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February 1 / 2019

THE GLOBAL SEAFOOD MARKETPLACE

ISSN 1868-5943

7-9 May 2019 | BRUSSELS, BELGIUM BRUSSELS EXPO Eurofish Magazine

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In this issue

Hungary ratifies the EUROFISH Establishment Agreement Hungary has a long history of freshwater pond farming. Traditional species, carps of various kinds and predatory fish, are produced in earthen ponds in polyculture to exploit the different trophic levels in the ponds. This type of farming has wider environmental ramifications as the ponds are a magnet for fish-eating birds and animals thereby promoting biodiversity, and in addition, contribute to water management, carbon sequestration, nutrient retention, and compensate for drainage activities. Many farmers practise multifunctional pond farming, where the production of fish is a core occupation that supports other revenue-generating activities, such as angling and gastronomy, which in turn lead to tourist services such as accommodation, bird-watching, hunting, and other offers. The industry collaborates closely with research institutes to improve pond farming technologies and a number of innovative systems are now being deployed to increase yields, introduce new species, and promote efficiencies. As a member of EUROFISH (since November 2018) Hungarian skills and experience in the field of freshwater aquaculture will be invaluable for the organisation and for many of the other EUROFISH member countries. Read more from page 22 Poland: Vannamei shrimp is a popular product in Europe, where it is imported in large volumes from countries in Asia and Latin America. With the development of recirculation aquaculture systems (RAS) a few companies in Europe have used their access to sources of warm water to farm these species locally. A Polish project that brings together researchers and representatives from the private sector is among the latest to test the viability of vannamei production in RAS. The trial has proved extremely informative, shedding light on many of the practical issues that need to be resolved if the commercial production of these crustaceans is to be a success. It has also delivered scientific results that will contribute to the wellbeing of the animals during the rearing process. Read more from page 54 Blue carbon: The increase in the temperature of the planet is a threat to nations around the world with some more affected than others. Having agreed to limit the rise in temperature, countries are looking at different ways of staying within the threshold. Coastal ecosystems may play a crucial role here as they have been shown to be highly efficient carbon sinks, capturing and storing up to 20 times more carbon from the atmosphere than comparable terrestrial areas including tropical forests. Blue carbon is the term given to the carbon-rich organic soils of marine and coastal ecosystems, which, research has shown, are highly efficient at capturing carbon. Although aquatic coastal ecosystems account for less than 0.5 per cent of the total seabed area they store more than half, perhaps more than two-thirds, of the carbon in all marine sediments. Read Dr Manfred Klinkhardtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s article from page 51 GlobalG.A.P., a certification standard for good agricultural practise (GAP), started out as a businessto-business standard that certified suppliers, whose products and production methods conformed to the requirements set by the standard. Increasingly, however, it is becoming a business-to-consumer standard for certified aquaculture businesses thereby creating greater consumer recognition of the label and what it stands for. Consumers can go into a dedicated website to learn more about the certified product and its origins, as well as about aquaculture in general and its importance for food security. GlobalG.A.P. standards exist for agricultural plant production, animal husbandry and, since 2004, for aquaculture. The aquaculture standards cover the entire production chain from broodstock to processing and apply to food safety, animal welfare, environmental protection and ecological responsibility, health, safety and well-being of employees in the workplace. Animal welfare criteria were developed early on and now include supplementary certificates for companies wishing to go beyond the legal requirements. Read more from page 60 EUROFISH Magazine 1 / 2019

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Table of News

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6 International News



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15 Seafood Expo North America/Seafood Processing North America, 17-19 March 2019, Boston Rich programme of activities awaits attendees

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17 III Global Fishery Forum & Seafood Expo Russia, 10-12 July 2019, St. Petersburg Russiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premium event for the international ďŹ sheries sector 18 RAStech 2019, 13-14 May, Washington, D.C Recirculation aquaculture event gathers global experts

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19 FIAP sells a wide range of equipment for the aquaculture industry A one-stop shop for ďŹ sh farmers

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22 EďŹ&#x20AC;orts by the administration, industry, and associations is bearing fruit Fish consumption increases faster than predicted

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26 Hungary aims to increase the international competitiveness of pond ďŹ sh farming â&#x20AC;&#x153;Aquaculture and processing are of great importanceâ&#x20AC;? 28 Innovative pond farming systems are economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable Integrated aquaculture oďŹ&#x20AC;ers multiple beneďŹ ts

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34 Research Institute for Fisheries and Aquaculture (HAKI) Pioneering work in freshwater farming 37 Aranyponty is a pioneer of multifunctional ďŹ sh ponds A strong case for diverse income streams 39 MA-HAL, the Hungarian Aquaculture and Fisheries Inter-branch Organisation Defending the interests of the aquaculture sector

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41 Szarvas-Fish is Hungaryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest African catďŹ sh producer Exploiting demand for boneless ďŹ sh ďŹ&#x201A;esh Front cover picture courtesy Aranyponty Halaszati Zrt. 4

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Contents 44 NACEE, the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Central-Eastern Europe Bringing pond aquaculture stakeholders together

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45 With top quality products Elore Fishing Cooperative keeps pace in a competitive market Adapting to ďŹ ckle consumer needs

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48 Raising carp and African catďŹ sh in the middle of the Great Hungarian Plain Using genetics for faster growth

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Poland 54 Polish university laboratory tests the viability of farming warmwater shrimp in recirculation aquaculture Challenges of shrimp cultivation are not insurmountable



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51 Coastal wetlands are highly eďŹ&#x20AC;ective carbon sinks â&#x20AC;&#x153;Blue carbonâ&#x20AC;? slows down the global greenhouse eďŹ&#x20AC;ect

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56 Automation to characterise renovated factory Gadus restructures its processing operations 58 Association of Sea Fishermenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s PO has a long history Lack of cod threatens coastal ďŹ shery

Trade and Markets 60 GlobalG.A.P. is expanded to B-2-C standard Web portal oďŹ&#x20AC;ers information on aquaculture producers

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Guest Pages: Luisa Ă lvarez Blanco 63 FEDEPESCA is helping small ďŹ shmongers make the most of technology and social media Giving traditional ďŹ sh retailers a voice

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Worldwide Fish News

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Belgium

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Hungary

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Spain

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Turkey

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65 Diary Dates 66 Imprint, List of Advertisers

8, 12 Scan the QR code to access the EuroďŹ sh Magazine website (www.euroďŹ shmagazine. com), where you can also sign up to receive the EuroďŹ sh Magazine newsletter.

EUROFISH Magazine 1 / 2019

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[ INTERNATIONAL NEWS ] EU economic survey ďŹ nds most Europeans love seafood The Eurobarometer, a survey since 1973 of economic and social indicators, operated by the European Commission, has found, once again, that Europeans love fish. European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella reacted to the most recent report by highlighting the importance of ensuring the sustainability of European fisheries so that â&#x20AC;&#x153;â&#x20AC;Śour citizens can enjoy these tasty products in the long term.â&#x20AC;? Considerable progress has been made in this regard over the last years, he said, adding that aquaculture too played an important role, â&#x20AC;&#x153;farmed fish from the EU is a sustainable source of protein and other nutrients. In a low-carbon society, its role

will only increase.â&#x20AC;? Europeans spend twice as much, per person, on fish than do Americans because, according to the survey of peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s opinion, most (74ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of survey respondents) find it healthy and tasty. Europeans also prefer the local fishmonger, who sells local fish, rather than other retail channels, where the fish may be imported, and where the seller may not be as acquainted with seafood, how to treat it, recipes, and so on. Fishmongers also often offer a more varied assortment of seafood, which the survey respondents also valued. Trust was another issue, the respondents also indicated they felt greater confidence in their seafood purchases because of the strict EU rules on product quality, labelling, and other benefits.

The barometer contains a wide array of interesting information and is available on the Commissionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

website, at http://ec.europa.eu/ COMMFrontOffice/publicopinion/index.cfm/Survey/index.

Hungary ratiďŹ es EUROFISH Establishment Agreement Hungary, one of the first countries (along with Latvia and Estonia) to sign the EUROFISH Establishment Agreement in 2000, has now ratified it, making Hungary the thirteenth member of the organisation. The other members are Albania, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, and Turkey. Dated 14 November 2018, the ratification has been confirmed by the FAO, the depositary of the EUROFISH Establishment Agreement. We are delighted to welcome Hungary to the organisation, said Mauro Colarossi (Italy), the chairperson of the EUROFISH Governing Council. Hungaryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ratification not only strengthens the organisation, but also sends a strong signal to other countries in the region about the value that membership of EUROFISH 6

brings. Aina Afanasjeva, Director of EUROFISH, added that other member countries also stood to gain from Hungaryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reputation for cutting edge research and development within the field of freshwater aquaculture as well as its extensive expertise and international links in this area, and that she looked forward to collaborating with Hungary for the benefit of all EUROFISH member countries. Mr GĂĄbor Klenovics, Director of Fisheries, Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture, expressed his satisfaction with the ratification saying that he looked forward to working with EUROFISH and the other member countries to face some of the many challenges threatening the inland fish farming sector. A landlocked country, Hungary, has historically focused on freshwater fish farming and is today

Hungary became the 13th member country of EUROFISH following itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ratiďŹ cation in November 2018.

the largest producer of African catfish in the EU and the thirdlargest (after Poland and the Czech Republic) producer of common carp, the most widely farmed freshwater fish in the EU. Intensive aquaculture systems are

widely used to farm African catfish, and farmers are now looking at the potential of recirculation aquaculture systems to produce valuable native predatory species such as European catfish, pike, perch, and pike-perch.

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[ INTERNATIONAL NEWS ]

POLFISH

The worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest wellboat, the Ronja Storm, was launched from the Cemre shipyard in Yalova, Turkey, where the 116 m long and 23 m wide vessel was constructed, and is now making its maiden voyage to Norway where it will be fitted out. Following this, the Ronja Storm will sail to Tasmania where it will join the Australian company Huonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fleet. The vessel is to be used to transport and bathe salmon. Salmon are bathed in freshwater onboard the wellboat to treat them for amoebic gill disease. The freshwater causes the amoeba to drop off the gills of the fish. The vessel would be able to bathe an entire 240 m pen.The Ronja Storm is more than twice the size of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s previous biggest wellboat, and can hold

Havyard

Turkey has completed and launched the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest wellboat

The Ronja Storm is the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest wellboat and more than twice the size of the previous record-holder.

over 12,000 cubic meters of water. In addition, it will contain technology that is at the cutting edge of salmon farming. The ship will have its own desalination plant,

producing 700 tonnes of freshwater per hour. This will ensure efficient operations while reducing pressure on Tasmaniaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s freshwater supply. Peter and Frances

Bender of Huon were recognised as the 2018 Australian Farmer of the Year and are currently the only salmon farmers in Australia to use wellboats in their operations.

15. INTERNATIONAL FAIR OF SEAFOOD PROCESSING & PRODUCTS

GDAĹ&#x192;SK, POLAND

29-31.05

2019

organisation: GdaĹ&#x201E;sk International Fair Co. | monika.pain@mtgsa.com.pl | t. +4858 554 93 62 venue: AMBEREXPO Exhibition & Convention Centre | 11 Ĺťaglowa St., GdaĹ&#x201E;sk, Poland

polfishfair.pl EUROFISH Magazine 1 / 2019

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[ INTERNATIONAL NEWS ] The EU aquaculture sector is strong and growing The EU aquaculture sector which is home to some 12,500 enterprises, most of which employ less than 10 employees, sold 1.4 million tonnes of seafood worth â&#x201A;Ź4.9 billion in 2016. This is a 4.4ď&#x2122;&#x201A; increase in volume and a 6.2ď&#x2122;&#x201A; rise in value compared to 2014. At the same time earnings almost doubled to â&#x201A;Ź0.8 billion in 2016. This marks a strong recovery from 2013 that showed losses in most of the large aquaculture countries. Employment is stable totalling 73,000 but has significantly expanded as full-time equivalents from 36,000 in 2013 to 44,000 employees in 2016 suggesting that more stable employment can be found in the aquaculture industry. Company investments indicate that this trend is likely to continue. Marine aquaculture is the largest subsector with a â&#x201A;Ź2,7 million turnover, followed by shellfish (â&#x201A;Ź1,1 million) and freshwater (â&#x201A;Ź1,0 million) production. The most valuable species produced are Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, and European seabass. Production in five countries (United Kingdom, France, Greece,

Economic performance indicators for the EU aquaculture sector, 2016 Source: STEFC EWG on Aquaculture

Italy, and Spain) account for nearly 75ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of total production volume with up to 100ď&#x2122;&#x201A; differences in turnovers between the countries. Average wages also display large differences and although the average yearly income in 2016 was â&#x201A;Ź25,000 per year, up

3.5ď&#x2122;&#x201A; since 2014, nominal salaries range from about â&#x201A;Ź2,600 per year in Bulgaria to over â&#x201A;Ź65,000 a year in the Netherlands and Denmark. More details can be read in the comprehensive overview, the 2018 Economic report of the EU Aquaculture Sector, covering the

latest information available on the production, economic value, structure and competitive performance of the aquaculture sector at national and EU levels for the years 2008 to 2016. The report is available at: https://stecf.jrc. ec.europa.eu/reports/economic

Outlook for Spanish aquaculture in 2019 is generally encouraging A positive outlook for rainbow trout and the insufficient use of available EMFF funds are among the observations in recent examinations of Spainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aquaculture sector. A report from APROMAR says the situation after a 2016 judgement by Spainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Supreme Court declaring that rainbow trout was an invasive species has been addressed by the Congress of Deputies. The report stated that APROMAR welcomed this as step in the right direction to return to normalize the cultivation of such

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an important species in Spain as rainbow trout. Rainbow trout enjoys a growing market in Europe, and several countries, from Turkey to Denmark, are leaders in its production. Spainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s expertise in aquaculture technology and marketing make rainbow trout a promising area for economic investment. APROMAR also described the â&#x20AC;&#x153;disappointingly scarce useâ&#x20AC;? of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). The report stated that for practical purposes the

development of aquaculture activities in Natura 2000 areas was very scarce and that applications to the EMFF continued to be insufficient and even reached historical lows when it was below 15ď&#x2122;&#x201A;. There are even parts of the EMFF that have not yet been launched, such as the Financial Instrument, which is essential for large aquaculture companies to access support for fish processing and distribution. The report also provides other information such as how to

calculate the FiFo ratio (ratio of the volume of wild fish in feed to farmed fish production); welfare conditions for fish and the need for more scientific research; the status of eel aquaculture in the EU and its role in stock recovery; the responsible sourcing of raw materials for aquaculture feed; and current limitations of the regulations for organic aquaculture. APROMARâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s analysis (in Spanish) is available at http://bit.ly/2UYPbQG .

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[ INTERNATIONAL NEWS ] Croatia: Who is responsible for responsible ďŹ sheries?

The event promoted dialogue between stakeholders responsible for ďŹ sheries in the Adriatic to identify the actual and potential issues together with its solutions.

In December 2018 in Zagreb, Croatia, the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) Adria organized a roundtable discussion â&#x20AC;&#x153;Who is responsible for responsible fisheriesâ&#x20AC;?. The aim of the roundtable was to foster dialogue among the key national and international stakeholders responsible for fisheries in Adriatic, and to identify the actual and potential issues together with its solutions. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fish stocks in the Mediterranean Sea are deteriorating at an alarming rate, and the Adriatic Sea is no exception. Open dialogue with

all the sectorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stakeholders is key to the recovery of our resources and fisheries industry in Croatia. The mission of WWF is to facilitate effective cooperation among fishermen, administration and scientists,â&#x20AC;? stated Danijel Kanski, Marine Program Manager at WWF Adria in his opening remarks at the event. The event gathered 40 participants from fisheries sector including fishermen, representatives of FLAGs, producer organisations, processors, international

organisations, Croatian Chamber of Economy (HGK), NGOs and Ministry of Agriculture. During a panel moderated by Lav Bavcevic, University of Zadar, seven panellists presented their views on current issues and steps needed for resolving them ensuring sustainable fisheries in the Adriatic. Pero Ugarkovic (recreational and sport fishing sector, Podvodni.hr) emphasized the importance of institutional trust, whereas Ĺ imer Kosor (processor, Omega 3) underlined the need for a better

understanding of state of marine resources. Prof. Sanja Matic Skoko (Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, Split) highlighted the need for all parties involved to take collective responsibility, whereas Marin MihanovicĚ (Ministry of Agriculture) pointed to the necessity for cooperation between all stakeholders for better results. Lav Bavcevic closed the discussion thanking the organisers for their initiative and stating that general opinions had to be based on knowledge not on assumptions.

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[ INTERNATIONAL NEWS ] Spain: Purse seiners do not cause undue ďŹ sh mortality A study commissioned by a Spanish tuna seiner organisation concludes that Spanish seiners in the Indian Ocean do not contribute to mortality of by-catch species compared with other fishing gear types. By-catch mortality is an issue in fisheries worldwide, and many countries, and their respective industries, have adopted rules and codes of practice to reduce by-catch mortality. In the tropical tuna industry, significant by-catch involves porpoises, sharks and rays, and turtles. The Spanish Producers Organization of Large Freezer Tuna Vessels (OPAGAC) recently conducted a study, which it submitted to the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission, showing that, compared with longlines and driftnets, bycatch mortality by purse seiners is â&#x20AC;&#x153;practically null.â&#x20AC;? The report estimates levels of fishing mortality at 0,15ď&#x2122;&#x201A;, for sharks and rays, less than 0,3ď&#x2122;&#x201A; for turtles, and null for marine mammals. The voluntary implementation by the fleet of a Code of Good Practices, the study says,

verified by the technological institute AZTI and integrated into the Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP) launched in 2016 in collaboration with WWF, has contributed to further reduce the mortality of these species. The code includes provisions on the use of non-entangling fish aggregating devices (FAD) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; of which the Spanish fleet uses more than 90ď&#x2122;&#x201A; in the Indian Ocean â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and the implementation

of safe release practices for protected species. This has contributed to the greater survival of species caught in each set and to the almost total elimination of ghost fishing caused by FAD nets and presumed very high in the past. The study, which is available on the IOTC website, www.iotc.org, is one of the actions implemented by OPAGAC to assess the impact of its

fleet on by-catch and evaluate and the efficiency of the actions implemented to mitigate the impact of the fleet, as contemplated in the OPAGAC FIP, which covers also similar actions in other oceans. In addition, OPAGAC will collaborate with NGOs and scientific institutions to extend the study in the Indian Ocean so that an updated document can be presented to the IOTC Working Party on Ecosystems and By-catch in 2019.

