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Visiting the scallop

SPV resident plans to combine mariculture and tourism in the Primorsky Territory

Effective Energy Company began cultivating its marine “garden” on 115 hectares in 2019 after purchasing water rights at an auction for a period of 25 years. The water area on the border of cold Okhotsk and warm waters in Vityaz Bay, Khasansky District, Primorsky Territory with the maximum biodiversity of aquatic organisms is ideal for the formation of an ecological cluster, but the resident had to work from a clean sheet. Cabbage.

Visiting the scallop
Photo: provided by Vasily Grebennikov

“The optimal way of growing is the formation of a full-fledged natural ecosystem in which all species coexist. Spat settles on the kelp - larvae of the scallop and other aquatic organisms, which further grow on it or sink to the bottom. Laminaria and other algae are a food for a hedgehog. Scallop waste, in turn, is a feed for trepang. But at the moment, this ecosystem in the Khasan region is destroyed. Algae were seized here for a long time, which greatly reduced the natural population of scallop, hedgehog and sea cucumber. It’s like a forest in which animals live, and if the forest has been cut down, no matter how many animals are released, they will not live there. Now we are working on the reconstruction of this ecosystem, we are making a new project taking into account the best practices that are in the industry, ”explains Vasily Grebennikov, Director of Effective Energy LLC.

The resident purchased seedlings for the future "forest" in the fall of 2019 at the experimental laboratory of the A. V. Zhirmunsky National Research Center for Marine Biology, Far East Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Now the valuable seaweed is already suitable for forage purposes. At the end of this summer, it will become clear whether it is capable of growing in warm seaside waters to a presentation.

Together with the Effective Energy kelp, she began to grow scallop, collecting spaw (larvae) of the scallop from the natural environment. Scallop spawning took place in late April - early May 2019, and after a month in “free swimming” the larvae settled on plastic nets with a special substrate. In September, when the future delicacy reached the size of a pea, the company's employees gathered it, separating the mussels and stars, and laid the young underyear in cages for growing. In 2020, Effective Energy received the first viable juvenile, a 2,5–5 cm long scallop.

“This year, with a Japanese partner, we were supposed to fly to Hong Kong, communicate with customers regarding the acquisition of our coastal products. But in connection with the pandemic, we had to change the production program and look for new options, ”says Vasily Grebennikov. - The first commercial products of scallops will be in the fall of 2021, when it will weigh 100-150 g, and this year we decided to place a bet on the sale of juveniles. In the spring, we sent the first millions of scallop year-olds to three mariculture farms in Primorye. For us, the sale of juveniles is a diversification of our products, which allows us to achieve rapid scalability of funds. ”

In the spring of 2020, the FPV resident also released one million offspring juveniles of sea cucumbers on salted hectares. Within a couple of years, the company expects to harvest over 40 tons of Far Eastern sea cucumber. Later, another inhabitant will appear on the farm - a sea urchin, there is already enough algae to feed it. Now the company, together with the National Research Center for Marine Biology, is developing a project for the industrial cultivation of a hedgehog.

“At our farm, we do not focus on gross industrial production, but on adaptations of best practices, technologies for sustainable reproduction. We get an eco-cultural farm that you can already show to tourists, conduct excursions, so that people develop a perception of coastal eco-culture as some kind of exclusive, clean, high-quality product, ”says the head of Effective Energy LLC. - Our water area is located between two sections of the Far Eastern Marine Biosphere Reserve, and the village of Vityaz with its rich history borders on the Leopard Land national park. We plan to become a land base for the first and sea gates for the second, by placing a tourist expeditionary center, a fish a market with paired delicacies and a cafe where fresh produce will be delivered directly from the farm, a campsite for eco-tourism will also be built, equipment and boats will be purchased, because our costs go not only to the sea - to install gardens, purchase planting materials, fuel, staff and so on, but also to create a full-fledged coastal infrastructure. For the same workers, and we plan to create more than 30 jobs, you need to build a household camp. "

Despite the fact that the last two years there has been an “evolutionary leap” in the distribution of water areas - the Aquavostok Internet platform of the Development Fund for the Far East and the Arctic has added a transparency procedure - marion farming is still not easy to land, Grebennikov admits.

“In 2019, KDVD JSC supported us in cooperation with local authorities so that we could rent land for a coastal base, which was vital for us. Also, thanks to the law on the free port of Vladivostok, our company received benefits for income taxes, property, and a single social tax reduced from 30 to 7,6% became a significant help. ”

The resident’s total investment in mariculture farms exceeded 15 million rubles; by 2022, the investments in Effective Energy reached 120 million rubles.

An initiative group has already been formed in the village of Vityaz, a recreational and tourist cluster is being created, part of which will be the Effective Energy aquaculture economy with a focus on “providing tourism products with seafood, with a demonstration of mariculture objects and production technologies. The farmers themselves will actively take up the guest direction in mid-July, when the sowing season is over and part of the gardens will be flooded to the depth.

Entrepreneurs expect that eventful, informative and gastronomic tourism in the Khasansky district with a visit to a farm with kelp, scallop, sea cucumber and sea urchin, as well as historical and picturesque places will double the tourist season and attract new investors who will come to the south of Primorye in earnest and for a long time .

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