Anna Pyc, member of the board of SPRL, and an expert in the field of trout feed describes the trout industry in Poland.
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|Trout (Photo credit: Julie Starr)|
by Anna Pyc
Trout farming in Poland is situated mainly in the northern part of the country with its main species – rainbow trout. It is relatively young part of the Polish aquaculture reaching 14 thousand tons of annual production in 2010 with a value of approximately €40m. The farms are modern, many using partially recirculated systems and technology reducing environmental impact. Over 200 trout farms employ approximately 1000 people. The location of farms in rural areas makes them important for local employment levels.
Trout farms in Poland use high quality feeds purchased from leading feed producers in Europe. 41.5 per cent of the market share belongs to Aller Aqua (2010), in the second place is Biomar (34.6 per cent) and third is Skretting (12.3 per cent). Aller Aqua is the only fish feed company with a production plant in Poland, which makes the company competitive regarding delivery conditions.
Trout farms in Poland are in most cases well managed and therefore the approximate FCR reaches values of starter feeds at 0.72 and, in fingerlings production 0.88. In recent years there has also been investment in automatic feeding systems to improve feeding effectiveness.
Very strict regulations in Polish law regarding the environmental impact of salmonids production also require that feeds that meet certain standards. According to individual farm water conditions the feed is chosen in respect of its caloric value and other properties. Many of the farms have their own hatcheries, where starter feeds are used. These feeds are especially important for having high survival rate and fish in good condition as a basis for fast growth.
One product worth mentioning, which is a part of Aller Aqua Hatchery Pack, is Aller Artex. It fully replaces live artemia and is used with very good results in numerous hatcheries.
Fish feed is the largest cost component of trout farms, amounting on average to about 34 per cent, however it used to reach over 40 per cent in previous years. Cost of labour, live raw material and other operational costs amount to 19 per cent , 16 per cent and 14 per cent respectively. Other components costs are relatively small.
Polish trout production faces new challenges in terms of market demands as well as increasing pressure on reducing environmental impact. The Polish Trout Breeders Association faces these challenges and among other activities introduced a four year promotional campaign of trout in Poland. The campaign focuses mainly on promoting trout as a source of healthy nutrition, as well as spreading knowledge about the species.