FLAGs these findings give a good indication and understanding of the number and roles of women working in the whole fisheries and aquaculture industry. The key findings show that women account for 27ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of the combined fisheries and aquaculture value chain, of which 13ď&#x2122;&#x201A; are found in the fisheries

primary sector, 26ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of the primary aquaculture sector, and 51ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of the industryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s processing sector. In the 2007-2013 programming period under Axis 4 of the European Fisheries Fund, out of the 13,363 FLAG projects less than 9ď&#x2122;&#x201A; focused specifically on supporting women. In the 2014-2020 period, this figure is

expected to increase 5ď&#x2122;&#x201A; Surveys also show that 15ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of the fisheries supply chain businesses rely on the unpaid support of women. The report also contains case studies that offer a more in-depth look at women in fisheries and aquaculture. The report is available for download at www.farnet.eu.

Women in ďŹ sheries A new report has been released by FARNET on women in fisheries and aquaculture. The report studies the representation of women working in Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAG) areas and assesses the level and types of support FLAGs provide these women. Although the report focuses on women in

Danish processor moves part of its operations to Germany In another cost-related location move in the EU fish processing industry, Denmarkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Royal Greenland announced it was moving a production facility in Aalborg to Cuxhaven, in 12

northern Germany. The company cited cost advantages as its motivation for the location shift. However, the move, slated for November 2019, threatens about 50 full-time workers, and

additional part-time workers, in Aalborg. Royal Greenland is a large producer of a wide variety of fish and shellfish, with markets

throughout Europe, North America, and beyond. It has over 2,500 employees, mostly in Greenland, and is also known for its job training programme at the RG Academy.

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[ INTERNATIONAL NEWS ] New EUMOFA publication identiďŹ es barriers to investments in European aquaculture European aquaculture is diverse with many species farmed in different countries. Farming takes place in both in marine environments and in in-land sites and farming techniques vary widely. The aquaculture industry structure also varies significantly within the EU depending on the species farmed. In the north of Europe, aquaculture is dominated by salmon and the industry consists of several large operators. In the Mediterranean, seabass and seabream are the main species produced, by both large and small enterprises. For inland farming, the aquaculture industry is far more fragmented, often consisting primarily of small family owned companies.

This diversification in the sector impacts investments and growth according to the report â&#x20AC;&#x153;Factors affecting cross-border investments in EU aquacultureâ&#x20AC;?. Even though the research in this report only covers a limited portion of the aquaculture industry in the EU, a factor jointly mentioned as a barrier to cross member state investments and investments in general is the bureaucracy and time for the application process related to licencing. The seabass and seabream farming industry in the Mediterranean, which has experienced some boom and bust cycles, highlights increased effort on marketing as most important factor for investments and growth. The lack of incentives to

build scale, and to both promote and accept a focus on producing fewer species, where EU Member States could take a leading role in cost competitiveness or market volume leadership, is mentioned as a potential barrier to achieving economies of scale. By enhancing ideas of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Diversifyingâ&#x20AC;? rather than â&#x20AC;&#x153;Specialisation and scalabilityâ&#x20AC;?, there is a risk that enterprises end up without the sufficient scale to be attractive. Lack of attractiveness could be relevant in several areas â&#x20AC;&#x201C; financial institutions, R&D and educational institutions, suppliers, and among qualified workforce â&#x20AC;&#x201C; that eventually should represent and inject increased productivity and innovations into the sector.

     

 

        

         

      

   





 

        

The report â&#x20AC;&#x153;Factors affecting cross-border investments in EU aquacultureâ&#x20AC;? can be accessed for free on the www.EUMOFA. eu website.

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[ INTERNATIONAL NEWS ] New rules for western Mediterranean demersal ďŹ sh The European Parliamentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fisheries Committee, faced with pressure to address overfishing and by-catch, approved a wideranging management plan for western Mediterranean fisheries. The new draft rules, which must be approved by EU Ministers, (1) allow the European Council to set the fishing efforts for concerned Member States every three years, according to the best available annual scientific advice; (2) implement co-management fisheries regimes between Member States, local fisheries and other

stakeholders; (3) facilitate the implementation of the landing obligation; (4) limit recreational fisheries when their impact on fishing mortality is too great, and (5) urge the Commission to evaluate the effectiveness of the measures three years after the entry into force of the plan. The draft multiannual plan aims at ensuring the exploitation of stocks while maintaining its capacity of reproduction. The rules would apply to commercial and recreational fisheries as well as fish

caught unintentionally (by-catch). The draft plan covers the western Mediterranean waters along the northern Alboran Sea, the Gulf of Lion and the Tyrrhenian Sea, including the Balearic Islands, Corsica and Sardinia. According to 2015 data, the fishing fleet concerned consists of almost 10,900 vessels from Italy (50ď&#x2122;&#x201A;), Spain (39ď&#x2122;&#x201A;) and France (11ď&#x2122;&#x201A;). Demersal stocks in this area are six fish and crustacean species: hake, red mullet, deep-water rose shrimp, Norway lobster, blue and red shrimp, and giant red shrimp.

MEPs agreed that for the first year of implementation of the plan the maximum allowable fishing effort should be reduced by 10ď&#x2122;&#x201A; as compared to the fishing days allowed between 2012 and 2017. For the first three years of implementation, the reduction of fishing efforts would be limited to maximum 10ď&#x2122;&#x201A; (and 30ď&#x2122;&#x201A; for the three years altogether). If scientific advice shows that the stocks are at risk, additional measures should be taken, particularly suspending fishery for the concerned stock, provided that affected fishermen are given fair compensation.

European Parliament â&#x20AC;&#x153;threatensâ&#x20AC;? Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mediterranean ďŹ shing industry The conservation NGO Oceana says the European Parliament threatens efforts to reduce overfishing in the Mediterranean by approving â&#x20AC;&#x153;exceptionsâ&#x20AC;? for Member States (MS) in their management of fisheries. For example, by boosting the legal limit on hours fished per day and other regulatory means by which MS can restrict harvesting pressure on depleted fish stocks, the EP weakens the effectiveness of management efforts that MS have in their power to

combat overfishing, according to Oceana. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The MEPs not only circumvent the legislation, but they endanger the future of fishing in the western Mediterranean. With the current plan draft, there will be less fish coming from the Mediterranean to the tables of Spain, France and Italy and less employment in the fishing sector, while destructive fishing methods continue to destroy marine life,â&#x20AC;? says Lasse Gustavsson, executive director of Oceana Europe.

In addition to the risk to fish populations, many of which are already in danger, the report notes potential losses in industry employment in fishing, processing, and distribution, as fewer fish become available. Consumption declines and price increases are also potential results. Oceana recommends the EP enforce measures such as extending the trawl-free fishing zone from 50 to 100 meters deep, to protect areas important to juvenile fish; this would also help protect artisanal

fishing. Member States, Oceana says, have allowed too many exceptions to this policy measure. Also, follow scientific advice with respect to total allowable catches, another area where, Oceana says, too many exceptions are made. In inadequately applying the precautionary principle and mitigate by-catch, Oceana says, MEPs have rejected provisions regarding accidental catches of protected species and have eliminated conservation measures for fish stocks for which there is little data.

Removal of Thailand IUU â&#x20AC;&#x153;yellow cardâ&#x20AC;? expected to boost exports The EU has rescinded a yellow card, or warning, for Thailand over the issue of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, because of the progress it has made in this area. This move, according to a Thai government official, will benefit Thailandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seafood exports to the EU and general economic growth in the country. The

14

government has worked hard to improve the state of fishery industry regulations and administration. The new status recognises efforts by Thai authorities to tackle human trafficking and improve labour conditions in the fishing sector and indirectly improve the prospects of developing a Thai-EU free trade agreement according

to Auramon Supthaweethum, director-general at the Department of Trade Negotiations under the Commerce Ministry, in the Bangkok Post. The widelyreported problems had hurt Thailandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reputation in important markets around the world. Thailandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s efforts to combat IUU fishing have not been

universally welcomed, however. The president of the Pattani Fishery Association said that the industry is still affected by about 400 laws and regulations related to IUU fishing, which have had an adverse impact on the livelihood of fishermen and reportedly caused damages worth hundreds of billions of baht in the sector.

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[ EVENTS ] Seafood Expo North America/Seafood Processing North America, 17-19 March 2019, Boston

Rich programme of activities awaits attendees Seafood Expo North America/Seafood Processing North America, North Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest seafood trade event, will takes place 17-19 March 2019 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

T

he international seafood industry is getting ready for the joint event Seafood Expo North America/Seafood Processing North America that addresses the entire seafood value chain stretching from the raw materials to the final consumer.

Networking opportunities galore Organised by Diversified Communications, a specialist in seafood-industry expositions and media and producer of the Seafood Expo Global in Brussels

and Seafood Expo Asia in Hong Kong, the event will feature 1,350 exhibitors from more than 50 countries and for seafood buyers this is an unmatched opportunity to meet with suppliers of fresh, frozen, processed, and value-added seafood as well

as equipment manufacturers, logistics experts, and other key service providers. This year, as in earlier years, there will be a new product showcase featuring the latest products available on the North American market and the Seafood Excellence Awards will

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[ EVENTS ] economic trends and activity, world economies, financial markets, and fiscal policies. Her academic work has been published in the Harvard Business Review and in textbooks from Northwestern Universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and she regularly appears on CNBC, Fox News, CNN, and Bloomberg, as well as national radio and various other business news outlets. In her keynote address, Dr. Piegza will discuss the pace of the U.S. economic recovery and what it means for future growth, interest rates, and monetary policy. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll also cover macroeconomic consumer behaviour trends and the potential economic effects of new Federal Reserve policy initiatives.

Dr Lindsey Piegza, Chief Economist at U.S.-based Stifel Fixed Income, will deliver the conferenceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s keynote address at Seafood Expo North America.

crown this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best new products in different categories. In addition, the 13th Annual Oyster Shucking Competition will offer entertainment and the chance to sample fine seafood. All in all, the exhibition together with the social events and special presentations will provide excellent networking opportunities. A conference, held in parallel with the exhibition, will feature a panel of around 25 distinguished speakers who will inform the audience on new regulations, innovations, and trends from the industry. The keynote address at the conference will be delivered by Dr Lindsey Piegza, Chief Economist at U.S.-based Stifel Fixed Income, who will share her knowledge of the US economy and its implications for the seafood market. The US is one of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest seafood markets 16

along with the EU and Japan. Imports of edible seafood into the US in 2017 were worth USD21.5bn up 10.5 percent from 2016, while exports of seafood originating in the US were valued at USD5.4bn a 7ď&#x2122;&#x201A; increase over 2016. Shrimp, salmon and tuna are the most valuable seafood imports in that order, while salmon, lobster, and surimi were the top exports by value. Canada, China, and Chile are the main sources of imports to the US and the current trade war between the US and China is creating a shift in trade patterns as American companies look for other sources of seafood and for other markets.

The global economy, and the seafood economy specifically, will be explored further throughout the balance of the three-day conference program. Sessions on the agenda range from seafood traceability and sourcing to sustainability, regulatory compliance and industry culture. Speakers hail from a wide range of organizations including major private companies, international organisations, national administrations, and NGOs. For more information contact: Karen Butland Sales Manager Phone: +1 207 842 5538 sales-na@seafoodexpo.com 

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Dr Lindsey Piegza, Chief Economist at U.S.-based Stifel Fixed Income, will deliver the conferenceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s keynote address at Seafood Expo North America.

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[ EVENTS ] III Global Fishery Forum & Seafood Expo Russia, 10-12 July 2019, St. Petersburg

Russiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premium event for the international ďŹ sheries sector In its ďŹ rst two years, the Global Fishery Forum & Seafood Expo Russia took place in early autumn. This year, the organizing committee has decided that the forum and exhibition will be held in the middle of summer to coincide with a holiday â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the AllRussian Fishermanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day, which is celebrated in Russia on the second Sunday (14th) of July.

T

he Global Fishery Forum & Seafood Expo is the main industry event in Russia and will be organized at the site of the Expoforum exhibition and business center. This year it will be held in the F pavilion, which is larger and more functional than the venue used last year with a total exhibition area of 13,200 square meters. Seafood Expo Russia 2019 will by every measure be at least 20ď&#x2122;&#x201A; larger than last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s edition of the event, say the exhibition organizers, the Expo Solutions Group. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As of today, more than half of the exhibition area has already been booked. We expect that in 2019 at least 250 companies from 25 countries will take part in our exhibition,â&#x20AC;? said Ivan Fetisov, Director General of Expo Solutions Group.

Rare chance to network with the biggest companies in Russian ďŹ sheries The proportion of foreign participants is also expected to increase. To date, Norway, Iceland, Morocco and Argentina have already announced their intentions for national pavilions, while companies from China, Turkey, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Latvia and other countries have also confirmed their participation. Representatives from these countries

The third edition of the Global Fishery Forum & Seafood Expo Russia to be held in St. Petersburg in July promises to be bigger and more useful than ever for the global ďŹ sheries sector.

will have the opportunity to discuss with their counterparts from Russian fishing and processing enterprises from 30 regions of the country. These are the largest players in the Russian fisheries sector including Norebo, Russian Fishery Company (Russkaya Rybopromyshlennaya Kompaniya), Karelian Fishing Fleet (Karelskiy Rybolovetskiy Flot), Antey, Vostok-1 Collective Fishery (Rybolovetskiy Kolkhoz Vostok-1), F.E.S.T., V.I. Lenin Collective Fishery (Rybolovetskiy Kolkhoz im. V.I. Lenina), as well as many small and medium enterprises. Russia is one of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading nations in marine capture fisheries. According to

FAO, in 2016 the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s catch volumes reached 4.8 million tonnes placing it just behind China, Indonesia, India and the USA. Further growth has been observed in the past two years, and in 2018 Russiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s total catch reached 5,03 million tonnes, a 26-year record. The exhibition will also include a range of companies from the Russian ship building and repair sector. For the first time, the United Shipbuilding Corporation will take part in the event. It is the largest state-owned shipbuilding company in Russia and underpins most of the Russian shipbuilding complex. The largest Baltic ship building holding

company BLRT will also have its own stand at the exhibition. The European presence at the Seafood Expo will be characterised by companies from the processing equipment industry, an area in which Europe has traditionally been strong. Several well-known manufacturers have already confirmed their participation including the German manufacturer of fish processing equipment Baader, the Danish Carsoe, the Norwegian Optimar and others. Russian equipment makers will also be among the exhibitors, of course. For example, for the first time at the exhibition, the domestic company Simbia will present radio navigation equipment.

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[ EVENTS ] Each year the event expands with companies further down the value chain The Russian industry exhibition is an effective B2B platform recognized by the global fisheries sector. This one event gathers together representatives from all areas of the fisheries industry â&#x20AC;&#x201C; from fishing to delivery to the final consumer. This will be the third edition of this event and each year has seen an expansion in the profile of the

participants, with the presence of increasing numbers of companies operating in related industries â&#x20AC;&#x201C; logistics, retail, and HoReCa. This year will be no exception, for example, Spainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest packaging manufacturing company, Ulma Packaging, will exhibit with a stand for the first time. The exhibition of fish industry, seafood, and technology will last three days. After the official events, the weekend will see a mass national holiday â&#x20AC;&#x153;Russian fishâ&#x20AC;? to

celebrate the All-Russian Fishermanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day on Sunday, 14 July on a grand scale. In 2018, a similar public festival was attended by more than 20 thousand people. The programme included a cooking show, for which more than 100 kg of freshly-caught Chinook salmons were delivered from Kamchatka by a special flight and were fried on a giant spit. A fish fair was also organized for the festival guests, where one could buy fish and seafood from all the Russia regions at affordable prices.

To register as a visitor or to purchase exhibition space please visit www.seafoodexporussia.com. For more information contact: Altana Mandzhieva Expo Solutions Group Polkovaya Str. 3 RUS 127018 Moscow Russia Tel.: +7 499 922 44 17 a.mandzhieva@rusfishexpo.com

RAStech 2019, 13-14 May, Washington, D.C

Recirculation aquaculture event gathers global experts Leading RAS experts from around the world are speaking at RAStech 2019, the premier conference for recirculating aquaculture systems on 13-14 May in Washington, D.C., U.S.A.

F

ormerly the International Conference on Recirculating Aquaculture, RAStech 2019 features a line-up of education sessions designed to provide the latest in RAS research, technology development, best practices and implementation.

A conference for RAS users, potential users, and investors Whether you are a current user of RAS technology or considering implementing a RAS project, or even thinking about investing in this market, you will find this event very relevant to you, says David Kuhn, associate professor in the aquaculture research and extension programs, department of food science and technology at Virginia Tech. RAStech is jointly 18

hosted by Annex Business Media, publishers of Hatchery International and RAStech magazine, and Virginia Tech. Oxygen Solutions and Veolia Water Technologies are the platinum sponsors. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are working with different associations and organizations in the aquaculture industry to develop the education sessions and ensure that we continue to provide a high quality education conference for our attendees,â&#x20AC;? Kuhn added. Innovation is vital to the growth and success of recirculating aquaculture systems. RAStech 2019 features education sessions that highlight the latest innovations and case studies in RAS engineering, aquaponics, fish health management, biosecurity, and energy management. In addition, there will be sessions on

raising marine species in RAS environments, RAS feeds management and much more.

Tradeshow provides window to latest innovations in recirculation This international event also features a tradeshow that will highlight the latest developments in RAS products and services from around the world, providing attendees a first-hand look at new technologies that can help boost their RAS projects. With two full days of learning and networking, RAStech 2019 is a must-attend international aquaculture conference. Savings on hotel and registration are available by signing up before the early bird deadline of 8 March.

An education conference combined with a tradeshow will give attendees at RAStech 2019 unique insights into the potential and problems of recirculating aquaculture systems.

