Fish Farmer Day in Russia Date in the current year: September 7, 2024

Fish Farmer Day in Russia Employees of Russian aquaculture enterprises celebrate their professional holiday, Fish Farmer Day, on September 7 every year. The celebration was initiated by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation; as of 2021 it is yet to be recognized by a presidential decree.

Pisciculture, commonly known as fish farming, is a particular type of aquaculture (the controlled cultivation of aquatic organisms in artificial facilities, on well-sheltered shallow waters, or on enclosed sections of open water). It involves commercial breeding of fish in fish tanks or artificial enclosures on special fish farms.

The earliest evidence of fish farming dates back to the ancient times. Fish farming existed in ancient China, Egypt, India, and Rome. The earliest records of fish farming in Russia date from the 12th-13th centuries; there were ponds at the monasteries where the monks bred fish for the kitchen.

Industrial fish farming in Russia began to develop in the mid-19th century. Its founder was Vladimir Vrassky, a renowned Russian ichthyologist. In 1856, he developed a dry (Russian) method of fish egg insemination and incubation, which provided a start to the breeding of salmon, sturgeon and other fish species. In 1860, Vrassky opened the country’s first fish hatchery in the village of Nikolskoye, which is still in operation.

After Vrassky’s death, the hatchery began to decline. However, in 1879 the famous ichthyologist Oscar Grimm was appointed as its director. Under his leadership, the Nikolsky fish farm became the main scientific center for fish farming in Russia. Several subsidiary farms were opened in the subsequent years.

Russian fish farming continued to develop during the Soviet era. Particular emphasis was placed on fish farming in ponds, with mirror carp being the most important fish species bred. Today, most of the fish consumed in Russia is supplied by commercial fishing rather than by fish farming. Nevertheless, fish farming continues to develop slowly, but steadily.

As of 2020, the annual volume of aquaculture production in Russia amounted to over 328,000 tons. Various species of carp accounted for over 60% of the total volume, and the salmonids accounted for nearly 30%. Russia’s leading producers are the fish farms of the Southern, Northwestern, Far Eastern, and Ural Federal Districts.

Although Russian fish farming has a great potential due to the country’s considerable surface water resources, Russia is one of the word’s smallest industrial producers of fish for three main reasons: the high cost of energy resources, the lack of high-quality feed, and the high cost of introducing new fish farming technologies and techniques.

To support the development of fish farming, the Federal Law on Aquaculture (Fish Farming) was adopted in 2013. It served as a basis for state aquaculture development programs. The Ministry of Agriculture and the Federal Agency for Fishery annually allocate hundreds of millions of rubles to support fish farming.

In 2018, the Ministry of Agriculture proposed to celebrate Fish Farmer Day on September 7 to commemorate the birthday of Vladimir Vrassky. Although this professional holiday has not yet been officially approved, it is already widely celebrated by Russian fish farmers.

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Fish Farmer Day in Russia, holidays in Russia, professional holidays, fish farming in Russia, Vladimir Vrassky