsk city.
  • There are almost no large-scale fish feeds production in Kyrgyzstan. According to experts, the cost of feeds for fish farmers reaches about 65-70 percent of the production cost. For example, in European countries, where the stable production of high-quality fish feeds, the feed component accounts for only 25-35 percent of the production cost [8]. This reduces the competitiveness of domestic producers, and is an important factor constraining the development of aquaculture.
  • Currently, there are two relatively large companies with a complete production cycle (full-system farm) that form the fishery complex of the republic. They have a production cycle from the broodstock and fish seed to fish-farming to commercial value and supply for export. In addition, these enterprises are expanding their activities to fish processing, the sale of products through their network of outlets, as well as the purchase, production and sale of fish feeds.

The rest of the fish farms are not-full system, covering only part of the full production cycle.

  • Fishery cluster creation can become one of the main directions for increasing production volumes, ensuring proper quality and exports growth of fish products. At the same time, it is obvious that it is premature to follow the world experience of creating vertical clusters in fishery complexes, which differ from full-system fish farms by high specialization in the main product and short money turnover (with the exception of breeding farms).

Considering the peculiarities of the fish farms development in the Kyrgyz Republic, the development of clusters is possible on the basis of full-system private enterprises. It is more realistic to build clusters of a horizontal type, which does not imply high activity towards the integration of producers within the value chain.