Registration is limited to just 250 attendees, so donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t delay. For more details and to register, visit www.ras-tec.com

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[ AQUACULTURE ] FIAP sells a wide range of equipment for the aquaculture industry

A one-stop shop for fish farmers FIAP, based in Ursensollen, Bavaria, has been supplying aquaculture equipment to the industry as well as to private customers since it was founded in 1978. Today it has expanded its range to include water gardens and all the accessories and services that go with them.

A

s the aquaculture industry grows and develops â&#x20AC;&#x201C; in 2025 some 57ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of the fish for human consumption will come from fish farming up from 50ď&#x2122;&#x201A; in 2016 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it will, particularly in parts of Europe, get increasingly complex and sophisticated. Driving this development as well as responding to it will be companies like FIAP that has made a name for itself developing and supplying equipment to the industry. The family-owned company has existed for over 40 years and today is run by two partners representing the second generation of owner-managers.

User-friendly website with online shop The range of equipment that the company can supply is wide extending from simple nets to advanced sorting equipment. Altogether FIAP can offer over 5,000 products most of which can be ordered directly on the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website, www.fiap.com, which is in German, English and partly in seven other European languages. From the website it is also possible to download forms to order by fax or email. Among FIAPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most popular pieces of equipment is the belt feeder, a device that is available in two sizes, 3 kg and 5 kg, and that can be used to feed fish at the larval stage or when they have become fry. The feeder continuously dispenses a pre-determined amount of feed at intervals that can vary from 1-99 hours. The

feeder can also be used to dose the fish very precisely with buffering agents or medicines. While the machine runs off an integrated battery, which is recharged by a power supply unit, an optional solar powered module is also available that makes the unit independent of the mains supply. The entire machine is robustly built, weather resistant, and durable with an aluminium drive shaft that is light, strong, and resistant to the corrosive impact of sea water. The feeder has been designed with hygiene in mind and can be very easily removed for cleaning purposes.

Oxygen-related equipment is a speciality Among the most critical components in an aquaculture system is the equipment that ensures the level of oxygen in the water is suitable for the stocking density and species of fish. FIAP offers a number of oxygenating solutions as well as devices to monitor and control the delivery of the gas. Among the former is a series of ceramic diffusers. These have frames made of aluminium to withstand sea water, and the ceramic plates are designed to produce very fine bubbles of between 100 and 400 microns. The finer the bubbles the better the oxygen dissolves in the water. These devices can be used to transport live fish or oxygenate the water in ponds. FIAP also offers a range of oxygen flow meters that measure and control the supply

Ceramic diffusers (foreground) are designed to produce tiny bubbles of oxygen 100-400 microns in size to facilitate the dissolution of the gas in water. In the background, two kinds of flow controllers.

of oxygen from an oxygenation system. The flow meters can be precisely adjusted to ensure accurate dosing with oxygen and prevent under or over feeding and are made from stainless steel and chrome-plated brass for reliable long-term performance.

Profinet Aluminium series, which features a sturdy aluminium bracket system and easy replacement of the net. The depth of the net varies from 300 mm to 600 mm and a handle in two different lengths is available as an optional extra.

The equipment FIAP sells also meets the basic needs of a fish farmer. Nets, for example, are a fundamental part of any aquaculture operation and FIAP sells a variety of these. Possibly the bestselling nets are those in the

The wide range of equipment on offer, ability to shop online, the friendly customer service as well as the growth in the global aquaculture industry is likely to secure FIAPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s business for the next generation of owners too.

FIAP GmbH Jakob-Oswald-Strasse 16 D-92289 Ursensollen Germany Customer Service Phone: +49 96 28 92 13 0 info@ďŹ ap.de www.ďŹ ap.com 

 



Managing Directors: RenĂŠ Eichenseer, Tobias RĂśsl Activity: Sale of aquaculture equipment Markets: Germany, other European countries, USA, Asia, Africa

    

   


[ PROJECTS ] Academics collaborate with processors to improve peelability and quality of cold-water prawns

Reducing maturation time to preserve taste An important project (GUDP TECHSHELL) has been completed to ďŹ nd and screen sustainable technologies that can accelerate prawn maturation and thus optimize mechanical shell removal and improve the quality of coldwater prawns. This project was carried out by researchers from the University of Copenhagen and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) in close collaboration with two Danish seafood processors, Royal Greenland Seafood A/S and Launis A/S.

D

enmark is the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest producer of cold-water prawns (Pandalus borealis). More than 50ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s catches are from around Denmark and Greenland. A large part of these catches is processed in landbased factories into cooked and peeled prawns, which are sold as a â&#x20AC;&#x153;ready-to-eatâ&#x20AC;? product primarily on the European market.

New technologies could help improve the product Processing cooked and peeled cold-water prawns includes several steps: cooling and maturation of the raw material, cooking, mechanical removal of the shells, salting, sorting, and freezing. The prawns are iced or frozen immediately after the catch. Maturation occurs during several days in ice at 0-2 °C or by using a mixture of ice and water in large containers. Maturation causes

Cold-water prawns are caught mainly in the waters around Denmark and Greenland and a large proportion is processed in land-based factories.

protein bonds within the skin (epidermis) between shell and meat to be enzymatically degraded. Hereby the shell becomes less tightly attached and easier to remove so that the prawns can be peeled mechanically without causing

damage to the meat. The disadvantage of the current industrial production method is that the maturation time is usually 4-6 days, and during this chilled storage, the eating quality of the prawns is reduced. Therefore, it is essential to evaluate new technologies to improve the industrial peeling and quality of cooked and peeled prawns.

Pilot production now being scaled up

Raw prawns go through several processing steps to become a cooked and peeled product. 20

The TECHSHELL project developed systematic scientific methods to assess the peelability, texture and colour of prawns. These techniques allowed the laboratory evaluation of pilot-scale

technologies for improving and accelerating maturation and shell removal of prawns. The studied technologies included enzyme treatment, ultrasound, high pressure processing, and ohmic heating. The TECHSHELL project found enzyme treatment when used alone or in combination with ultrasound to be the most promising to improve shell removal in the industrial production of cooked and peeled prawn. The project participants are now working on implementing these new sustainable technologies on a larger scale, so that their potential to deliver a higher quality product by optimizing the production process can be exploited.

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[ PROJECTs ] food science competencies and industrial production testing in the Danish fishing industry.

Vibeke Orlien, Tem Thi Dang and Karsten Olsen (Copenhagen University, Department of Food Science)

Project partners:

Equipment for the industrial peeling of prawns at Royal Greenland Seafood.

The TECHSHELL project has established systematic methods to evaluate peelability, texture and color on a pilot scale before testing new technologies and processes on an industrial scale. This is essential basic knowledge that makes it much easier in the long term to be innovative

and develop new production processes in the Danish fishing industry, says Mr Jan Soinjoki, Development Manager, Royal Greenland Seafood. It has been a great pleasure to be an active part of this exciting research and development project, which has linked technology development,

Gert Nielsen and Mikkel Knudsen (Launis A/S)

Niels Bøknæs, Jan Soinjoki, Pia Louise Nielsen and Ole Mejlholm (Royal Greenland Seafood A/S)

Flemming Jessen, Nina Gringer and Paw Dalgaard (DTU, National Food Institute)

TECHSHELL concludes with useful results TECHSHELL, a 4-year R&D project financed by the Danish Agriculture Agency via GUDP (Green Development and Demonstration Programme), has just been completed. In 2015 the Danish Agriculture Agency provided approx. DKK7.5 million to implement it. The results from the project will contribute to the development of innovative new production processes in the Danish seafood industry.

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HUNGARY

Efforts by the administration, industry, and associations is bearing fruit

Fish consumption increases faster than predicted Production from the Hungarian ďŹ sh farming sector comes primarily from pond farms, but production from intensive systems is showing an increasing trend. One of the reasons is growing demand for the processed boneless ďŹ sh meat that comes from the African catďŹ sh that are produced in these intensive systems. Greater value addition, more convenience, increasing trust in ďŹ sh products, and enhanced promotion efforts are all getting Hungarians to eat more ďŹ sh. Mr. GĂĄbor Klenovics, Head of the Fisheries Department at the Ministry of Agriculture of Hungary talks here about recent developments in the aquaculture sector in Hungary. Producer organisations are fairly well established in the capture fisheries sector in several EU countries and are also being formed by fish farmers in some countries. Hungary does not seem to have aquaculture POs. What are the reasons behind this and what is the administrationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s position? The first association in the field of Hungarian fisheries, the National Fishery Association, was established in 1885, so Hungary has a long history of cooperation among producers. Since then, the professional organization of fish producers has gone through many transformations and operated under different names. As recently as in 2016, there were two producer associations in Hungary: the Hungarian Aquaculture Association (MASZ) and the Hungarian Association of Fish Producers and Fishing Water Users (MAHAL). The mission of both these associations was the advocacy of their membersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; interests, but neither of them met the requirements of producer organisations as defined now by the CMO regulation. At the end of 2016, the two associations merged forming the Hungarian Aquaculture and Fisheries Inter-branch Organisation (MA-HAL), the first 22

recognized inter-branch organisation in the field of fisheries and aquaculture in Europe. The sectoral administration is very supportive towards the establishment of producer organisations. The Ministry of Agriculture used to have strategic partnership agreements with both MASZ and MAHAL, and a similar agreement is in preparation now with the inter-branch organisation. The legal framework for the establishment of POs is in place and this process can also be supported from the Hungarian Fisheries Operational Programme. Still, most producers are currently members of MA-HAL, which covers over 90ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of the Hungarian fish production, and they seem to be content with the advocacy and market organisation work of the inter-branch organisation. We do not know of any plans to establish a new producer organisation at the moment. Hungary has well known research institutions studying topics related to fish farming. Which are the key research directions that are currently being followed, and why are they considered important? There are several priority directions in Hungarian aquaculture

Mr. GĂĄbor Klenovics, Head of the Fisheries Department at the Ministry of Agriculture of Hungary.

research. One important area of research is technology development. Hungarian researchers have reached considerable successes in the development of innovative, water- and resource efficient fish production systems, in particular, combined intensive-extensive

systems and multifunctional aquaculture systems. Another important area of technology development is the elaboration of feasible rearing technologies for high-value native fish species (wels catfish, zander, pike, perch), for which there is significant

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HUNGARY

economic interest. An important area of applied genetic and immunological research of the last years has been the increasing of stress and disease resistance of fish and the development of efficient plantbased immune stimulants to decrease the veterinary drug use in aquaculture. Gene banking and the maintenance of common carp and sturgeon gene banks have a history of several decades and offer both the genetic material for carp breeding programmes and the stocking material for restocking programmes of the native sturgeon species. One important emerging topic is the evaluation and quantification of the ecosystem services of fish ponds, which could provide the sector important arguments in the discussions on the environmental impacts of the sector. In view of the stopping

of commercial fishing in 2016 and the preference for angling exploitation of natural waters, there is also scientific interest towards the development of angling-oriented aquaculture practices (rearing native species for restocking, etc.). Pond culture is the dominant form of production in Hungary responsible for about three fourths of the volume. There is also a modest production (<10ď&#x2122;&#x201A;) of fish in recirculation aquaculture systems. Is there a trend to be seen here? An increase in production from RAS and a decline in that from ponds? If yes, what are the drivers of this change? Yes, there is a definite trend here. The share of intensive production within aquaculture food fish production increased from 12ď&#x2122;&#x201A;

in 2009 to 18ď&#x2122;&#x201A; in 2017, while its production volume almost doubled from 1798 tonnes to 3364 tonnes. The number of intensive fish farms also increased from 11 to 21. Ninety-four percent of the intensive food fish production comes from African catfish, which has been a major success story in Hungary. In the last twenty years, its production has increased from virtually zero to 3174 tonnes, making Hungary Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest producer of this species. The main driver for this development seems to be the growing interest of the consumers towards good-quality processed, boneless, kitchen-ready products. On the other hand, the high initial investment need and the high level of know-how required limit the spreading of intensive

systems. There is growing interest towards rearing valuable native predatory species (wels catfish, zander, pike, perch) in RAS, and significant technological progress has been made already in this area, but there is no feasibly operating commercial system producing such species yet. Another promising direction of development is that of combining intensive and extensive systems for a more resource-efficient production and maximization of the profit. Adding value to fish products is one of the ways that farmers can earn more from their production. What are the ways of adding value to pond-farmed fish that are being practised by Hungarian farmers or processors? Do consumers support these

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initiatives or do they still prefer traditional live products? The low level of development of fish processing is an important obstacle to increasing fish consumption, and therefore, its development is one of the priorities of the government. The consumption data confirm the preference of consumers towards processed fish: in 2016, 30.7ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of the consumed fish was purchased in live, fresh or chilled form, frozen fish products accounted for 36.1ď&#x2122;&#x201A;, and 33.2ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of the consumption came from preserved and canned fish. Despite this preference, most Hungarian on-farm fish processing plants only do primary processing (cleaning, filleting, slicing), only few farms produce value-added products with a higher level of processing. Therefore, most of the consumed processed products come from import. One of the reasons for this unwillingness of the farmers to develop processed products is the price-consciousness of Hungarian consumers: compared to, for example, pork or chicken, fish is still an expensive product, and processing considerably increases its price. Although increasing slowly, fish consumption in Hungary is the lowest in the EU. Other landlocked countries have higher consumption rates, so what explains the lack of interest in fish in Hungary? What initiatives are being taken to change this and what have been the results? Historically, fish was always a staple food in Hungary, being the most available and the cheapest of all animal protein sources. Unfortunately, the river regulations of the 19th century reduced the availability of natural-water fish, and the active development of livestock and poultry breeding at the expense of aquaculture in the 20th 24

century further contributed to a shift from fish to meat consumption. It is also an undeniable fact that fish meat is expensive compared to other meat varieties. In the typical Hungarian extensive or semi-intensive pond production, common carp attains its market size in three years, as compared to the much shorter rearing time of pigs or broiler chicken, which is obviously also reflected in the price. A further cause of mistrust towards fish, especially carp, is the general notion that aquaculturereared fish tends to be subject to off-flavour problems. While in the absolute majority of cases fish is free from off-flavours if the correct production technology is followed, even occasional appearance of unpalatable fish on the market can do much harm to the consumersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; general opinion on aquaculture. The government puts much effort in increasing fish consumption. On 1 January 2018, the previous VAT rate of 27ď&#x2122;&#x201A; (one of the highest in Europe) was decreased to 5ď&#x2122;&#x201A; in the case of live fish and fish products. Based on the feedback, this resulted in a surge in fish consumption and is also expected to contribute to the whitening of the sector. It also helped to offset the impact of several price-increasing factors during the year. Much effort is also put into the increasing of consumer trust through the improvement of traceability, introduction of certification systems and recognition of good-quality products with quality awards and, in case of local products, geographic indications. In the frame of the previous European Fisheries Fund (EFF), a major promotion campaign has been launched. The results of all these measures are positive, as shown by the increasing apparent consumption. Although demand for fish in the EU is increasing consumption of

common carp is on the decline. This species forms the bulk of the production from Hungarian aquaculture. What are the reasons behind the declining interest in carp and how can it be reversed? How is the sector responding to this trend? As mentioned before, one of the main reasons for the decreasing interest is the growing preference of consumers towards kitchenready processed products and the poor availability of such products made from common carp. Still, common carp is in high demand before Christmas, being a traditional component of the Christmas menu. Despite the growing interest towards high-value fish species, a number of traditional Hungarian fish recipes are carp-based. In addition, local carp breeds and landraces have received considerable attention recently. A number of fish farms have applied for geographic indications for their carp produced with specific production technology. A flagship of this trend is the AkasztĂł Fish Farm, whose â&#x20AC;&#x153;AkasztĂł Saline Carpâ&#x20AC;? (AkasztĂłi Szikiponty) not only applied for a protected designation of origin, but also received the prestigious Gold Ribbon Award. As a consequence, many restaurants search specifically this carp. Still, it must be admitted that many Hungarian fish farmers do not feel forced to introduce changes in their usual production practices as long as they can sell their carp. This attitude is strengthened by the increased interest towards Hungarian common carp in the neighbouring countries, which allows to sell the produced fish easily, and at higher prices than in Hungary. Promotion campaigns for fish consumption have been tried with some success in several EU countries. Is this also something that has been attempted in

Hungary? What were the results of this activity and does it lead to a lasting (and positive) change in consumption habits? In the frame of the EFF 2007-2013, a major fish promotion campaign called â&#x20AC;&#x153;Kapj rĂĄ!â&#x20AC;? (â&#x20AC;&#x153;Get hookedâ&#x20AC;?) was launched. The campaign has been continued in the current programming period as well, funded by the EMFF 2014-2020 and managed by the Centre for Agricultural Marketing. The campaign includes appearances at major agricultural fairs, exhibitions and festivals, publishing of recipes, organizing cooking events with celebrities, running a website with educational videos, recipes, a fish shop finder, etc. In addition to this, the Ministry of Agriculture also supports some fish promotion events (fish cooking competitions, fish festivals, publishing of books promoting fish consumption, angling, aquaculture, etc.) from the chapter-managed appropriation â&#x20AC;&#x153;Support of state fisheries-related tasksâ&#x20AC;?. The same fund was also used to create an online aquaculture information system, which does not only assist governance with informed decision-making, but also improves the awareness of the general public on aquaculture. The results of all these measures seem to be positive. The apparent per capita fish consumption has been increasing faster than initially predicted (while the growth projected by MAHOP (the Hungarian Fisheries Operational Programme) between 2013 and 2023 was 20ď&#x2122;&#x201A;, an increase of 25ď&#x2122;&#x201A; was already reached by 2017). There is also an increasing number of fish restaurants, many of which are specializing on domestic fish, and they enjoy a stable success among the population. Many of the issues facing inland aquaculture are common to several EU members (predation,

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compensation for ecological services, combining fish production with tourism, etc.). Does Hungary have bilateral cooperation agreements with other EU countries within the aquaculture sector? What are the most pressing issues being discussed? The Research Institute for Fisheries and Aquaculture (HAKI) of the National Agricultural Research and Innovation Centre (NARIC) has scientific cooperation agreements with many partner institutions in other countries, some of which have also been formalized as bilateral cooperation agreements. On government level, there are no cooperation agreements specifically focusing on aquaculture with other EU countries. However, there is an important forum of cooperation between countries with interest in freshwater aquaculture. The informal cooperation of landlocked countries (LLC) was initiated by Hungary in 2010, initially to facilitate discussions between the member statesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; managing authorities. Over the years, several other countries joined the cooperation, e.g. Poland and Germany, which, while not being landlocked, have significant freshwater aquaculture. To reflect this change, the name of the group was changed to â&#x20AC;&#x153;Friends of Freshwater Fishesâ&#x20AC;? in 2016.

