Development of aquaculture in Ukraine: why should the state introduce the Fisheries Development Fund?

Aquaculture production volumes in Ukraine are growing. This is evidenced by the data of the State Fisheries Agency: the total production volume of the industry’s products in 2023 increased by 4.3% compared to 2022 and amounted to 15,271 tons.

The leaders in the production of aquaculture products in 2023 were Cherkasy (2,698 tons), Khmelnytsky (1,494 tons), Lviv (1,191 tons), Ternopil (1,005 tons), and Sumy (961 tons) oblasts.

The increase in production volumes on the market indicates interest in its development on the part of product consumers and industry producers. Aquaculture products remain a particularly promising direction of entrepreneurship, taking into account its profitability and environmental friendliness.

Currently, the State Fisheries Agency, together with the Ministry of Agrarian Policy, is developing possible mechanisms for state support in the field of aquaculture. Representatives of the market, experts and scientists are involved in the discussion, the main purpose of the discussion is the preparation of economic calculations and indicators of the economic activity of the fishing industry, the justification of the need for state aid and the development of compensation mechanisms.

Why is this important?

According to BRDO experts, one of the opportunities to stimulate business in the field of aquaculture can be the creation of an appropriate support fund. An example to follow can be Norway – a large global producer, which every year replenishes the state budget by $600 million only due to auctions for the right to aquaculture activities in the country’s coastal zones. Only 20% of these revenues are kept by the state, 80% are directed to the Aquaculture Fund, which is redistributed to scientific developments and industry support.

A similar Fisheries Development Fund can be introduced in Ukraine within the framework of the state budget fund of Ukraine. Funds received from the conclusion of agreements on investments in the development of aquaculture can be sources of replenishment. They are provided for by draft law “On Attracting Investments in the Development of the Fisheries Industry” No. 8119, developed by the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, the State Agency for Land Reclamation and Fisheries of Ukraine and BRDO within the framework of the USAID Program for Agrarian and Rural Development – AGRO.

The funds of the Fund will further be directed to:

  • reproduction of aquatic bioresources
  • equipment of modern fishing points
  • purchase of refrigeration units
  • renewal of equipment for aquaculture and development of scientific activity.

Aquaculture support funds exist in many EU countries and the world. These funds may have different names and functions, but in general their purpose is to support and develop the countries’ aquaculture industry. The fund can provide assistance in various forms, such as financial support for the development of new technologies and infrastructure, training programs for farmers, research in the field of resource management and environmental conservation.