Volga-Dnepr Carries Cargo 1.2 Million Whitefish
Volga-Dnepr’s expertise was called into action to deliver a shipment of 1,236,000 Muksun fish to help repopulate the freshwater Ob River basin in northern Russia.
The whitefish, mostly found in the Siberian Arctic waters, were transported in four 2.5 ton water containers with oxygen tanks from St. Petersburg to Salekhard onboard one of the Boeing 737 freighters operated by AirBridgeCargo. It is believed to be the first time Muksuns have flown by air.
To ensure the wellbeing of the fish during their journey, the aircraft’s cargo hold was maintained within a 53.6 to 57.2°F temperature range and they were accompanied by fish breeding experts. The fish currently weigh around one gram each but eventually could grow to two feet long.
The unusual delivery was organized by Volga-Dnepr and AirBridgeCargo’s transport professionals on behalf of their longstanding partner, aircraft charter broker Air Charter Service. The group’s engineers developed a special loading plan for the flight and used bespoke equipment to unload the fish in their water containers in Salekhard.
The newly-spawned fish were bred at a fish hatchery near Saint Petersburg as part of a program to increase the population of the Muksun species in the Ob and Irtysh river basins in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug in Russia. The fish have since been released into the Ob River and once fully grown will represent up to an additional 150 tons of Muksun fish in the river.