The members meet twice a year in different countries to discuss the actual issues. Currently, the most important topic for discussion is the new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund 2021-2027, for which the member states have already formulated several joint statements, but issues such as the cormorant damage on fish ponds are also high on the agenda. The worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest producers of freshwater species are in Asia, where too fish farming has a long tradition. Is there any cooperation between Hungarian institutions and their Asian counterparts within aquaculture? And if so, what results has it generated? The cooperation between NARIC HAKI and Southeast Asian countries has started already in the early 1980s, when the institute was upgraded into an international aquaculture center of excellence by a FAO/UNDP project. Over the years, HAKI has had many joint projects with many research institutions in China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and others. The major milestones included the Dutch-funded West-EastSouth project, which helped to establish a fisheries department at Cantho University, Vietnam; ODA projects in Vietnam for the improvement of fish feed supply;

two major Tied Aid Loan projects in Laos (one closed and one ongoing) whose aquaculture component also focused on improving of the feed and seed supply. Based on the research and development cooperation programmes, cooperation agreements have also been concluded involving not only research institutions, but also fish farmers. A resent result of their involvement is, for example, the establishment of a joint Hungarian-Lao tilapia farm in Laos, where the Hungarian partner is the Aranyponty Fish Farm. A further opportunity for interregional cooperation is offered by the close cooperation between the Hungary-based Network of Aquaculture Centres in Central and Eastern Europe (NACEE) and the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA). Finally, there are also initiatives for improvement of aquaculture cooperation on government level. For example, a Memorandum of Understanding on Fisheries and Aquaculture Cooperation has been signed by Hungary and Indonesia in 2016. An expert meeting was held in Jakarta in 2017 and a work programme is currently being developed. A few months ago Hungary joined EUROFISH International Organisation. What are your expectations of Hungaryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s membership of the organisation?

Where in particular would you like to see Eurofish efforts directed for the benefit of the Hungarian aquaculture sector, and what thoughts do you have on the overall direction of the organisation? Hungary was keen to join Eurofish already at the moment of its establishment and signed the Eurofish Agreement back in 2000, but, for a number of different reasons, the ratification of our accession suffered a considerable delay. I am very pleased that we have finally taken this important step. I am looking forward to a fruitful cooperation with Eurofish and its member countries. Several Hungary-based institutions and organizations (such as HAKI or NACEE) have already developed excellent working relations with Eurofish, which are expected to get even stronger now. Being now the only landlocked country in Eurofish, we expect that our membership will help us in improving the visibility of the Hungarian aquaculture sector, in particular, pond aquaculture and attract more attention to its challenges. We also hope that our membership in Eurofish will help Hungarian farmers to present their products at international fairs and exhibitions, and our decisionmakers - to get better market information and analyses for strategic planning.

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Hungary aims to increase the international competitiveness of pond ďŹ sh farming

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Aquaculture and processing are of great importanceâ&#x20AC;? The functions of the Hungarian Fisheries Operational Programme Managing Authority are performed by the State Secretariat of Rural Development, which is responsible for support policy (both the Hungarian Fisheries Operational Programme and the Rural Development Programme). Dr JĂłzsef Viski, deputy state secretary responsible for the implementation of rural development programmes at the Ministry of Agriculture and head of the Managing Authority of the Hungarian Fisheries Operational Programme, speaks here about how Hungary has beneďŹ ted from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and his expectations of the fund in the next programming period. What have been the most successful uses of support from the EMFF for the Hungarian aquaculture sector? In December 2018, we can state that Supporting innovation (MAHOP-2.1-2016) and Supporting new aquaculture entrepreneurs (MAHOP-2.3-2016) are the most successful calls, because the value of support applications has exceeded the available resources. The highest numbers of support applications belong to the Productive investments in aquaculture (MAHOP-2.2-2016; 79 pcs) and Compensation (MAHOP-2.5-2016; 63 pcs) .  What elements of the programme would you definitely like to see retained in the post2020 EMFF? Hungary welcomes that the European Commission emphasises food security in the Union through competitive and sustainable aquaculture as a matter of priority. In Hungary, aquaculture and processing are of great importance. We would like to see retained maintaining biodiversity, supporting new aquaculture entrepreneurs, boosting innovation and facilitating cooperation among research institutes, universities and small and medium-sized aquaculture enterprises.   Promoting the 26

marketing, the quality and the value added of fisheries and aquaculture products are key elements of the Hungarian aquaculture sector in the next programming period. The priority selection projects, as Data Collection Framework and Control and Enforcement projects, develop and provide scientific knowledge and support the scientific evaluation of the sector. We would like to retain these projects in the next programming period. It is worrying that research and development issues are mostly concerned only with seas, oceans and fisheries in the draft version of the new regulation, while practically no mention is made of aquaculture. Â The proposal for the EMFF 2021-27 sees a slight decline in the allocation for Hungary compared to the 2014-20 period. What kind of impact will this have on the aquaculture sector? According to the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) published on 2nd of May 2018, the financial frame of â&#x20AC;&#x153;new EMFFâ&#x20AC;? will be EUR 5,449 billion in 2018 prices, which is a 2.9ď&#x2122;&#x201A; decline compared to EUR 5,6143 billion available in the 2014-2020 period. The â&#x20AC;&#x153;new EMFFâ&#x20AC;? financial allocation for Hungary is 96,4ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of the 2014-2020 EMFF allocation.

Dr JĂłzsef Viski, Deputy State Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Head of the Managing Authority of the Hungarian Fisheries Operational Programme

Our aim is to maintain the present measures and the needed financial support in the area of aquaculture, and in particular of freshwater aquaculture. The domestic aquaculture sector does not perceive this decline in short term. We find it difficult to judge its financial and economic consequences.

What are the main changes that fish farmers can expect in the post-2020 EMFF compared to the existing one? The Council of the European Union began early enough negotiating the Commission proposal of the post-2020 EMFF regulation. We hope the European Parliament and the

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Council will approve the regulation as soon as possible, the European Commission will approve the operational programmes in a quick and simplified way, then fish farmers can submit their support applications at the appropriate time. Unfortunately, implementation of the present EMFF programme has been significantly delayed as a result of late approval of the EMFF regulation. Investments in aquaculture and processing of aquaculture products are eligible for support under the EMFF 2014-2020, with 50ď&#x2122;&#x201A; aid-intensity. We consider that it is acceptable to increase the share of financial instruments (MAHOP 2014-2020 does not apply them), but it is also important that Member States should

decide on the percentage of non-refundable subsidies and financial instruments to support sectoral investments, on the basis of local conditions. One of the key priorities under the new EMFF proposal is that markets should be sustainable and competitive. Since pond fish farming, which forms the bulk of Hungarian production, is largely sustainable, how else will Hungary contribute to implementing this priority with regard to the aquaculture sector? Pond fish farming, which forms the bulk of Hungarian production, is largely sustainable, but not always competitive. The aim of Hungary is to strengthen the (international) competitiveness

of the aquaculture sector, and to increase the level of processing of products and to raise the added value and food-security. We support new fish farmers in aquaculture sector, also in intensive and semi-intensive sector. In Hungary, the government provides young entrepreneurs substantial benefits in the field of taxation and they can take soft loans as well. Under the new EMFF, research, innovation and cooperation among producer organisations can contribute to achieving sustainable and competitive markets in Hungary. The Hungarian multiannual aquaculture strategic plan 2014-2020 has several objectives including the long-term

sustainability and competitiveness of the sector. Now, as we approach 2020, would you say the sector is on track to achieve these goals, and how could this be substantiated? The mid-term review of the multiannual aquaculture strategic plan (MAP) took place in January 2018. Because of the late start of the Hungarian Fisheries Operational Programme (MAHOP), which is the main instrument of the MAPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s implementation, only a limited success was achieved by that date in the achievement of the strategic objectives. MAHOP was approved by the European Commission on 7 December 2015 and all the calls became open only by 31 March 2017.

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HUNGARY

The cross-cutting strategic objectives of the MAP were administrative simplification, enhancement of the competitiveness and the level playing field. Progress in these areas included the adoption of legislation streamlining the procedures related to the utilization of European funds, as well as laying down the rules of establishment and recognition of producer organisations and inter-branch organisations; establishment of the Hungarian Aquaculture and Fisheries Interbranch Organisation (MA-HAL); launching an online application management system and an aquaculture geo-information system; and the reduction of the VAT rate on fish products from 27ď&#x2122;&#x201A; to

5ď&#x2122;&#x201A;. However, the impact of these measures on the indicators and the sector as a whole are still hard to evaluate.

disbursed to the beneficiaries. Final financial reports have only been received for two projects at the moment.

Concerning the implementation of MAHOP, 166 aid applications have been received to date for a total amount of 37,815,856 EUR (i.e. 73ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of the total MAHOP budget). Fifty-eight support decisions for a total amount of 15,915,152 EUR (31ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of the MAHOP budget), had been issued by the beginning of December 2018, and decisions on a further 6,054,828 EUR are expected by the end of December. Actual payment requests have been received for 3,898,005 EUR, whereof 2.139.455 EUR (4ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of the budget) have been

In view of the above, the direct impact of MAHOP cannot be evaluated to the moment. Still, on many occasions, the achievement of the indicators included in the MAP exceeded the initial predictions. The per capita fish consumption reached 6.4 kg in 2017, while the target for 2023 was only 6.1 kg. By 2016, 142 hectares of new fishponds had been built and 1690 hectares reconstructed (the interim target for 2018 was 400 ha and 1000 ha, respectively). The number of intensive fish farms reached the 2018 target (17 farms)

by 2016. The food fish production in 2017 (18.257 tonnes) significantly exceeded the 2018 interim target (16,500 tonnes) and almost reached the 2023 target of 18,750 tonnes. Of course, for the moment, these results can hardly be attributed to MAHOP, but rather to the impact of the previous EFF, legislative and policy decisions of the government, as well as the favourable market situation. Consequently, there is hope that when the results of MAHOP become measurable, they will give a further impetus to the sector, allowing further growth and significant overachievements of the targets.

Innovative pond farming systems are economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable

Integrated aquaculture offers multiple beneďŹ ts Hungary, a landlocked country, is richly endowed with inland water resources. These enable a thriving freshwater aquaculture sector and a large and active angling community.

H

ungaryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inland water resources include both surface and ground water and they are plentiful in most parts of the country. The country also has thermal water reserves and special water habitats that are unique in Europe. Surface water resources per capita, at 11,000 m3, are among the highest in Europe. The entire area of Hungary, some 93,000 km2, is part of the Danube catchment. There are almost 10,000 registered surface water flows in Hungary nine tenths of which are from large or medium transboundary rivers. Annual precipitation is 500-900 mm and snow 28

coverage is 30-80 days depending on the altitude. Most rivers flood twice a year, in spring due to melting snow, and in summer due to rainfall. In addition, there are 4,000 stagnant water bodies in Hungary, three quarters of which are artificial lakes. Groundwater resources both shallow and deep

are plentiful in Hungary with close to 70,000 deep groundwater wells. Reed and fish farming accounts for 1.4ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of the cultivated land of 74,000 km2. In comparison, cropland is 58.7ď&#x2122;&#x201A;, while vineyards, orchards, and horticulture account for 3.5ď&#x2122;&#x201A; (Water in Hungary, 2017). Fish

farming is a historical activity and fulfils different roles â&#x20AC;&#x201C; primarily the production of fish for human consumption, but it also provides restocking material for natural water bodies and for anglers. In addition, one and two season-old farmed fish is sold to other farmers who on-grow the fish to market size.

Evolution of pond area and the number of intensive systems 2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

Operating pond area (ha)

24,364

26,083

24,608

24,033

24,882

26,480

26,065

Number of intensive systems

11

15

17

17

18

17

21

Source: Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture

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Production of African catďŹ sh has been growing steadily Aquaculture production in Hungary increased slowly during the decade to 2014, according to FAO statistics. Production of farmed fish has hovered around 15,300 tonnes between 2005 and 2014 but was significantly higher in each of the next three years, with a peak of 18,300 tonnes in 2017. The most common farming method is with earthen ponds, in which several species are grown in polyculture. Operational pond area has increased by 7ď&#x2122;&#x201A; from about 24,400 ha in 2011 to 26,100 ha in 2017. Farms draw water from rivers to fill their ponds, draining them into other ponds at harvest

time. This type of production is dominated by common carp (Cyprinus carpio) which until 2014 accounted for two thirds or more of the total. In 2015 production of African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) spiked growing 30ď&#x2122;&#x201A; compared to 2014 and making slight inroads into the dominance of common carp. Output of this warm water species increased again in 2016 and 2017 but much less dramatically, and common carp, production of which grew almost 22ď&#x2122;&#x201A; in 2017, regained its dominant position that year. However, the reasons behind this sudden spike, production problems in neighbouring carpfarming countries that allowed Hungarian producers to step in, were a one-off event and not a

Anglers contribute signiďŹ cantly to resource management Production from inland ďŹ shing had been declining steadily and the activity was stopped altogether in 2016. Capture ďŹ shing today comprises angling, and ďŹ shing for environmental purposes, for example, culling alien or overpopulated species. Fish from the environmental ďŹ shery can be sold on the market, but anglers are not allowed to sell their catch. At the time inland ďŹ shing was prohibited, there were 200-300 ďŹ shermen against 500,000 anglers, and because both groups could not be supported, the smaller group was sacriďŹ ced. Anglers apply for leases and they and the societies they belong to are responsible for the entire management of the resource. This is an important task as the authorities do not have the capacity to monitor stocks and restocking activities. Species for restocking purposes are bred by farmers and are sold directly to the angling societies. This ďŹ sh for restocking is a very signiďŹ cant market for farmers, almost as important as that of ďŹ sh for consumption.

long-term strategy, says Laszlo Varadi, Senior Advisor for International Relations at HAKI, the

Research Institute for Fisheries and Aquaculture. Other species with a significant production

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HUNGARY

Evolution of the number of anglers and their catches Number of anglers (number of issued state angling tickets)

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

377,192

357,483

364,241

384,723

403,198

442,493

Anglersâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC; catch (tonnes)

4,741

4,270

7,004

5,824

4,963

5,423

Total catch (tonnes)

6,717

6,466

7,464

5,964

5,048

5,607

71

66

94

98

98

97

Share of anglersâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC; catch within total catch (%)

Source: Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture

include silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) and grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus), while much smaller quantities of bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis), tench (Tinca tinca) and the carnivorous species pike (Esox lucius), pike-perch (Sander lucioperca), and European catfish (Siluris glanis) are also produced. The latter three, although they fetch a good price, are used primarily to keep down the levels of trash fish which compete with the target species for feed and other resources. Cultivating large volumes of carnivorous fish would require big populations of trash fish, which is undesirable.

Fish ponds provide extensive environmental services Fish ponds, however, serve a number of purposes in addition to growing fish for human consumption. A paper in the journal Reviews in Aquaculture, 1-18 by JĂłzsef Popp and co-authors, shows how fish ponds also offer services such as angling, recreation, education that provide direct economic benefits. In addition, as farmers will often point out, ponds also provide environmental services, promoting biodiversity and attracting flora and fauna that breed and feed in the vicinity

Peter Lengyel, Deputy Head of the Department of Fisheries Management in the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture 30

of the ponds. Man-made fish farming ponds are often included as part of wetland ecosystems which are an important part of European biodiversity. Ponds also offer sustainable solutions to key issues of climate change and water management such as rainfall interception, nutrient retention and carbon sequestration, as well as compensate for drainage activities. In Hungary, fish farmers have been at the forefront of the move into multifunctionality, first designating ponds for anglers to fish in and then investing in

ancillary services such as food and accommodation. Tourists with an interest in nature, bird watchers, for example, or hunters, were also obvious segments for fish farmers to cater to. At the same time increasing industrialisation and urbanisation meant that wetlands including fish ponds were playing an increasingly important role in terms of the environmental services they provided. However, farmers do not receive any compensation for these services nor for the damage caused to their stocks by wild animals and birds.

Many factors behind decline in European common carp production Aquaculture production in general in the EU has increased only slightly over the last decade. According to FAO statistics, in 2008 it amounted to 1.25m tonnes, while

Should ďŹ sh farmers pay for water even if it is only borrowed? In Hungary, farmers have to pay for the water they use. It is a resource fee, says Peter Lengyel, Deputy Head of the Department of Fisheries Management in the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture. The amount is calculated based on a formula that takes into account the type of use, ďŹ sheries, irrigation, recreation, etc., its quality, and the type of water, underground, surface etc. The other component is a service fee to the provider of the water. In the 19th century wetland areas in the Hungarian Great Plains were regularly inundated in spring with water from the Tisza river. Since then, water management measures, including the construction of canals and dykes, have signiďŹ cantly reduced the incidence of ďŹ&#x201A;ooding. Regional water management bodies are responsible for managing and supplying water. In the recent past the resource fee and the service fee were covered by the state, however because of the requirements of the Water Framework Directive, these fees are now paid by the farmers. Initially the fees were set quite high but after negotiations were reduced and some exemptions introduced, for example, if the farmer uses excess ďŹ&#x201A;ood water. According to Mr Lengyel, farmers are unhappy with the fact that they pay different rates depending on how far they are from the source and have therefore proposed a ďŹ&#x201A;at fee per hectare. While the fees are meant to rein in wasteful use of water, some farms are constructed in such a way that the supply of water cannot be regulated, so the imposition of a fee does not reduce water consumption.

