Initially, the new farm will focus on growing Sudanium catfish (Silurus glanis). Although the taste fish completely unknown to the local population, it has many advantages, including a small-sized head, which means smaller volume of post-processing waste. In addition, breeding this species requires no additional water enrichment with oxygen.
Sudanium catfish breathes with atmosphere air. In Africa, where this fish dwells, when one body of water dries up, the fish can make it to another one by land, Gaik Tertenyan, chairman of Murager 22 said. They are fast growing species – growing from 1 kg to 1.2 kg in only 4 to 5 months. This means higher profitability for the farm, he added.
The company has purchased 2,000 units of Sudanium catfish fingerlings from Russia to start up the farm. In future, Murager 22 will use the hatchery to breed fish for its own commercial needs, and to participate in government restocking programs to help restore fish population in the Caspian Sea, according to Tertenyan.
Murager 22 became the first company in Kazakhstan to use natural filtration with water hyacinth on its fish farm. In warmer countries, this plant is a problem for farmers. It is kind of weed with the ability to double its weight almost every week, but it also purifies water, Tertenyan explained. The company plans to harvest the water hyacinth on a regular basis and sell them on the domestic market, primarily as a natural fertilizer.
The company plans to use black soldier fly and bananas for fish feed. According to Tertenyan, the company has already built a facility to breed black soldier fly. Murager 22 plans to expand its production in the future to sturgeon (Acipenser gueldenstaedti), potentially prawns (Palaemon serratus), and other exotic fish species.
The company expects commercial production by November 2019. In addition to selling its fish in Kazakhstan, Murager 22 is exploring plans to export to China.
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