How the fishing industry of Ukraine survives in the conditions of war

How the hostilities affected the fishing in Ukraine
Читати українською

Ukraine imports about 80% of fish products.

In January 2022, approximately 45 thousand tons of fish and fish products were imported to Ukraine, in February 44 thousand tons, and in March, there was practically no import. This was reported in the Association of Ukrainian Importers of Fish and Seafood.

As for our own 20% of production, since the beginning of the full-scale war, some fishing ports where the fishing fleet was based have been occupied (for example, Mariupol, Berdyansk and Genichesk) or have been under fire. Fishing is carried out in very small amounts only in some places of the Black Sea coastal zone.

In inland waters in 2022, due to the cold spring, the spawning ban was set later. Also, a number of regional military-civilian administrations (Dnepropetrovsk, Poltava, Zaporozhye, Cherkasy) have banned industrial and even recreational fishing in the Kremenchug, Kamensky, Zaporozhye and Kakhovka reservoirs since the beginning of April for the period of martial law.

So what we have today:

  • occupation of some ports of Ukraine;
  • constant shelling of hydraulic structures ;
  • some fishermen are now drafted into the Armed Forces of Ukraine;
  • sea mines can pose a threat to navigation and the use of industrial fishing gear;
  • explosions in the water area and on the coast of water bodies;
  • the death of fish and other aquatic organisms in the zone of vision of hostilities.

All these factors negatively affect the fishing industry as such.

But there are also positive aspects.

The fighting and the mass evacuation of people have led to a significant decrease in the removal of fish in some water bodies by both fishing organizations and amateur anglers, which may have a positive effect on the reproduction of some fish populations.

Marine fisheries and imports are also likely to be the hardest hit, but inland fisheries and aquaculture will also suffer losses. It is now difficult to assess what they will be, because everything will depend on the scale and duration of hostilities.

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