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HUNGARY

Food ďŹ sh production from aquaculture in Hungary (tonnes) Species

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

Common carp

9,570

10,485

9,931

9,927

10,807

9,985

9,632

10,291

10,725

10,036

12,240

Silver carp

2,484

1,493

1,567

1,081

1,545

1,681

1,624

1,434

2,169

1,132

883

North African catďŹ sh

1,911

1,839

1,716

1,810

1,913

1,852

2,050

2,187

2,840

3,039

3,174

Grass carp

591

578

480

437

437

502

576

516

516

559

579

Wels catďŹ sh

167

153

175

156

175

225

212

158

149

176

216

Bighead carp

158

201

52

15

68

81

49

62

85

174

205

Northern pike

58

51

34

28

83

34

32

35

30

130

31

Rainbow trout

42

62

58

48

44

45

52

61

42

58

54

Pike-perch

32

28

40

39

46

44

37

44

27

57

38

Sturgeons

21

24

24

81

51

38

32

48

142

76

97

Other

Total

830

773

748

623

415

646

622

490

612

811

741

15,864

15,687

14,825

14,245

15,584

15,133

14,918

15,326

17,337

16,248

18,258 Source: FAO

in 2016, the latest year for which data is available, it was 1.29m tonnes. Production of common carp, the main freshwater farmed species in Hungary (as well as other countries in Central and Eastern Europe), averaged 67,000 tonnes in the 1970s and 70,000 tonnes in the decade to 2016. According to an article in the 2017, 9, 2111 edition of the journal Sustainability by Gergo Gyalog and co-authors, this slow growth in production can be attributed to a number of factors, both pre-harvest and

post-harvest. Among the former, predation by wild birds, particularly cormorants, on young fish is a major issue. The incidence of disease such as the Koi herpes virus has also played a role. The poor condition of some ponds caused by silting and growth of vegetation as well as the shortage or lack of trained personnel to monitor water quality and control feed efficiency are additional factors. Post-harvest factors include competition from imports resulting from the spread of retail chains

The trade-off between ďŹ sh farming and conservation calls for compromises The ďŹ sh farming sector also includes a couple of state-owned ďŹ sh farming companies, Balaton and Hortobagy. The Balaton farm is responsible for the ďŹ sheries management on Lake Balaton, which includes restocking activities. Hortobagy is the site of Hungaryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ďŹ rst national park and most of the farm lies on this protected territory. This means that the farm must strike a balance between production activities and nature conservation. This balance is sometimes also necessary at privately-owned commercial ďŹ sh farms. Farmers often complain (with some justiďŹ cation) about the paradox. Their ďŹ shpond systems attract the birds and other game creating valuable habitats. The presence of the wildlife draws the attention of the authorities, who declare the area protected. Yet once protected, the farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; activities are constrained. However, without the ďŹ sh pond management that the farmer provides, the birds will leave. In other words, both sides need to make compromises if the dual objective of a thriving wildlife habitat and a successful ďŹ sh farm are to be met.

and the decline of traditional markets. This has led to the availability of a greater variety of fish and seafood products in more convenient sizes and presentations and may therefore also have had an impact on the demand for live carp. In addition, there is the question of the price level of fish which tends to be higher than that of other animal proteins on the market. The structure of the pond farming sector with many small family-run enterprises is such that it is difficult to achieve productivity gains through economies of scale. The fragmentation in the sector means that production at the individual farm never reaches the scale where

it would be worthwhile to invest in capital-intensive, labour-saving equipment that would bring about greater efficiencies. At the same time, say the authors, scaling up the production can also lead to greater inefficiencies. Extensive pond farming is labour intensive and managing the workers calls for good management skills. Increasing the work force may lead to less efficient management and thereby to increased average costs of production. Pond farms rely on aquatic ecological processes and climatic and geographical factors that are likely to be specific to a

      

           

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Fish consumption increases but from a low base Per capita ďŹ sh consumption doubled from 3 kg in 1990 to 6.4 kg today. But 300 years ago people ate 50 kg of ďŹ sh per year, says Ferenc Levai, a veteran with close to half a centuryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s experience in the ďŹ sh farming sector and the owner of Aranyponty one of the oldest multifunctional ďŹ sh farms in Hungary. There used to be water everywhere and it was full of ďŹ sh, making it one of the cheapest foods. But then the rivers were regulated, waters were drained, pollution increased, and both ďŹ sh production and ďŹ sh consumption decreased. To make up for this decline ďŹ sh farms were created. Hungary is a rich country in terms of food with poultry, pork, beef, lamb, etc. all readily available and at a reasonable price. Processing in the aquaculture sector has lagged that in the other animal protein sectors, where processors have developed all kinds of products that are quick and easy to prepare. In a big supermarket it is not uncommon to see, for example, a 40 m section of red meat products, 30 m of poultry, 9 m of vegetables and 1 m of ďŹ sh, and the consumption ratios reďŹ&#x201A;ect this.

Carp follows a 3-year production cycle resulting in a 2.5 kg ďŹ sh for market The production cycle of carp in Hungary typically follows three seasons each running from April to October. Many farms have hatcheries where broodstock are maintained. The eggs and sperm from the broodstock are mixed together and the fertilised eggs are kept in tanks until they hatch in spring. After a few days the fry are removed to small nursery ponds that have been prepared to encourage rotifers, the first live feed of the fry, to breed. The nursery period lasts 3-4 weeks, during which the fish are fed on 32

flour from cereals or soya. The nursed fry are stocked in ponds where natural feed is generated using manure/fertiliser and supplemented with cereals or soya, and develop into fingerlings. The weight of the fingerlings is 30-100 g. After harvest in the fall the 1-season-old fish and the 2-season-old fish are placed in overwintering ponds to be moved to on-growing ponds the following spring. Over the course of the second season

Extruded feeds have advantages and disadvantages Hungarian pond fish farms with their multispecies, multifunction, and relatively low intensity

of production are more in synchronisation with wider goals of sustainability than monocultured species fed exclusively on pelleted feed. However, the use of extruded feeds is growing also in traditional polyculture fish ponds. According to Popp et al in a paper in the 2018, 10, 177 edition of the journal Sustainability, this is due to prices for inputs like land and water increasing at a faster rate than those for feed ingredients. As a result, farmers use pelleted feeds to increase yields so that the fixed costs of land and water can be spread over a larger production. However, pelleted feeds are implicated in several environmental impacts including eutrophication, saprobiation (the build-up of rotting sediments under or downstream of cages), and hypoxia (lack of oxygen in areas of a water body), while integrated and polyculture systems make maximum use of all inputs (land, water and feed) and also minimise waste. There is a need for new methods and techniques for integrating different activities (for example fish breeding with plant cultivation HAKI

farm site. Standardising production may be difficult to implement across several sites, which may each require specific site management. Thus, economies of scale may be difficult to achieve. The authors conclude that the development of pond farming in Hungary should focus on increasing farm and pond management skills and attracting more labour to the aquaculture industry.

the 1-season-old fish grow to 250400 g. The production can be intensified if the feed includes both cereals and pellets. In the third season, the 2-season-old fish grow to market size of about 2.5 kg. They feed on the natural organisms present in the pond as well as on cereals and pellets supplied by the farmer. The ponds are stocked with other species with different feeding habits and occupying different trophic levels to exploit the productivity of the pond ecosystem to the maximum. In Hungary these other species include filter-feeding Chinese carps (up to 20ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of biomass) and predatory species (up to 3ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of biomass). Three-season-old fish are marketed for human consumption. Most farms produce fish for human consumption, but some specialise in one- and twoseason-old fish which are sold to other farmers for on-growing.

An intensive-extensive cage-in-pond system, one of the innovative ways being used to improve yields from pond ďŹ sh farms.

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Ponds at the Research Institute for Fisheries and Aquaculture (HAKI), where applied research into freshwater aquaculture is carried out.

or environmental services) to minimise discharges. The organic waste from one aquaculture system could be the input for another system following blue economy principles. Integrating fish farming with other forms of agricultural production has long been common in Hungary. The practise of inoculating a fish ponds with manure to stimulate the growth of phytoplankton on which fingerlings can feed is an example of this integration. Combining fish and duck farming or cultivating fish in rice paddies which was practiced in the early part of the last century are also classic examples of integration as they used natural resources sustainably by utilising organic waste generated from one activity to feed the other, or by exploiting production areas more efficiently.

Several innovative practices are being deployed to increase yields Today, new practices, such as linking intensive farming with wetlands, combined intensiveextensive systems, or joining intensive fish farming with lowcost (or even free) energy from an industrial plant, are replacing older customs. The combination of traditional fish farming

with intensive fish cultivation (intensive-extensive systems) is gaining in popularity and comes in different forms. The presence of extensive reserves of geothermally heated water at relatively low depth has driven the spread of intensive farming of African catfish and tilapia. By integrating intensive production with an extensive fish pond followed by a wetland area or it is possible to treat the warm, nutrientrich water from the intensive plant and finally release it safely into the environment without increasing the load of organic matter, heat, or phosphorus. While the primary product is the high-value fish produced in the intensive system, the extensive pond can also be used to farm other aquatic species, usually filter feeders such as carp, Chinese carps, tilapia, or mussels. Finally, the water drains into the wetlands where any remaining plant nutrients are absorbed by different plant types grown there. By hosting wild bird and animal species large wetland areas also provide environmental services. Although the system is efficient at removing nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and suspended organic matter) from the effluent water, the authors point out that improvements are still possible, for example, by better exploiting the biomass produced

in the wetlands, diversifying the species in the extensive system to improve utilisation, and regulating nutrient flows more accurately. In Hungary, combined intensive-extensive systems where the water is actively circulated between the two units are also in use. The intensive unit is used to stock high-value species typically fed with high-protein-content compound feeds. The extensive pond is used to biologically process the effluent water from the intensive unit and to rear lower value cyprinids. It also provides environmental and recreational services. The yield from the intensive unit is about 10 t/ha and 1.2-1.5 t/ha from the extensive unit. The water between the two units is circulated using pumps, which ensures a supply of oxygenated water to the intensive unit, the distribution of metabolites and suspended solids, and hinders the stratification of water in the extensive pond. The treated water can either be returned to the intensive unit or safely released into the environment. In another version of this system the small intensive unit is placed within the extensive pond, a solution in cases where large ponds are threatened by aquatic birds.

Multifunctional pond farming has environmental and economic beneďŹ ts Some farmers practice multifunctional pond farming where the ambition is the provision of a range of services, environmental, tourist, angling, hunting, as well as the production of crops and terrestrial livestock in addition to fish. Apart from increasing economic stability by creating different income sources, this kind of diversification in activities also smoothens out peaks and troughs in earnings over the year. Integrated aquaculture as developed and practiced in Hungary in its different forms contributes significantly to the sustainable use of natural resources such as land, nutrients, and water, and at the same time has been shown to be commercially viable. This type of aquaculture allows an increase in yields without compromising the environment and enables farmers to diversify their activities while at the same time providing important environmental services. Given the threat of climate change, and the need for jobs and livelihoods in rural areas, integrated aquaculture can play an important role in economic, environmental, and social sustainability in Hungary and other countries with a freshwater aquaculture sector.

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Research Institute for Fisheries and Aquaculture (HAKI)

Pioneering work in freshwater farming Aquaculture in Hungary, a land-locked country, consists primarily of freshwater pond farming. Much of the research in the ďŹ eld is carried out by the Research Institute for Fisheries and Aquaculture, which has developed several innovative methods of boosting productivity in the sector.

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he Research Institute for Fisheries and Aquaculture (HAKI) traces its roots back to the Hungarian Royal Fish Physiology and Waste Water Purification Experimental Station that was established in 1896 in Budapest. In the 70s the station was upgraded to a regional aquaculture institute as the result of an FAO programme. The Fish Culture Research Institute as it became known was based in Szarvas and thanks to the FAO connection was very active internationally with projects in Latin America particularly Brazil, and in East Asia specifically China, Laos, and Viet Nam. In 2014 all the research institutes under the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture were integrated into one organisation, the

National Agriculture Research and Innovation Centre, of which HAKI is now part.

A long history of applied research Many of the developments in the Hungarian aquaculture sector have their genesis in work done at HAKI. The farming of African catfish, for example, today a success story in Hungary, which is the EUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest producer of the species, came about because the main producer worked at the institute. Even today his farm is a stoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s throw away from the instituteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premises and there is a close collaboration between the institute and the company. Bela Halasi-Kovacs, Director of HAKI,

Research is conducted in several experimental ponds. 34

Dr Bela Halasi-Kovacs, Director of HAKI

says that applied research is one of three departments at the institute and the work there is to address practical issues that fish farmers face. While scientific research into pond aquaculture, rearing

technologies, and the genetics and reproduction of different species is the focus of the instituteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work, economic and marketing subjects as well as complex cross-disciplinary topics such as the impact of climate change on freshwater aquaculture are also studied. The institute boasts a unique gene bank with 16 different carp strains from Asia, and other parts of Europe, including Hungary. A sturgeon gene bank is also maintained, originally to propagate the culture of sturgeon in the 80s, but subsequently to underpin a restocking programme for species native to the Danube, when it became apparent that they were endangered. Five native species, sterlet, beluga, Russian, stellate, and ship sturgeon, used to inhabit the Hungarian section of the river

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Research into a number of species is ongoing, among them pikeperch and European catďŹ sh.

(some of them are now considered extinct in Hungary), and the institute maintains two other species in addition, Siberian sturgeon, one of the most popular species for caviar in Europe, and paddlefish, which are being studied for their potential to replace silver carp in polyculture as their feeding habits are similar. The meat is better, says Dr HalasiKovacs, but the rearing of fingerling has proved to be difficult as the mortality rates reach up to 98ď&#x2122;&#x201A;.

Ecosystem services should be recognised One of the topics investigated in the hydrobiology research department is natural surface waters. Commercial fishing was banned in 2016 so the surface waters are used solely for angling. At the institute the focus is on sustainable freshwater fisheries management, which takes into account anglersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; propensity to

The conical tanks (left) are used for carp and pike-perch larvae, while the rectangular ones are for catďŹ sh and sturgeon.

widely stock common carp in water bodies. HAKI scientists also study nutrient (mainly nitrogen and phosphorus) cycling in fish ponds and natural waters to see how N and P is utilised by a fish stock and what can be done if it cannot be utilised. They compare the nutrient cycling in fish ponds with that in the original wetlands area taking into account the differences that exist between the two. For example, neither the vast

open surface nor the increased nutrients found in a fish pond are seen in a natural wetland. These studies also illustrate the ecosystem services provided by freshwater fish ponds, which amount to some 250,000 ha in the EU. These create and maintain more than 40 bird species and a significant proportion of the European otter population as well as other plant and animal species. These services underlie an ongoing argument between freshwater pond farmers and authorities across the EU as farmers are not compensated for the damage caused to their fish stocks by predatory birds and animals. Dr HalasiKovacs feels, however, that the fish farmers, instead of talking about compensation, which has not so far resulted in anything, should turn the argument around and present it as the right to support for maintaining biodiversity, reducing dust, positive impacts on microclimate, and attenuation of floods and droughts.

Researching the potential of pike-perch

Hatching jars with a volume of 9.5 l host the fertilised eggs.

Potential new species for aquaculture are also being studied at HAKI. Pike-perch is particularly interesting because of its popularity on EUROFISH Magazine 1 / 2019

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export markets such as Austria and Germany and HAKI has different research efforts looking at propagation of this species from the larvae and fingerling stages, which are particularly sensitive, as well as larval feeding and broodstock feeding. Pike-perch is the only freshwater species that has been included in an EU-supported project called Diversify which identifies five species with the most potential for being farmed in the EU. At HAKI the larvae and fingerlings are produced in a closed recirculation aquaculture system. The fingerlings are then introduced into on-growing ponds when the vegetation season starts in spring. The pilot project that is currently running at the institute has successfully produced market-sized fish of 500 g. Another promising species is the European catfish for which the researchers are looking for a fast-growing strain that adapts well to recirculation aquaculture systems. Efforts are also ongoing to find feeds that are compatible with the fish, where the fishmeal component can be replaced with protein from black soldier fly larvae and from plants, and where probiotics and immunostimulants can be tested. It is not just biological topics that are researched with these

potential new species, but also innovative production technologies. HAKI is among the pioneers of intensive-extensive production. In a nutshell, the nutrients from the intensive part of the system are fed into the extensive part. The intensive system could be cages, tanks, or small ponds that are used to produce fingerlings from where the water is channelled into the extensive pond where the nutrients act as fertiliser and where the fish are on-grown.

Sharing knowledge and experience internationally HAKI continues to maintain and is also expanding the international links that it developed back in the 70s. Today the FAO, EU, as well as the Hungarian government are funding international programmes in developing countries that are implemented by HAKI. The focus is on Asia, but HAKI is also involved in Africa (Ghana), the Middle East, and the former Soviet republics. The international involvement is in many ways a tribute to the instituteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strengths in innovative fishpond technologies; exploiting geothermal resources; and alleviating poverty and boosting food security.

Testing different combinations of intensive-extensive systems Gyula Kovacs, Head of the Department of Fish Biology, demonstrates some of the research work being done at HAKI on pike-perch and European catďŹ sh. By modifying temperature and light conditions the broodstock can be tricked into reproducing out of season. The eggs and the milt are stripped from the ďŹ sh and mixed together and the fertilised eggs placed in hatching jars. However, the fertilised egg surfaces are sticky, a condition that helps them attach to a substrate in the wild, on which they form a single layer. In the laboratory, the stickiness causes the eggs to clump together, and eggs on the inside of the clump will perish for want of air. Various methods are used to remove the stickiness and ensure that all the eggs are equally exposed to air. The larval rearing systems are of two kinds, each with its own water puriďŹ cation arrangement. The circular tanks with a conical bottom are optimal for pike-perch and common carp while the rectangular tanks are for catďŹ sh and sturgeons. Pike-perch larval mortality is highest during the swim bladder inďŹ&#x201A;ation period when the larvae come to the surface to ingest air to ďŹ ll the swim bladder. If the surface is not clean, for example, due to an oil ďŹ lm from the feed, the larvae cannot inďŹ&#x201A;ate their bladders and will succumb. Following the larval rearing the ďŹ ngerlings are introduced into another system with 48 one cubic m tanks. Here different feeds are tested. In one experiment Mr Kovacs raised 3.6 kg European catďŹ sh from larvae in 14 months. He is now focused on bringing that down to 12 months. The system is expensive to run with inputs of energy, feed and water (10% fresh water is added each day) and so can only be used for high value species like European catďŹ sh. Different production models are being tested. These combine growth in intensive and extensive systems in different ratios to ďŹ nd the optimal solution.

