Ukraine war stalls Europe’s largest shrimp farm

It’s been almost a year since Russia invaded Ukraine, ending peace in Europe. War has claimed millions of lives, destroyed countless buildings and ruined the country’s infrastructure.

Lubomir Haidamaka knows this very well.

Haidamaka is Chief Technology Officer of Ukraine-based aquaculture equipment supplier Vismar Aqua. Among other projects, Haidamaka and his team helped establish Europe’s largest shrimp farm. But the timing could not have been worse.

Last year Haidamaka said intra fish, Farms that had just started operations had to close shortly after the invasion.

The facility has the capacity to produce 500 tons of vannamei shrimp and includes a hatchery, aquaculture facility, processing area and a nearby feed mill.

But what could have been Europe’s largest shrimp farm is still closed.

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“I was talking to representatives a few weeks ago and they are not yet ready to reopen,” Haidamaka said. intra fish.

“They are still waiting for the situation to improve. .”

But buildings and projects are not deserted.

“Some staff live there now. They keep everything clean and tidy, and if the situation changes, we’ll be able to reopen quickly,” he said.

At this time, staff had to fly to Moldova or Bucharest to get the broodstock, but this would be too risky and it would be better to wait and take care of the farm, Haidamaka said.

on hold

But this project isn’t the only one on hold. Almost all of Vismar Aqua’s domestic projects are on ice.

The company is eight kilometers from Kiev, which is hit by missiles every eight to 10 days, he said.

Vismar Aqua’s offices are now more than 500 kilometers from the war zone, he said, compared to just 25 kilometers last year, and 140 kilometers closer to the Belarusian border, where Russian forces can also enter.

Despite this, the team is still very busy, mainly focused on international projects.

Vismar Aqua has just completed the design of one of Dubai’s largest vannamei farms and is currently awaiting construction approval.

“Very good job. I am very happy and proud of my team,” said Haidamaka.

Vismar Aqua’s pipeline also includes projects in Poland and Azerbaijan, and going further, it is considering a potential contract in Montenegro.

Company representatives recently visited Azerbaijan and agreed a contract for a 20-ton farm with potential for expansion.

Domestic project

Naturally, running a company in the middle of a war brings with it many unforeseen turmoils.

“I tried to get to work early today, but had to stop because of a power outage,” he said. “What can I do? I’m just reading and keeping busy. I need to do something. Anything.”

Many in Ukraine seem to be thinking along the same lines. In Kyiv, the landfill is currently being restored.

“Buildings and factories are being rebuilt,” Haidamaka said. “People don’t believe the Russians will come back. It will require too many resources.”

Planning for the future makes it easier for Ukrainians to cope, Haidamaka said.

Vismar Aqua has seen some positive developments in Ukraine. The company recently started planning several small shrimp farms in western Ukraine near the border with Poland.

Haidamaka is confident that peace will prevail across the country in the near future and that Ukraine will soon join the EU and NATO.

He especially wants more investment in the country’s aquaculture sector. Ukraine could become self-sufficient in seafood and even start exporting significant amounts, he said.

Last year, only 16,000 tons of farmed seafood, mainly carp, were produced in Ukraine.

“This is nothing,” Haidamaka said. Ukraine war stalls Europe’s largest shrimp farm

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