Risky Project in Lake Sevan: "Sevan Aqua" CJSC Going To Add Number of Fish-Breeding Cage Nets

Risky Project in Lake Sevan:

EcoLur

"Sevan Aqua" CJSC intends to establish 4 new fish farms in small Sevan with 48 cage nets. The company has submitted the EIA of the cage net economy in the area adjacent to Berdunq community, Gegharkounik Region. The public hearings are set for 15:00 on 7 June at Berdkunq village municipality in Gegharkounik Region. Starting from July 2016 "Sevan Aqua" CJSC has been operating a fish farm consisting of 12 cage nets in the area adjacent to Karchaghbyur Village. In 2017 it's planned to install another economy consisting of 12 cage nets, where trout species will be grown for 'Sevan Trout' CJSC. It has been estimated that the productivity of one economy with 12 cage nets will annually make up 685 tons. Annually over 4,000,000 items of young fish will be filled into the cage net. The studies have shown that for each ton of the produced fish 132 kg of nitrogen and 25 kg of phosphorus are emitted into the environment (Islam, 2005),' the project says. It should be mentioned that nitrogen and phosphorus lead to lake waterlogging. In 2017 the executive decided to donate 2 billion AMD to Sevan Trout Reserve Recovery and Fish Breeding Development Foundation, a 100% shareholder of 'Sevan Aqua' and 'Sevan Trout' CJSCs to install another economy consisting of 12 cage nets for fish breeding in Lake Sevan. The project lays down the following risks:
• Incubation of fish diseases and parasites and transfer to the fish grown in the economies to the wild fish population,
• Organic pollution generated from cage net economies,
• Chemical pollution generated from cage net economies,
• Runaway of genetically different fish from the cage net economies and their interbreeding with the wild species,
• Cage nets as a physical danger or obstacle for other animals,
• Mass death and migration of the fish in the economies,
• Wastes generated from the operation of the economies,
• Conflict of stakeholders.

The measures aimed at the exclusion and reduction of the negative impact in the project are as follows:
• A monitoring board has been formed,
• The number of the cage nets and fish production volumes have gradually increased in the lake,
• The volumes of the produced fish are expanded exclusively in line with the international environmental standards,
• Ecologically sustainable forage is used,
• Control over feeding processes will continue,
• If needed, oxygen-pumping equipment will be installed under the cage nets, which will promote the destruction of the organic material.

The project EIA doesn't say anything about fish diseases, chemical pollution, runaway, transfer of parasites. The project authors call this project an environmental one, which develops fish breeding business in Lake Sevan. In this regard, the project of ' Sevan Aqua' says, 'It should be noted that the operation of the project has environmental grounds and not commercial ones, therefore, all selection and use of bio promoters shall be banned not to interfere with the conditions of breeding and natural growth inherent to the trout. This provision shall be laid down in the environmental management plans of the aforementioned economies.' It's noteworthy in this regard that the partner of 'Sevan Aqua' – 'Sevan Trout' CJSC, from which 'Sevan Aqua' purchases young fish for the growth in the cage nets, has submitted a project for the construction of fish selection economy for the environmental impact assessment. According to this project, every year up to 25 % of the young fish is planned to let out into Lake Sevan to recover fish reserves.

16:24 June 06, 2017


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