by Karina Manukyan
The program on replenishment of ishkhan (Armenian trout) reserves in Lake Sevan and fish breeding development has caused the environmentalists' indignation. The program envisages creation of an incubator, a juvenile fish farm and a fish processing factory. The products (frozen fish, tinned fish, smoked fillet) will mostly be exported. Environmentalists say that the Government is already preparing the draft decision on ishkhan breeding in Lake Sevan. Emi Fruit company has completed the pilot project and is presenting its estimations to the Government.
Head of EcoLur NGO Inga Zarafyan said during the Dec 11 meeting of the Alliance of Environmental NGOs that according to the project, the stock of ishkhan fed on artificial food will be increased to 50,000 tons by 2023. The environmentalists are concerned about the fact that up to 50 thsd tons of artificial food will be released to Lake Sevan.
Zarafyan added that it will be impossible to monitor such large-scale ishkhan breeding. "The Commission on Lake Sevan Issues comes out for the project. It says that it will prevent the food from polluting the lake and that it will control its quality. The Commission pays special attention to the amount the company is going to invest in the Sevan Fund - 23 billion AMD. However, it is not clear what will become of the Sevan before the economic entities invest that amount and who will manage the funds", she said. She added that the environmental measures of this project are rather vague.
That being said, the Alliance of Environmental NGOs is going to release a statement.