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One day of the fish farmer’s life

‘Black Gold’ of the East: How do they farm the sturgeon in East Kazakhstan?

How do they farm the sturgeon for caviar and fish flesh in East Kazakhstan? One day of the fish farmer’s life.

What do they need to farm the sturgeon? How much will the kilogram of its flesh cost? And when could the caviar from the East-Kazakhstan producer be expected to reach the shop counters? The NUR.KZ reporters spent one day with the Chief Fish-Farmer Technologist from the Kazakhstani fish farm to find out the answers to all the questions.


The working day of Aidar Khalelov starts at 8 a.m. He is the first one, who enters the workshop and inspects the hydro technical state of water in the ponds. Now, there are 10 large reservoirs and 12 small ones here.


In the large ponds of about 45 cubic meters some species of valuable fish are swimming. In the small ponds of 8 cubic meters the baby and young fishes are splashing.

‘First-of-all I supervise the hydro technical regime, feeding of fish, change and temperature of water, its saturation with salt and oxygen. All is automated, it claims attention’, the Chief Fish Farmer says.



By the way, the newest Latvian equipment, original design and perspective production became possible owing to the support from KazAgroFinance JSC.


Total value of the Project is about one milliard seven hundred million tenge. One and half milliard were obtained under the line provided by KazAgroFinance JSC. The technological equipment SIA 'AKVAFerma’ purchased on leasing basis from Latvia after a while allows reaching the capacity of 45 ton of sturgeon and 4 ton of caviar per year.


In the ponds, they farm some valuable species of the fishes: Russian sturgeon, Siberian sturgeon, sterlet and hybrid of beluga and sterlet – bester. Their quantity is now a commercial secret, but that the number of fish accounts for some thousand specimens is a certain thing.


According to Aidar Khalelov, taking care of the fish as if its own ones, the special attention is paid to the creation of the conditions as close to the natural surroundings as possible. The system of filtering, feeding and salting of water is set up in such a way that the sturgeons could not feel any differences.



'These fish do not like the bright light and take food, mainly, from the bottom, since in the nature they spend the essential part of their life there. We try to recreate this condition in the ponds. The small feed is for the small fish, as it grows, the food is increasing too. The feed should go down, smell good and be high-energy’, the fish farmer comments.


Having checked the cleaning and feeding systems, he carefully inspects the baby and young fish. He weighs some of them in his hand.


You may slow down and accelerate their growth just adjusting the water temperature and quantity of feed depending on that is necessary for production currently.

‘Sturgeon feels good at the temperature of + 2 up to +27°C, but the best temperature regime for the intensive growth and breeding of fish ranges from + 17 to +22°C. At this temperature the sturgeon females start laying eggs much earlier than in the natural conditions’, the fish farmer specifies.


Generally speaking, the Aidar’s task is to set up the technological process in such a way that thereafter you supervise it just sometimes making some adjustments.

The gourmet items will reach the Kazakhstani people’s tables very soon. The sturgeon flesh will be available at shops in 2018, and the caviar will be available in 2020.


'Approximately, the kilogram of the sturgeon flesh will cost about KZT4000, how much the caviar will cost, we do not know now’, the fish farmer says inspecting the large sturgeon.


The sturgeon requires attention 3-4 hours within day and night. The exception is the sorting periods, which take almost the whole day. The working day of the fish farmer ends at 17 p.m. with the same job, as it began: checking of the hydro technical state of water.


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