Estonia set to gain massive fish farm

  • 2007-09-05
  • From wire reports

BIG FISH, SMALL POND: Investment into the new fish farm is equal to total investment in Estonian fisheries for the past 16 years combined.

TALLINN - A group of foreign investors is planning to set up a 1.5 billion kroon (96 million euro) fish farm complex in Estonia, the Ministry of Agriculture announced Aug. 30.

Alar Oppar, a ministry adviser, told the Baltic News Service that the project 's by far the largest ever in the history of Estonia's fishing industry 's belonged to a Danish investor and his partners from the United States and Switzerland.

According to plans, some 10,000 tons of pike perch would be raised annually at the new facility, Oppar said, adding that white caviar would also be produced.

The project would approximately equal all the investments made in Estonia's fish industry in the past 16 years combined.

Working at full capacity, the company would have annual sales of 2.1 billion kroons. "The whole business is for the purpose of export to the world market 's the expensive markets of Europe, Japan and the United States. We're dealing with entry into a very high-cost market niche," Oppar said.

The planned annual turnover is well above the turnover of the entire Estonian fishery sector, which now is in the range of 1.5 's 1.7 billion kroons.

"No matter what angle you look at, this single investment is bigger than the entire Estonian fishery sector taken together," Oppar said.

The fish farming facility would give work to 370 people and be located in the Parnu area.

"The plan is to have the whole complex ready in two years," he said.

Apart from the fish farming part, the complex would include facilities for producing fertilizers and fodder, along with a freezer storage unit.