Research Institute for Fisheries and Aquaculture (HAKI) Anna-liget u. 35 5540 Szarvas Hungary Tel.: +36 66 515300 info.haki@haki.naik.hu www.haki.naik.hu Director: Dr Bela Halasi-Kovacs Employees: 75 (of which 35 researchers and engineers) 36

Facilities: Library, conference centre, laboratories, recirculation aquaculture systems Gene banks: Carp, sturgeon Ponds: Experimental ďŹ sh pond, demonstration pond (250 ha) Species being researched: Common carp, sturgeon species, perch and pike-perch, European catďŹ sh and African catďŹ sh.

Mr Gyula Kovacs, Head of the Department of Fish Biology, HAKI

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Aranyponty is a pioneer of multifunctional ďŹ sh ponds

A strong case for diverse income streams Aranyponty was one of the ďŹ rst pond ďŹ sh farms in Hungary to recognise the potential of diversifying its activities. Today the company offers angling, hunting, tourism, and bird watching among other activities.

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ranyponty has fish ponds at three sites with the main one in Retimajor, where it has been operating for more than 25 years. The fish ponds there existed even before the company took over, but they, as well as the buildings on the site, were all in terrible shape, when the company bought the farm in 1994. The farm was improved step by step â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the network of roads between the ponds was repaired as were the weirs supplying the ponds with water â&#x20AC;&#x201C; altogether the renovation of the ponds took 12 years after which the repair work on the buildings started and the restaurant, hotel, and wellness centre were opened. At the beginning people wondered whether Ferenc Levai, the owner of Aranyponty, would be able to complete the task. Their scepticism was perhaps justified as at 800 ha the site was huge and the damage was extensive.

A number of activities surround a core of ďŹ sh production Ference Levai, who has been in the pond fish farming business for almost 50 years, explains that the idea at Aranyponty was to have a range of different activities building on a backbone of fish production. All resources were taken into use, solar energy, pasture land, services, gastronomy, etc. A museum filled with fishingrelated artefacts shows how fishing has evolved over time, and in addition there is a conference hall. In the restaurant the objective was to be close to nature, so the company has its own production of wine, meat, vegetables and, of course, fish. Being more or less self-sustaining was not only important for Mr Levai personally, but also makes the company more stable, because there are

The museum at Aranyponty chronicles the evolution of ďŹ shing in Hungary and is intended both for adults and children.

different sources of income, for example, when there is no revenue from fish production, there is income from angling. Common carp is the anglersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; favourite fish, so the pond at the angling centre is stocked mostly with common carp and Prussian carp. Thanks to the availability of geothermally heated water the carp are still feeding even in the coldest winter periods giving anglers a chance to catch them. Today, in addition to the site at Retimajor there are sites in Hortobagy and Tata, that the company has leased. Tata has had fish ponds since the middle ages, but when Aranyponty started their activities there, the town had not had any fish farming activity there for a long time, and the locals were therefore delighted that fish would again be produced in Tata, says Judit Sitkei,

who is in charge of tourism and conference activities.

Experimenting with new species and production forms The company produces all the classic pond-farmed fish but is constantly conducting trials with other species. In one project trials are conducted to raise pike on artificial feeds, another is experimenting with paddlefish, and in a third, sterile grass carp are being reared in collaboration with a Hungarian university for stocking in natural water. The pike project is a welldeveloped activity, with the fish being reared in tanks to the fingerling stage. The advantage is that the fish can be reared in periods when they do not naturally breed. They are also much bigger when released into ponds, so they are less vulnerable to predators and

Fish is freshly processed at the onsite facility and sold at the ďŹ sh shop located on the farm. EUROFISH Magazine 1 / 2019

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A large paddleďŹ sh is loaded into a tank.

have lower mortality rates. Experiments are also ongoing on rearing European catfish on pelleted feed, which are showing promising results. While yields from polyculture are about 1.2 tonnes/ha, with European catfish growing in small 0.2 ha ponds on artificial feed it is 5-7 tonnes/ha.

Carp eggs exported to Asia

Attracting tourists from many European countries

Inculcating an appreciation of ďŹ sh among school kids

Tourist accomodation as an activity started about 15 years ago and today Aranyponty can offer Aranyponty Halaszati Zrt.

The company is also active internationally. It has a tilapia fry rearing farm in Laos and is now negotiating with Viet Nam to deliver carp eggs. It has developed a way of transporting carp eggs and hopes to start the first deliveries in February 2019. The eyed eggs are placed between two layers of moist sponge, put in a small container without water at 16 degrees

and at that temperature they can be transported without trouble for 24-26 hours. During transport the eggs absorb oxygen from the air and when they arrive can be placed in a hatchery. The recipient in Viet Nam is a private farm. Hungarian strains of carp are popular in Viet Nam, because, at least initially, they grow 30-40ď&#x2122;&#x201A; faster than the native strains. They grow fast, but maturation is also rapid and after maturation growth slows down. So subsequent generations of the fish do not show the same growth rates.

almost 100 beds at the Retimajor site. Half of these are at an angling centre five kilometres away, while the remainder is split between a motel and two guest houses. In terms of economic importance, tourist activities contribute about a fifth to the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bottom line. Offering services to tourists is interesting because of the synergies, says Ms Sitkei. The fish is produced here, it can be sold in the restaurant, some of the guests come specifically to fish, and it is useful to have the facilities to entertain business partners. Apart from angling the company also promotes hunting attracting fans from Hungary, but also from Italy, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia among other countries. The fish ponds themselves are in a nature reserve where hunting is prohibited, but in surrounding areas they can target geese, deer, and wild boar. When the hunting season is over, tourists are tempted with bird watching expeditions, so that there is some kind of tourist activity going on most times of the year.

Aranyponty offers activities not only for adults, but also for school

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Aranyponty was one of the first private pond fish farms in Hungary and has also been at the forefront of efforts to diversify activities to get the most out of the available resources. The company has demonstrated how fish production can be linked to ecosystem services and other activities and provides a useful model for the development of freshwater aquaculture Europe.

Aranyponty Halaszati Zrt. Arany Janos u. 7 2440 Szazhalombatta Hungary Tel.: +36 30 9348379, +36 25 509190 info@aranyponty.hu www.retimajor.hu

Fish being harvested. The peak period for ďŹ sh sales is just before Christmas with another just before Easter.

children. They are brought to the site firstly to visit the museum of fishing and fishing equipment that the company has established, but then also gradually to be introduced to the world of nature in general and of fish in particular. The excursion to the farm also includes a visit to a nearby pottery so that the children have several activities to keep them occupied. These visits are complemented with fishbased meals served at the company restaurant, so that the children are exposed to the taste of fish and learn how to appreciate it. In many countries the most enthusiastic piscivores belong to older generations while young people tend to abjure fish. There are many benefits to eating fish and seafood, and if this trend among youngsters is to be reversed, introducing children to fish at an early age is one of the ways to go about it.

Owner: Ferenc Levai Tourism and conference manager: Judit Sitkei

Activities: Fish production, tourism, angling, hunting, bird watching, restaurant, wellness centre Fish pond sites: Retimajor, Hortobagy, Tata Total area of sites: 1,300 ha Yield: 1.2 tonne/ha Water surface: 760 ha Species: Common carp, pike, pike-perch, European catďŹ sh, Chinese carps

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MA-HAL, the Hungarian Aquaculture and Fisheries Inter-branch Organisation

Defending the interests of the aquaculture sector In Hungary the entire pond ďŹ sh farming sector, producers, processors, traders, research and development and training institutions, is represented by a single organisation, MA-HAL, the Hungarian Aquaculture and Fisheries Inter-branch Organisation, under the leadership of Dr Istvan Nemeth.

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n umbrella organisation that represents the entire pond fish farming sector, MA-HAL was founded in 2017 by merging the 60-year-old Hungarian Association of Fish Producers and Fishing Water Users with the Hungarian Aquaculture Association. Today the organisation fulfils a variety of roles. It promotes best practices and market transparency, coordinates marketing activities and explores potential export markets, improves knowledge of production and markets, and facilitates dialogue between the different actors in the supply chain. By participating in national and EU projects MA-HAL also contributes to innovation in the aquaculture sector.

Impressive achievements to MA-HALâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s credit Above all the organisation works to protect and further its membersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; interests. In pursuit of this the organisation can claim some notable achievements, says Dr Istvan Nemeth, President of the organisation. For example, since January 2018 the VAT rate on fish has been reduced from 27ď&#x2122;&#x201A; to 5ď&#x2122;&#x201A;. While the reduction was part of a wider government campaign to tax the most important foods at the lowest rates of VAT, MA-HAL played a key role in ensuring that it also applied to fish. Another measure that MA-HAL together

with the National Chamber of Agriculture was responsible for was the practical elimination of the water resource fee, which is a tax that farmers pay for the water they use. The organisation is also working towards a uniform water service fee, the charge paid to the water supplier for providing the water, for which currently different farmers could pay wildly different amounts. Sometimes the amount worked out so high that it made the farm uncompetitive. High fees for water service, in some cases, says Dr Nemeth, could have an impact on the profitability of the farm making it difficult for the farmer to apply for EMFF funds as he would not be able to afford his own contribution that is necessary to get the support. This is why MA-HAL is fighting for the water service fee to be set at HUF1,500 (EUR4.7) per ha.

Dr Istvan Nemeth, President, Hungarian Aquaculture and Fisheries Inter-branch Organisation (MA-HAL)

MA-HAL is open to anyone with a connection to fish farming joining the organisation. In practice, however, it has been the farmers with the largest area that are members. They represent 80ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of the total farm area in Hungary and number about 50. Membership fees are linked to the area and vary from EUR2,500 to 3,000 for the biggest famers and EUR150-200 for the smallest, those having a holding of 5 to 10 ha. Membership earns every member the same

level of service irrespective of the amount paid, and every member, big or small, has a single vote. Membership of MA-HAL gives certain basic rights, but there is no disguising the fact that with a membership encompassing different levels in the supply chain not all the membersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; interests are aligned which can lead to conflicts. Dr Nemeth is frank about this aspect of the organisation. Producers, processors and traders within the organisation have

different interests, he says. It is obvious that producers would like to receive more money for their fish than traders are willing to pay. This situation is further complicated by the fact that the price of fish fluctuates being cheaper in autumn and winter and more expensive in spring and summer. The reason is that the warm water in summer makes it more difficult to harvest and transport live fish, and the presence of tourists pushes up demand.

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For 40 years MA-HAL has been promoting ďŹ sh consumption by organising cooking competitions (archive photo).

The organisation is also pushing a long-standing demand from pond fish farmers of all kinds, big and small, and one that resonates with freshwater pond farmers across the EU. At issue is the lack of support for pond fish farmers although other livestock farmers are entitled to support. Dr Nemeth says that this uneven playing field makes it very difficult for fish to compete with other animal proteins as fish products are much more expensive due to the lack of support. MA-HAL is therefore lobbying at the national level and in Brussels for the European Commission to acknowledge from 2021 the ecosystem services, the positive impacts on microclimates, as well as the damage caused to fish stocks by predators, and to start paying for these amenities. If not, he fears that pond fish farming in Hungary will go the way it has in other countries where, for example, ponds in hilly areas remain unused because the unsupported production is not viable. Another 40

factor he points out is that about 2,000 people are employed by the aquaculture industry many of them in remote rural areas, showing that the industry is a source of livelihoods (as well as healthful protein) in communities where jobs are likely to be scarce. The industry is also facing a shortage of labour, which may be linked to people preferring to work in other sectors, but which could perhaps

be counteracted if wages in the fish farming industry were higher. MA-HALâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work also extends to the promotion of fish consumption, something that the organisation has been doing for the last 40 years by organising fish cooking competitions, where consumers can taste freshwater fish dishes for free. The period just before Christmas is the

MA-HAL

EU payment for pond ďŹ sh farm services is a priority

peak season for sales of freshwater fish, particularly common carp, and MA-HAL organises the direct selling of fish to consumers in many towns. During this period the organisationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website hosts a fish shop finder that shows where to buy fish that is cheaper than what is available at the retail chains. These efforts, among other, have contributed to the gradual increase in the per capita consumption of fish in Hungary from 2.8 kg in 1991 to about 6.4 kg today. Of this however, according to Dr Nemeth, only 1.5 kg is domestically produced fish. He attributes this to the spread of the retail chains with their attractively packaged fish products and appealing displays of fresh imported fish. Salmon in particular is very popular as it is boneless, tasty, and easy to prepare and growth in salmon consumption is higher than carp consumption. As living standards increase consumption of high quality marine fish also increases, a development that is helped by the occasional negative experience that some consumers have had with carp.

Grilled sturgeon is one of the many contestants at the MA-HAL ďŹ sh promotion events (archive photo).

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Togazda specialises in predatory ďŹ sh Dr Istvan Nemeth, President of MA-HAL, is also the owner of a 2,000 ha farm in SzĂĄzhalombatta, an area some 30 km from Budapest west of the Danube. The 2,000 ha are scattered over seven counties as over the years he has acquired ponds as they became available. Fish ponds in this trans-Danubian area are typically barrage ponds. These are usually 2.5-3.0 m deep, while those on the plains are 1.0-1.5 m. Barrage ponds also differ in other respects from ponds on the plains. They are formed by the building of a dam and are ďŹ lled and emptied by the force of gravity. The water in these ponds is clearer than in the lowland ponds which is better for predatory ďŹ sh that search for their prey visually. The company, Togazda, is a big producer of pike-perch which is exported to Germany and Austria, but also farms pike and European catďŹ sh as well as Chinese carps, the latter mainly for the domestic market. Togazda has been seeing some of the symptoms of climate change, which Dr Nemeth says is both a blessing and a bane. The hotter summers and the longer vegetation period allow the ďŹ sh to be fed from March to October resulting in higher output, but the mercurial weather with droughts and ďŹ&#x201A;oods increases the risk of production and the company is yet to ďŹ nd a way to adapt to these changes. The droughts in particular are a threat because the ponds are drained each year and if they cannot be ďŹ lled, that year is lost. On top of that, there are expenses involved in clearing the pond, which if left fallow quickly gets overgrown with vegetation that has to be removed before the pond can be used again.

Greater value-addition needs to become more widespread The key to tackling this development and to increasing the consumption of domestically produced fish, says Dr Nemeth, is to improve processing operations so that Hungarian fish can also be filleted and packaged attractively. While some processors have already started doing this, the majority is still not ready for this kind of production.

And a processing facility which manufactures such products is a major investment and carries significant risks. But there is also another factor that tends to inhibit the development of sophisticated processed products. The angling societies are fish farmers biggest customers for live fish. About three quarters of the fish they buy is market-sized while the rest is smaller age groups. And selling to anglers is easier than having to process the fish for sale on the market.

Hungarian Aquaculture and Fisheries Inter-branch Organisation (MA-HAL) Ballagi Mor u. 8 1115 Budapest Hungary

President: Dr Istvan Nemeth Members: 50 (representing 80% of the farm area in Hungary)

Tel.: +36 30 934 8411 iroda@magyarhal.hu www.magyarhal.hu

Szarvas-Fish is Hungaryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest African catďŹ sh producer

Exploiting demand for boneless ďŹ sh ďŹ&#x201A;esh Output from the Hungarian ďŹ sh farming sector exhibits a growing trend. Production and consumption of aquaculture products are growing and are now seen as a viable alternative source of protein.

S

zarvas-Fish is one of the largest producers of African catfish in Hungary. Starting some 25 years ago as one farm located in Szarvas, the company has expanded its production and now operates two farms and an additional processing facility. Generating approximately 2,800 tonnes per year, 95ď&#x2122;&#x201A; being sold on the domestic market, SzarvasFish is responsible for the bulk of Hungarian production of this

species. Using natural geothermal resources, the company produces high quality and fresh products that are sold directly to the consumer.

Big risks offer big rewards Purchasing the farm in 1993 from a joint venture between Norwegian and Hungarian organisations to grow sturgeons, Szarvas-Fish faced several challenges at the

Ferenc Radics, Director, Szarvas-Fish EUROFISH Magazine 1 / 2019

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Warm water (hence the steam obscuring the picture) is necessary to rear African catďŹ sh and is widely available in Hungary from geothermal sources.

beginning, according to Mr Radics, the director of Szarvas-Fish. We invested significant capital, he says, which was used to upgrade the infrastructure to culture African catfish, at a time when only cold-water species such as cyprinids and salmonids were being reared in Hungary. We were able to use the thermal wells that are common throughout Hungary to optimise growing conditions of the African catfish, minimising costs. African catfish was totally unknown to Hungarian consumers at the start of this venture, says Mr Radics, as a result developing a market for the product was difficult. Culturally, the main sources of protein are beef and chicken 42

and there wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a great market for fish in general, Hungarians rarely ate fish and when they did it was carp around Christmas time. However, Dr Tibor Muller, economic director at Szarvas-Fish always believed that this venture was going to succeed. Mr Radics, he explained, is the African catfish expert. Before he started this farm, he was working at HAKI (Hungarian Research Institute for Fisheries and Aquaculture) researching African catfish. This man knows all you need to know about the species. The company initially raised a variety of species including tilapia, and channel and European

catfish, before it turned its focus to African catfish at the end of the 1990s. Such a success was African catfish on the domestic market, that Szarvas-Fish purchased a second farm in 2001, located in Tuka, two hours away to meet the growing demand. In addition, to one onsite processing plant in Szarvas, Szarvas-Fish has an offsite processing plant in Tiszacsege to help with demand especially around peak Christmas time. Today, production has grown to approximately 2,800 tonnes per annum. Due to the consistent supply of water, Szarvas-Fish is able to use an intensive flowthrough system within all of its 1,320 m3 tanks and ponds. This system enables Szarvas-Fish to

reach farming densities of 350 kg per m3. To maintain supply Szarvas-Fish propagates their broodstock three times a year. Mr Radics explains that onsite propagation allows the farm to manage supply levels. Although a private company, Szarvas-Fish cooperates with HAKI. This led to the development of a hormone therapy needed for propagation. African catfish grows fast, from propagation to market size that is 1.5 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2 kg is 9 to 12 months. Such a quick turnaround requires many hands, employees are particularly busy with grading, which is done 6 or 7 times per production cycle. During peak season up to 100 people are employed across the board.

