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Ukrainian fish farmers suffer tremendous losses

April 19, 2023  By Hatchery International staff

The combined damages and losses of the Ukrainian aquaculture sector reached US$21.6 million, which is 63 per cent of the annual gross value of sales in the sector, research conducted by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations showed. 

“Spring is typically the period in which aquaculture farms produce fry and begin restocking operations. These activities have all been affected by the ongoing war. The local aquaculture market system was destroyed due to martial law and the relocation of a large proportion of the population. Before the war, freshwater aquaculture consisted of 1,400 companies with 17,000 tonnes of annual fish production,” FAO reported.

Overall, 12 per cent of the interviewed aquaculture companies reported damages to assets, including 32 per cent of the farms in the frontline oblasts. 

In 2022, fish farms were mainly affected by the complete or partial loss of reared fish, FAO said, estimating that this issue hit five per cent of farms at a national level and 21 per cent in the frontline territories. Smaller and similar shares of farms reported losses of fry and broodstock. An additional five per cent of farms at a national level, including 15 per cent in frontline regions, experienced other production challenges. 


In the background of ongoing hostilities, most fish farms in Ukraine find themselves in dire financial conditions. The average annual income reduction, when compared to 2021, was reported at 24 per cent at a national level and 40 per cent by the farms in the frontline territories, amounting to US$8.1 million, FAO reported. 

About 58 per cent of the surveyed aquaculture farms evaluated their financial standing as unfavourable. In addition, 65 per cent of the companies were unable to access credits and loans.

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