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Marketing of Aquacultured Seabass and Seabream from the Mediterranean Basin

By Marie-Christine Monfort, FAO Consultant, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Abstract

Mediterranean finfish species such as the European seabass and the gilthead seabream have, over the last two decades, been attracting considerable attention among aquaculturists and investors. The net result has been a rapid increase in the supply of the finfish to European markets. Accessing these markets with the right product at the right price is a key factor in the success of any commercial aquaculture project. This report describes the current status of the European market for these and other finfish species and the major characteristics of marketing farmed fish in the Mediterranean basin.

Part 1 of the report gives an overview of the global European market, including developments in finfish production and marketing performance. Part 2 reviews major market traits of the European seabass and the gilthead seabream as well as other finfish including tilapia. It discusses suppliers to Europe, prices, marketing strategies and product types. Part 3 presents important European market characteristics such as product quality, consistency of supplies and competitive prices. Part 4 gives key figures regarding aquaculture production by country. Part 5 outlines farming technologies that may be more suited to certain Mediterranean countries and may offer new investment opportunities.

Introduction

The aim of this market report is to offer to participants to the next experts’ meeting of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean an overview of the market and marketing of finfish aquaculture products in Europe, with a special focus on finfish produced in the countries of the Mediterranean basin.

Without a doubt, the recent and widely advertised success stories in the aquaculture sector worldwide (salmon, tropical shrimp, catfish, seabass and seabream) have stimulated investors attention. Today new species are attracting investors and tomorrow they may be augmenting the supply of fish to the region. In this report, the focus is on market considerations of aquaculture products. Getting access to markets at the ‘right’ price with the right product is a key factor in the success of any commercial aquaculture project.

This report describes the present market status of these new species and the major features of marketing aquaculture products reared in the Mediterranean basin. It is structured along the following lines:

  • Part 1 gives an overview of the market, including developments in aquaculture production and the marketing performance of finfish,
  • Part 2 reviews major market traits of seabass, seabream, tilapia and other finfish,
  • Part 3 presents important market characteristics,
  • Part 4 gives key figures regarding aquaculture production by country, and
  • Part 5 presents some of the new aquaculture technologies that are suited to the region and that offer investors new tracks for development.

The report prepared by Marie-Christine Monfort, seafood marketing expert, is based on a compilation of existing documents enriched by direct discussions with industry and trade members.

Contents

  1. Overview of the market

    1.1 Production development
    1.2 Marketing performance

  2. Major market traits of finfish by species

    2.1 Seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax)
    2.2 Seabream (Sparus aurata)
    2.3 Tilapia

  3. Mediterranean farmed fish: What do markets want?

    3.1 Southern Mediterranean local markets
    3.2 European markets

  4. Aquaculture production by country

    4.1 Albania
    4.2 Algeria
    4.3 Croatia
    4.4 Cyprus
    4.5 Egypt
    4.6 France
    4.7 Greece
    4.8 Israel
    4.9 Italy
    4.10 Lebanon
    4.11 Libyan Arab Jamahirya
    4.12 Malta
    4.13 Morocco
    4.14 Slovenia
    4.15 Spain
    4.16 Syrian Arab Republic
    4.17 Tunisia
    4.18 Turkey

  5. New farming technologies

    5.1 New production technologies used in fresh and marine fish aquaculture in Mediterranean countries

APPENDIXES

  1. Customs duties
  2. EU imports data
  3. Organic fish farming EU project
  4. Development of products and marketing options: the example of salmon in France
  5. Large-scale offshore fish farms in the Pacific

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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June 2007

the Fish Site Editor

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