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The African catďŹ sh are fed on a diet of extruded pellets. They grow from 1.5 to 2 kg within the space of 9-12 months.

A boneless alternative to carp Hungarian fish consumers are looking for other options when it comes to fish products, says Mr Radics. He believes people are turning away from traditional carp products especially around Christmas time for number of reasons, carp products need to be clean and the flesh contains a lot of bones. Consumers are realising that catfish fillets offer a solution at cheaper price. Over nine tenths of the production is sold within Hungary, and the remainder exported live to Slovakia, Romania, Austria and Italy. Marketing plays an important role, yet the marketing strategy is kept very simple, we sell fish to who ever is willing to buy it, laughs Mr Radics. SzarvasFish supplies direct to customers, wholesales, supermarkets, fish mongers and finally a niche market, angling associations, who stock angling ponds with live catfish. Another first for Hungary was the development of food trucks.

The ďŹ sh tanks are supplied with geothermal water and the tarpaulin is an energy-saving measure to trap the heat.

Szarvas-Fish operates two as a direct marketing tool to increase sales, placing the fish directly in front of the customer. Each van travels up to an hour from the farms selling only fresh and processed catfish products at various locations.

priorities, says Mr Radics. Like many fish companies, SzarvasFish is looking to increase levels of automation at its facilities, however current systems are not specific to African catfish. We have to adapt all technology to fit our farms, says Mr Radics.

Most (85-90ď&#x2122;&#x201A;) of the catfish is processed into fresh fillets, frozen, smoked or breaded products and having processing facilities onsite reduces transport costs and logistic issues, says Mr Radics. Another advantage of onsite processing is being able to provide the freshest fish to the customer, this is important for the success of the business, says Mr Radics.

To reduce costs and fight rising energy prices, the company is looking to solar power as a solution. We are investing in three 50 kw solar panels to be installed at the two fish farms and our additional processing plant, says Mr Radics. This will help us lower

Automation is the future Not satisfied with being the largest producer of catfish in Hungary, Szarvas-Fish is looking to increase their supply and meet the challenges currently faced by the company. Finding enough quality staff and reducing overhead costs are top

our costs and become more environmentally friendly. A side project for Szarvas-Fish is converting their waste products into fertilizer. With the help of HAKI they have been able to develop a process at both farm sites where waste products from the catfish are collected and processed into fertilizer, which is then sold on. Szarvas -Fish does not plan on resting, they wish to continue their growth and continue developing the African catfish market in Hungary. Mark Verlaan, mark@eurofish.dk

Szarvas-Fish Kft. Anna-ligeti lkp. 1 5561 Bekesszentandras Hungary Tel./Fax: +36 66 215 007 Email: info@szarvasďŹ sh.hu www.afrikaiharcsa.hu

Activity: Fish farming Production: 2,800 tonnes Species: African catďŹ sh Product form: Live ďŹ sh, fresh and processed products Markets: Hungary (95%), Slovakia, Romania, Austria and Italy

Director: Ferenc Radics Economic Director: Dr Tibor Muller

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NACEE, the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Central-Eastern Europe

Bringing pond aquaculture stakeholders together

F

reshwater pond aquaculture is prevalent across Central and Eastern Europe. The practice of this type of fish farming, the species cultivated, and the challenges faced are similar in many countries in the region. NACEE endeavours to bridge gaps in language, governance, and political systems to create a flexible network of pond aquaculture professionals.

Rebuilding scientiďŹ c collaboration The Network of Aquaculture Centres in Central-Eastern Europe was formed in 2004 partly in response to the political and economic changes in Central and Eastern Europe in the 90s. With the collapse of the old order the cooperation that had existed between scientists and research institutes across the region also flagged. NACEE set out to revive this cooperation so that scientists, students, researchers as well as private companies and public administrations from Central and Eastern Europe both from within the EU and from outside could exchange knowledge and experiences. Aquaculture in the region is dominated by freshwater pond farming and many of the species farmed, the methods used, and the challenges faced, for example, climate change, are similar. The initiators of NACEE were aware that was much to be gained by creating a platform that would allow stakeholders to interact, bring institutions closer together, and create an awareness among non-EU countries about 44

the EU and its initiatives in the aquaculture sector.

Initiating activities for members to build on NACEE was formally established with the help of FAO in 2004 in HAKI, the Hungarian Research Institute for Fisheries and Aquaculture. Originally a network, in 2010 it was registered as an association with its address at HAKI and with Laszlo Varadi, the Director of HAKI as President and Peter Lengyel, the Foreign Relations Officer of HAKI as the General Secretary. It is a relatively low budget organisation dependent on a modest membership fee and some funding coming in from the projects in which it participates. Today the association comprises institutions and individuals from 10 countries. Discussions are ongoing with the FAO about NACEE participation in some FAO projects. As an association registered in an EU country, NACEE has access to EU funds. It is a partner in an EU project, TAPAS, which aims to promote the sustainability of EU aquaculture. If represented by the association the freshwater pond aquaculture sector may carry more weight and attract greater attention and support from EU policy makers, who sometimes overlook it, feels Prof. Varadi. However, he is keen that NACEE does not become too involved in project work. NACEE is a network, he says, and its strength lies in its ability to draw institutions and individuals closer together. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We

Professor Laszlo Varadi, President of the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Central-Eastern Europe (NACEE)

do the catalytic work,â&#x20AC;? he says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;and then it is up to the members themselves to take things further.â&#x20AC;?

HAKI support, dedicated secretariat are invaluable assets Some of this catalytic work includes organising a workshop each year in connection with the annual general meeting of the association. The workshops tend to be held under big-tent themes, advances in Central and Eastern European aquaculture, for example, that allow a wide range of topics to be discussed. Scientists from EU countries that are not members of the association are encouraged to attend, present, and network with their counterparts from countries such as Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, and Moldova. Another event the association organises regularly is the young scientists conference which serves a two-fold purpose. One is to contribute to the international exposure young scientists need to further their careers, while the other is to encourage them to

play a more active role in the association and to gradually take over from the initiators as they start to retire or move on to other things. As Prof. Varadi says, the association is only as active as its members and its ability to survive and thrive depends on their dynamism and commitment. While this is true, it is also a fact that the association is highly dependent on the institutional support it gets from HAKI as well as on the dedication of the three-person secretariat. When it was established, a key slogan was â&#x20AC;&#x153;small steps in the right direction,â&#x20AC;? something that the association has successfully managed so far. With the support of staff, institutions, and members Prof. Varadi is confident that the organisation will continue to make these steps well into the future. For more information: Szvetlana Lengyel NACEE Technical Secretary szvetlana@nacee.eu www.nacee.eu

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With top quality products Elore Fishing Cooperative keeps pace in a competitive market

Adapting to ďŹ ckle consumer needs For centuries caviar has been a beloved seafood of kings (and of those who would like to be kings). And the Danube River is famous in both ďŹ shing and song. Besides sturgeon, the Danube is home to several varieties of carp and other freshwater species, and is the mainspring behind a ďŹ shing, ďŹ sh farming, and processing industry.

B

ut there arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t as many kings anymore, so caviar companies have had to be flexible. And in Hungary, a large producer has managed through production flexibility and high quality control to establish a name for itself. Gyor, the most important city in northwest Hungary and home to the Elore Fishing Cooperative, is situated on the Danube, and has a long history in seafood. The city is well located as a distribution center for Danube seafood, situated on a major route in Eastern Europe, connecting Budapest and Vienna.

Subsidiaries for farming and processing The Elore Fishing Cooperative has been in the seafood business for over 70 years now. The company was established in 1945 by a group of Hungarian fishermen who pooled their resources and over time expanded into processing, farming, and retail sales. The company is now actually two separate enterprises, under joint ownership, explains its director, Mr Gabor Szilagyi. The original firm supplies the farmed fish, and

Gabor Szilagyi, the managing director of the Elore Fishing Cooperative

the processing arm is responsible for the products. The company both raises its own fish and sources fish from outside. Companies from which the company buys live fish have been partners for many years (one Italian supplier has been a regular partner for more than 14 years), and this kind of long-term relationship is key to quality control, says the director.

New products to meet changing consumer trends Common carp, a ďŹ sh traditionally sold live, is processed into ďŹ llets and steaks (pictured) for convenience.

The Elore Fishing Cooperative has undertaken two major expansions since the 1980s, to incorporate

new technology and to better meet consumer demands. On a 7.5-hectare facility fueled in good part with green energy, the company produces top-quality caviar and a wide range of other seafood, from many fish species. Production started in the 1980s, with another large product expansion in the early 2000s. Sales are made to restaurants and retail chains, as well as through its own chain of seven shops, west of the Danube stretching to Budapest. Several species are now processed, including cold water varieties such as trout and warm water types such as African catfish. Trout was for several years the

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the year. From their own farming enterprise, the dominant species are the sturgeons, followed by pike-perch and African catfish, all freshwater species popular in Hungary. Their own farmed fish, from both subsidiaries included, provides 50 to 70 percent of what the company processes. Raising and processing many species helps reduce the seasonality of the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s operations. Most of the processed fish products, such as fish fillets and steaks, are sold in modified-atmosphere retail containers, and as more fully processed product, including salads, pates, and fish stock for soups, including traditional Hungarian carp soup as well as newer African catfish soup.

Value-added products include smoked ďŹ llets of African catďŹ sh packaged in vacuum.

Several species are also sold in hot-smoked form, including sturgeon and salmon (in small quantities, from imported fresh fish). The salmon processing, however, has been cut back, in order to focus more on Hungarian retailersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; demand for local species. The salmon is still sold in the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own shops. In those shops are also sold the ready-made salads, pates, and soup products.

The fish products are sold under their own brand as well as supermarket labels. The production of raw-meat products such as fillets, compared to that of seafood salads and so forth, forms a ratio of about 70:30.

Trading in fresh ďŹ sh can be a challenge Selling fresh fish can face serious obstacles, Mr Szilagyi notes. Distance is one, especially for freshwater fish, which have a shorter shelf-life than saltwater fish, in the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s experience, because the mucus produced by freshwater fish to protect themselves is also a favourable substrate for bacteria. There are several advantages to combining fish rearing with processing. This way we can produce flexibly and, because we know exactly how the fish has been raised, guarantee a highquality product, says Mr Szilagy. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When the order comes in, the fish are practically still swimming,â&#x20AC;? he adds, as testimony to the freshness of the raw material. Reviewing his experience with the volume of fish sold in the last decade, he says, the market has

biggest volume species, imported from Italy, in portion-sizes of 300-500 grams. But trends have changed and now the dominant species is African catfish. Common carp is the second followed by trout and silver carp. Consumer demand has changed over the years. Compared with their parents, young people prefer boneless products, with low fat and pure flavor. Seasonality in demand (peaking at holidays) for certain species and product forms such as live common carp is still very strong. The company avoids off-season closures in processing by offering a wide range of products that are sold throughout 46

Fish farming (the tanks contain sturgeon) is carried out by one of two subsidiaries. The other is responsible for processing operations.

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ModiďŹ ed atmosphere is used to package whole gutted rainbow trout.

been uncertain, and most producers have not wanted to invest a lot in additional processing. The requirements of the hypermarkets and the requirements of veterinary authorities must also be met. This has required a change in the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strategy as well as its production technology and processes to meet these requirements. Finding labour has been a significant constraint as people willing to work in fish processing are not easy to find today, when other more attractive alternatives exist. Freshwater fish processors like Mr Szilagyi face competition both from companies selling marine species as well as from those selling other animal proteins. Even the most common types of fish are more expensive than other meats; most freshwater fish are bony or have a special taste; and this scares people away from fish. Those who have higher incomes prefer higher-priced marine fish, which is considered trendier. Consumer habits are hard to influence, as they are in large part

formed in childhood. But this also provides an opportunity for producers of fish like African catfish, totally boneless fillets with a mild taste. Some of those competing marine species are of lower quality, says Gabor Szilagyi. They are supplied to canteens and other institutional settings because of their low price. That means a lot more work for the Elore Fishing Cooperative to sell to these market segments, so the company maintains its focus on top quality fish, because, as he says, institutional buyers â&#x20AC;&#x153;also want to be on the safe side.â&#x20AC;?

Demand for processed ďŹ sh is on the rise The company was already processing fish into easy-to-cook fillets at a time when most people wanted whole fish. Mr Szilagyi points out that building demand is about gaining consumer trust. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you get their trust with processed fish, it is worth it. Even in fish shops that have been around a long time, and even here in Gyor with its history of eating

fish, where consumers know how to clean a fish, the demand for processed fish has increased a lot in recent years.â&#x20AC;? From a majority of total sales a generation ago the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s trade in live fish today is down to 10ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of the total. Adjusting to change is demanding, says Gabor Szilagyi, but necessary. The company has clearly been successful at managing change, as over 15 years turnover has increased by a factor of six.

Efficiency could be improved, he says, but operations are stable and the direction of the company is the right one. It is hard to find niches in the market for the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s flagship product, caviar, but as a sign of the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reputation, it supplied the caviar and sturgeon for a famous competition of top European chefs, Bocuse dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Or, when it was held in Hungary. The companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s caviar is currently sold throughout Europe and as far away as Singapore.

The Elore Fishing Cooperative Arany Janos ut 22 9062 Kisbajcs Hungary Tel.: +36 96 560220 Fax: +36 96 560224 bajcshal@bajcshal.hu www.bajcshal.hu; www.caviardanubius.hu Managing director: Gabor Szilagyi

Activities: Farming and processing freshwater ďŹ sh, production of caviar Species: Sturgeons, carps, African catďŹ sh, pike-perch, Products: Fresh steaks, ďŹ llets, and portions; smoked products; live ďŹ sh, caviar Packaging: ModiďŹ ed atmosphere, vacuum packaging, packaging for caviar Brand: Caviar Danubius EUROFISH Magazine 1 / 2019

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Raising carp and African catďŹ sh in the middle of the Great Hungarian Plain

Using genetics for faster growth In Hungary, a landlocked country, the AkasztĂł Fish Farm has found a proďŹ table combination of pond ďŹ sh farming â&#x20AC;&#x201C; integrated in the natural environment â&#x20AC;&#x201C; restaurant dining, and facilities for anglers. The family-owned business mixes intensive and extensive techniques and monoculture and polyculture.

T

he AkasztĂł Fish Farm has been in operation for 25 years. During that time, it has increased the initial area of 75 ha to 300 ha today. Its main product is the AkasztĂł Szikiponty (saline carp). Of the species produced in polyculture with the carp, silver carp and grass carp are the most important economically. They also produce the black carp and Chinese carp. Total carp production is approximately 300 tonnes, of which common carp makes up approximately 80ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of production, silver carp about 10ď&#x2122;&#x201A;, and the remaining species about 10ď&#x2122;&#x201A;. They also stock pike and different species of bream, as well as other species. The health and quality of the stock are guaranteed by keeping all production in-house, from hatchery to market-sized fish.

The farmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s un-common carp The company is suitably proud of its flagship product, the AkasztĂł saline carp. With a low fat content and characteristic flavour, the carpâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s special qualities are the result of the special, slightly saline pond bed, the production technology, and the result of genetics â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the Szarvas B34 hybrid in the paternal line, and a scaly Szarvas breed in the maternal line. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a scaly, agile, and aggressive fish. Based on its own research, the company has determined that this hybrid grows at rate approximately 10ď&#x2122;&#x201A; better than other breeds. In 2006, it was awarded a Gold Ribbon by the leading chefs of Hungary, and in 2008, the company launched a marketing campaign to promote it. With the help

Jozsef Szabo, the owner and managing director of Akaszto ďŹ sh farm.

of the Ministry of Agriculture, the company applied for a geographical designation for the carp. Hungary has recognised it, and EU recognition is now in progress. Using extensive, semi-intensive technology, they seed the ponds

with organic manure to increase the density of plankton on which the carp feed. Further, they use low stocking densities. From the middle of summer, as the density of the plankton decreases, the fish are gradually harvested, decreasing the fish density. Approximately 2 kg of additional feed are used for each 1 kg of carp meat.

Diversity and creativity are the key to success

The bones in carp ďŹ llets are rendered harmless by making cuts in the ďŹ llet as shown here. 48

According to founder and owner JĂłzsef SzabĂł, the farm was not at first economically viable because it didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t produce sufficient fish to serve the consumers throughout the year, thus preventing the development of a strong circle of consumers. In 2002, using EU funds, an angling park and fish restaurant were built. Feeding hungry dinner guests and challenging amateur

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anglers have proven popular and profitable ways to sell its products. In the restaurant, the fish are turned into specialties of Hungarian cuisine. The fishing park offers six fishing ponds with paved banks and covered picnic facilities. Overnight accommodations are available in the form of guest rooms and a campground. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In 2010â&#x20AC;?, says SzabĂł, â&#x20AC;&#x153;we built a flow-through intensive farm where we produce approximately 50 tonnes of European catfish per yearâ&#x20AC;?. In addition, the farm produces agricultural products, such as wheat, rapeseed, and soya. It is used as fish feed, animal fodder (ca. 500â&#x20AC;&#x201C;600 tonnes annually), and for human consumption.

Sturgeon caviar â&#x20AC;&#x201C; another effort to diversify In 2010, to ensure against a possible outbreak of the Koi herpesvirus, the owners looked for a fish that would diversify its selection. They chose to produce Siberian sturgeon. Originally, the sturgeon was produced primarily for the meat, but now the focus is on caviar because it is more profitable. SzabĂł says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We will produce as

A truck for the transport of live ďŹ sh. Fingerlings to be introduced into on-growing ponds, or market-sized ďŹ sh for customers.

much as we can sellâ&#x20AC;?. He points out, however, that the Polish and the Chinese have overproduced huge amounts of caviar recently. Eight years ago, the wholesale price for 1 kg of caviar was between â&#x201A;Ź1,500 and â&#x201A;Ź1,700 per kg. Now, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x201A;Ź200, lower than the cost of production. They would like

to sell domestically and internationally, hoping to sell 500 kg. In Hungary, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s impossible. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The largest market would be Russia, but because of the trade embargo, we cannot sell thereâ&#x20AC;?, says SzabĂł.

and some is sold as raw fillets with skin. In 2014, a small-scale processing plant was constructed. Currently, the company is expanding it and seeking international certification.

