Georgian Fish and Caviar - Malkhaz Shubalidze Sums Up a Decade

Georgian Fish and Caviar - Malkhaz Shubalidze Sums Up a Decade

Malkhaz Shubalidze – the founder of Georgian Fish and Caviar worked hard for an intensive water supply farm that started operating back in 2013. Frankly, tremendous effort and determined work are exactly what make the company stand out in the Caucasus region.

What got you interested in aquaculture and caviar production?

My passion for agriculture arose only in 2013, even though I was born and raised in Kobuleti on the Black Sea coast, at the confluence of the Kintrishi and Dekhva rivers, where I was fond of fishing and watching fish since childhood. Turns out I did not pay much attention back then.

Once, while abroad, I bought black caviar and thought to myself “why not produce caviar in Georgia, where we have unique water resources and climatic conditions.” At that time, in Georgia, there weren’t black caviar and sturgeon breeding farms, which further strengthened my national interest in this work.

Tell us about the process and difficulties of creating a farm.

The first step was choosing the most accurate location. My main goal was to build an intensive water supply farm, using modern equipment with the help of foreign specialists, creating a brood-stock material, and breeding sturgeon using different methods.

I actively joined the building process in 2016 and although I have 15 years of experience in the construction industry, it still took me some time to make the farm meet all the European standards. The fishery is systematically modernized and updated.

The status of an experimental farm was assigned from the very beginning, which later justified itself.

Tell us about your farm.

Universal intensive water farm Georgian Fish and Caviar, where different types of fish live and one of the most delicious caviar in Georgia is produced, is located in Kobuleti. The farm is extended over 4 hectares. Water is supplied by the cleanest river in Georgia, Kintrishi.

Georgian Fish and Caviar Farm currently produce fish products and high-quality black and red caviar.

What makes your farm stand out?

Georgian Fish and Caviar Farm is characterized by compliance with safety standards, groundwater system, minimal environmental impact, and an abundance of artesian water or leachate. We strictly control water quality, nutrition, and growth specifics to make sure that the environment for fish is as close to natural as possible. Each process that I mentioned above influences the product specifics and leads them to the most piquant and tasty food possible.

The farm is built on the Kintrishi river site which is one of the cleanest rivers in Georgia. Even though the river is known for its quality, there is a 105-meter monolithic dam that protects agriculture.  Kintrishi water is also used for the natural nutrients which are crucial to getting perfect caviar and having healthy fish. As the river brings almost 18% of its natural food, workers help it with supplements too. In addition to that, Georgian Fish and Caviar only use European-made food such as Biomar, Skretting, and Coppens, meaning that fish are only fed with quality food. The farm gets its anchovy stock from Poti as the dam fish need to receive nutrients during the wintertime.

What are your plans?

My first plan is to expand the existing farm, certified caviar workshop, and create a Colchis sturgeon farm. Which undoubtedly will be followed by new investments, new, exciting technologies, increasing the volume of secondary products and the number of people employed.

Tell us about your team…

The professional team is one of the main keys to our success. We are proud of our hardworking employees, who love their work. Taking care of the professional growth of our team members is our top priority. We have trained two of our employees in ichthyology to have even more advanced board members in the local market to develop our farm and this business. We are still on track with the professional development and training of our other employees.

We are very proud to say, Leri Chichinadze who studied at St. Louis University, became our CTO six months ago and now actively works to bring our brand to a global market. It is a pleasure for us to have a professional like him on our board.

What are the achievements of your farm you are most proud of?

For more than two years, we have been participating in the trout fishery of the native streams of the high mountain rivers of Adjara to contribute to reducing the environmental damage caused by hydroelectric power plants located on these rivers. Soon the Kobuleti and Guria rivers will be added to this list.

Based on the memorandum, we cooperate with the Batumi Aquarium. We are working on the creation and reproduction of the Colchis sturgeon.

This will be my greatest achievement in this direction – to preserve and observe one of the most distinctive, rare, and endangered species.

It is also noteworthy that the influence of the work of our team was reflected in the wholesale and retail market and import volumes. Fortunately, this farm has inspired the construction of several new farms, with whom we are happy to consult, help with planning, share advice, and contribute to the development of Georgian aquaculture.

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