Aquaculture for all

Marked Growth in Madeira's Aquaculture Output

Economics +1 more

PORTUGAL - Aquaculture exports from Madeira are predicted to rise by 80 per cent this year compared to 2008. The main focus is on the production of common sea bream.

The Regional Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources anticipates that the volume of Madeira aquaculture exports will increase around 80 per cent this year, going from 283,104 exported tonnes in 2008 to nearly 500,000 tonnes, according to FIS.

Regional secretary, Manuel Antonio Correia, estimates that the value of exports overseas will increase from € 990,800 in 2008 to € 1.7 million in 2009.

On the basis of these projections, Mr Correia said: "Marine aquaculture of a commercial nature in the autonomous region of Madeira is in full growth," Jornal da Madeira reports.

On the issue, he pointed out that the region has excellent conditions for farmed fish production, since the average temperature of sea water in winter is far higher than continental Europe.

"Due to this factor, the growth of farmed fish is faster, and the production cycles are shorter and lower in cost, making the activity more competitive at the European level," he maintained.

"In Europe (the Mediterranean zone), the necessary time for juvenile common sea bream specimens to reach commercial size is 13 to 16 months. In Madeira, that time can be reduced to between 10 and 12 months," Mr Correia explained.

According to producers, it is possible to explore market niches with origins in Madeira because the sea bream produced in this Portuguese water "has better flavour and consistency", the regional secretary commented.

"The region's marine aquaculture is concentrated in sea bream production, which is in full expansion. In 2005, nearly 37 tonnes were yielded, of which 26 tonnes were sold in Madeira and 11 tonnes exported," Mr Correia said.

Meanwhile, in 2006 the island produced around 126 tonnes of sea bream, of which 27 tonnes were commercialised in the region and the 99 remaining tonnes sold in Portugal, reports FIS.

Last year, Madeira produced 470 tonnes – 187 tonnes of which was sold in the region and 283 tonnes off the island.

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