The sturgeon meat is sold in the restaurant, some of it is smoked,

Controlling the production from start to ďŹ nish To control the whole production cycle, the farm has built its own hatchery. Production exceeds their own needs, and they sell the surplus to outside customers, recently, for example, to Kazakhstan. But to maintain the farmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s excellent health, they have a rule: Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t bring any fish in, only out.

The restaurant caters to anglers and other guests, serving them with ďŹ sh freshly caught from the ponds.

The common carp fingerlings are also produced semi-intensively in a monoculture, on artificial feeds. In pond conditions, it is possible to produce 0.6â&#x20AC;&#x201C;0.8 tonnes per ha of the fingerlings. With artificial extruded feeds, they can produce 5â&#x20AC;&#x201C;7 tonnes per ha. This shortens the growing period, the time to grow to a market-sized EUROFISH Magazine 1 / 2019

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was live. At Christmas in 2017, they sold 6 tonnes of fish, and only 1.2 tonnes of that was live. So, the demand is clearly increasing toward processed fish.

An angling pond is located conveniently close to the restaurant.

fish. Otherwise, they would need approximately 20 ha to produce fingerlings for their own needs. Intensive production requires only a 7-ha pond to rear fingerling in natural conditions. Typically, carp have two-year and three-year cycles. A one-year carp at 80â&#x20AC;&#x201C;100 g will result in a 1.5 kg fish after two years. Anglers prefer this size. Two-year carp makes up 20â&#x20AC;&#x201C;25ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of production. In the three-year production, at the end of the second year, one-year carp at 30â&#x20AC;&#x201C;50 g will result in a 400â&#x20AC;&#x201C;600 g fish, and by the end of the third year, they reach 2.5â&#x20AC;&#x201C;3 kg. Consumers and processors prefer this size.

Raising the African catďŹ sh Hungary has easily accessible geothermal water, and using the thermal waterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s optimum temperatures, the AkasztĂł Fish Farm is able to produce the tropical African catfish (Clarias gariepinus). To dispose of the used thermal water safely and without polluting, the intensive fish producing system is integrated with extensive ponds and wetlands. Nutrient-rich water from the intensive fish-rearing 50

system, which is generally warmer than that of the recipient water, can be treated in extensive fishponds or an adequately sized, constructed wetland. After such treatment, the effluent water of the intensive farm can be safely released into the natural environment without significantly increasing its organic matter, phosphorus, and heat load. The African catfish are raised in thermal water in the intensive unit, with a total tank volume of 3600 m3, at high stocking densities (300 kg/m3). The annual production of the intensive system is about 1000 tonnes. After sedimentation, the effluent water from the intensive fish farm flows into a 3.6 ha extensive fish pond, then to a serially connected extensive fish pond with a surface area of 1 ha, where common carp and Chinese herbivorous fish are reared without supplementary feeding. The fish yield of the extensive ponds (2â&#x20AC;&#x201C;3 tonnes/ ha) is value added to the intensive production. The water flows from the fish ponds to a 0.5 ha wetland, where the remaining nutrients are removed by artificially planted reed and cattail, which also assist the sedimentation of the suspended solids. In addition,

the wetland is large enough to provide a habitat for wild animals, in particular, birds (e.g. mallard). The wetlandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reed (Phragmites australis) and cattail (Typha) provide additional income.

Getting the product to the customer Most fish is sold live, although the trend is towards processed fish products, such as filleted and smoked. For example, at Christmas time in the restaurantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first year of operation, they sold 2.5 tonnes of fish, half of which

One-third of the fish produced is consumed in the restaurant or taken away directly by consumers. Of this, one-third is taken away by the anglers, one-third is consumed in the restaurant, and one-third, processed and live, is bought on-site and taken away. Another third is bought by anglers and angling associations for stocking their ponds. Finally, one-third is bought by retailers, who sell it live or processed in their shops. The European catfish, a native species, has always been produced in polyculture in small numbers. But owing to its lack of bones and good meat, the demand is increasing. SzabĂł recalls that, on at least one occasion, more catfish were sold in the restaurant than carp. Plans are under way for a recirculation system of around 320â&#x20AC;&#x201C;350 m3 for European catfish. The fingerlings will be reared in the recirculation system and then put it in the flowthrough system. William Anthony

AkasztĂł Fishing Park and Tavern KĂ­gyĂłshĂ­d tanya 6 6221 AkasztĂł Hungary Tel: +36 20 550 5000 info@halascsarda.hu www.halascsarda.hu, www.oko2000.hu, www.szikiponty.hu Owner: Jozsef Szabo Activity: Fish farming, restaurant, angling Production: 300 tonnes (carp), 1,000 tonnes (African catďŹ sh)

Species: AkasztĂł Szikiponty (saline carp), silver carp, grass carp, black carp, amur carp, pike, pike-perch, European catďŹ sh, and African catďŹ sh Product form: Live ďŹ sh, ďŹ llets, smoked ďŹ sh Markets: Slovakia, Austria, Italy, and Romania Other facilities: Meeting and wedding facilities Employees: 30â&#x20AC;&#x201C;35 people in the restaurant and the angling park; 20 persons for the farm

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[ ENVIRONMENT ] Coastal wetlands are highly effective carbon sinks

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Blue carbonâ&#x20AC;? slows down the global greenhouse effect Coastal ecosystems make an extremely important contribution to climate protection. Given the same area they capture and store up to 20 times more carbon from the atmosphere than terrestrial ecosystems, including tropical forests. This effect of â&#x20AC;&#x153;blue carbonâ&#x20AC;? was for a long time underestimated. Urgent action is now needed because coastal wetlands are among the most threatened natural ecosystems.

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he ecological value of coastal ecosystems such as mangroves, marshlands, salt marshes and seagrass meadows is undisputed. They are of enormous significance for biodiversity, they serve as spawning grounds and nurseries for countless species of fish, crustaceans and mussels (including species of commercial importance), they filter pollutants out of the water, and they protect the coasts from storms, floods and erosion. The total value of worldwide ecosystem services provided by mangrove areas alone is estimated to be at least 1.6 billion US$ per year. Beyond that, however, a relatively new finding points to the fact that coastal ecosystems are of crucial importance for climate protection: coastal and marine ecosystems remove from the atmosphere enormous amounts of carbon which they capture, accumulate and store for very long periods of time â&#x20AC;&#x201C; often over centuries, if not millennia â&#x20AC;&#x201C; in sediment, i.e. in the seabed. The principle behind this storage function is based on photosynthesis (which is known to be based on carbon dioxide) that takes place in coastal ecosystems in mangroves, sea grass and other green plants. The plants absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that also drives climate change, and with the help of sunlight convert it into plant biomass: overground in tree trunks, branches, and leaves, underground in roots

and rhizomes. After they die, these carbonaceous plant formations are superimposed by sediments at the bottom, and lack of oxygen slows down aerobic bacterial decomposition thereby removing them from the continuous carbon cycle in the atmosphere for a long time. The organic soils of ecosystems are typically very rich in carbon. In order to make the relationship between CO2 sequestration and marine and coastal ecosystems more easily understandable this carbon is usually referred to as â&#x20AC;&#x153;blue carbonâ&#x20AC;?. We can at present only make rough guesses about how strong the effect of mangroves and other coastal ecosystems is on global climate. Their enormous importance has long been ignored and underestimated. It was not until 2009 that climate experts began to take due account of the value and role of these areas in climate protection. After the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) published a groundbreaking report on the management of natural coastal carbon sinks intensive research began all over the world which pointed to the potential of coastal ecosystems as highly efficient carbon sinks and brought the term â&#x20AC;&#x153;blue carbonâ&#x20AC;? into common usage. Some of what researchers have identified since then is not yet sufficiently certain â&#x20AC;&#x201C; there are still wide gaps in our knowledge on this subject â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but one thing is

In many countries around the world mangrove reforestation projects are underway and efforts to conserve seagrass meadows and tidal marshes are being stepped up.

already clear: it is difficult to overestimate the importance of these areas. Compared to terrestrial ecosystems (even tropical rainforests) overgrown coastal habitats such as mangroves, tidal wetlands and seagrass meadows perform much better. Their carbon sequestration and storage capacities are very impressive. Although aquatic coastal ecosystems account for less than 0.5 per cent of the total seabed area they store more than half, perhaps more than two-thirds, of the carbon in all marine sediments. They are thus highly efficient carbon sinks. In relation to the same area, for example a square kilometre, coastal ecosystems can on average absorb and store four to five times more carbon than a tropical forest. The special value of mangroves, tidal swamps and seagrass meadows for climate protection

also results from the fact that terrestrial habitats only store carbon for a short time because it soon returns to the atmosphere as CO2 through bacterial decomposition, deforestation or forest fires. In contrast, the potential greenhouse gas remains fixed for much longer in the seabed.

More carbon sequestered in coastal ecosystems than in terrestrial forests Although the plant biomass of ecosystems on the borderline between land and sea is hardly significant compared to plant biomass on land â&#x20AC;&#x201C; biogeographers estimate its share at 0.05 per cent at the most â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it makes a disproportionately large contribution to carbon sequestration, and thus, of course, to climate protection. Mangroves, which are

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[ ENVIRONMENT ] among the most carbon-rich forests in the tropics, sequester on average between 6 and 8 tonnes of CO2-equivalent per hectare per year. This carbon sequestration rate is two to four times higher than that of mature tropical forests. Data on the total area of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mangrove forests (in 2012 estimates were between 83,495 and 167,387 square kilometres) and on the global importance of this ecosystem are uncertain. According to current calculations, mangrove forests are responsible for three to ten per cent of the carbon captured by plant biomass. The same can be said for tidal wetlands. These include coastal wetlands with deep soils formed by the deposition of mineral sediments and organic matter which are flooded with salt water in the rhythm of the tides (for example, the Wadden Sea of the North Sea, tidal marshes and salt meadows). Within these ecosystems carbon accumulates almost exclusively in the soil where the underground biomass can be stored down to a depth of eight metres. According to rough estimates these areas account for about 140 million hectares of the earthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s surface, whereby one hectare sequesters between 6 and 8 tonnes of CO2-equivalent annually. Submerged seagrass meadows are also of enormous importance for climate protection. More than 60 flowering plants (angiosperms) have asserted themselves in this habitat. They are adapted to life under water and their roots reach deep into the subsoil. Seagrass is highly productive and absorbs carbon in the plant body, storing it in the soil via the roots at a depth of up to four metres. Just under 180,000 square kilometres are currently documented worldwide as seagrass areas but this figure is probably much too low. Estimates range from 300,000 to 600,000 square kilometres. Although 52

seagrass meadows account for only 0.1 to 0.2 per cent of the ocean floor area they store at least 10 per cent, perhaps even as much as 18 per cent, of blue carbon in the oceans. Although the carbon storage capacity of seagrass meadows is not quite as high as that of mangroves it is still almost twice as high as that of terrestrial forests. Despite the provisional nature and some uncertainty of individual data â&#x20AC;&#x201C; for example, we do not know how large the individual areas are, how much carbon sequestration varies regionally and what factors influence them â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it is clear that blue ecosystems play an extremely important role in slowing climate change. That is why coastal ecosystems are attracting more and more attention within international climate protection policy. The willingness of the international community to provide the urgently needed financial resources for the protection, conservation or restoration of these areas has increased noticeably. Anyone who doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ignore or even deny global climate change has to recognise that coastal ecosystems store considerable amounts of carbon from the atmosphere and contribute to mitigating climate change. More important, however, is the fact that these processes are reversible. When we degrade or destroy these habitats they release the carbon that has been stored in them for centuries into the atmosphere making them possible sources of greenhouse gases. Experts estimate that degraded coastal ecosystems release up to 1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, equivalent to one fifth of the emissions from tropical deforestation worldwide.

Alarming decline in blue carbon coastal habitats The main aim of the new global climate protection treaty which

Aquaculture can destroy mangrove areas through the construction of ponds, but is often practised non-destructively in harmony with nature.

was adopted in Paris in December 2015 is to limit the rise in temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels, if possible even below that. In view of the enormous importance of blue carbon for climate change it would be foolish, if not negligent, to pay insufficient attention to this influencing factor. Rapid action is called for because the loss rates of these important ecosystems are much higher than those of any other habitat on earth, even the much-quoted rainforests. It is estimated that annual losses are between 2 and 7 per cent, and that 340,000 to 980,000 hectares of coastal ecosystems are destroyed every year. This not only means the loss of valuable habitats for many animal and plant species and an important component of natural coastal protection but also of a supporting factor in the fight against global climate change for these ecosystems sequester large amounts of carbon. Calculations show that annual losses of coastal ecosystems cause the same level of CO2 emissions as the whole of Britain, which ranks 9th in the world ranking of CO2 emissions due to its use of fossil fuels that release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Strictly speaking, it is not enough to focus solely on the preservation of these valuable habitats, because their ability to function, and thus their positive effect on global

climate, is influenced by numerous factors that interact with one another in a very complex way. In order to sequester the organic carbon stored in plant biomass from the oceanic system it must be covered by a sediment layer when it reaches the seabed. As a result, the oxygen concentration in the lower soil layers drops so much that aerobic bacteria, which need oxygen for the decomposition of organic matter, are inhibited and cannot release the carbon again. However, this only works if the â&#x20AC;&#x153;oxygen-isolatingâ&#x20AC;? sedimentation acts in the required strength over the entire area. Wherever flow velocities and water conditions change, for example due to embankments, coastal reinforcement, or dam structures in rivers that flow directly into or within the vicinity of such coastal ecosystems, sedimentation also changes. This must also be taken into account when developing protective measures. There are numerous reasons for the decline in mangroves, tidal marshes and seagrass meadows, and most of them are the result of human activities. For example, drainage for land reclamation and the subsequent construction of roads, harbours, dams and the expansion of cities, for agricultural uses, for evaporation basins, for salt extraction and even as a protective measure against mosquitoes. Mangrove forests are cut back to gain fuel and heating

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[ ENVIRONMENT ]

Mangroves and seagrass meadows serve as spawning grounds and nurseries for many ďŹ sh species, providing them with shelter and food at various stages of their lives.

material, and seagrass meadows are damaged by agricultural fertilisers. Eutrophication promotes the development of pelagic algal blooms which reduce the amount of light available for photosynthesis in sea grass on the seabed. Rising sea levels, increasing droughts and rising water temperatures also pose a threat to coastal ecosystems. The risks are not always immediately apparent. Normally, mangroves, for example, protect the coasts from the destructive power of wind and waves. If they are intact, offshore coral reefs also contribute to this, acting as underwater breakwaters that reduce the seaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s kinetic energy. However, if the reefs are fragile or destroyed, for example due to acidification of the oceans, the sea crashes with unrestrained force against the shoreline barrier and the mangroves are often unable to withstand it. Fisheries and aquaculture can both benefit from and harm coastal ecosystems. Mangroves and seagrass meadows are important habitats for many fish, crustacean and shellfish species. They serve as spawning grounds and nurseries, providing shelter and food for countless species at various stages of their lives. Fisheries are likely to benefit if such areas are better protected and can increase in size again, as more young animals

will then survive, develop strongly and replenish the stocks on which regional fisheries are based. With regard to aquaculture, the situation needs to be looked at in more detail. On the one hand, individual operators use the mangrove areas for extensive, near-natural farming or for collecting natural stocking material for their nurseries. On the other hand, mangroves have also been cleared in some regions of the world to create ponds, canals and farms. Although the pace of destructive expansion of the industry has been reduced considerably in recent times it has not been completely ruled out. In the meantime, however, the aquaculture industry has recognised the value and advantages of intact coastal ecosystems. It can market its products better because more and more consumers are paying attention to environmentally and ecologically sound farming methods. Healthy mangrove forests protect farms in the coastal hinterland from the many forces of nature and can serve as â&#x20AC;&#x153;biofiltersâ&#x20AC;? that remove nutrients contained in the water from farm ponds.

Blue Carbon Initiative coordinates international conservation programmes Measures to protect, preserve and restore coastal ecosystems

are now being developed and implemented in coastal management projects in many regions of the world. Although this development has only just begun in many places and is still in its infancy, it is making rapid progress because it offers such convincing advantages. It has never been easier to combine the goals of effective coastal management with the needs of climate protection. In this context, the international Blue Carbon Initiative, a coordinated, global programme designed to help mitigate climate change, has an important role to play. The initiative was set up by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO), Conservation International (CI) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It contributes to the development of management approaches, financial incentives and policy mechanisms aimed at the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of climate-relevant coastal blue carbon ecosystems. To this end, the Blue Carbon Initiative brings together local and national governments, research institutions, NGOs and coastal communities, and promotes numerous measures that support these goals. Some data on blue carbon are not yet sufficiently certain, and our knowledge of the climate effects caused by coastal ecosystems is still incomplete. This is why the Blue Carbon Initiative is also striving to advance and promote scientific research in this field. The Blue Carbon Scientific Working Group, founded in 2011, is laying the scientific foundations for this. It brings together the findings on blue carbon and coordinates research projects in order to better map and quantify these systems. Policy makers need robust and reliable information as an orientation aid for trend analyses and

important fundamental decisions. One of the scientistsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; primary goals is to develop internationally valid standards for monitoring and collecting data on blue carbon in coastal areas. The dynamics of carbon in coastal ecosystems are to be modelled more precisely in terms of time and space. However, sound decision-making aids for the allocation of financial incentives that promote climate protection measures will also be important. Financial support for climate protection projects is doubly important because, on the one hand, many third world countries are already suffering severely from climate change for which the CO2 emissions of industrialised countries have been mainly to blame in recent decades. On the other hand, the poorer countries should now also contribute to climate protection because a considerable share of the threatened coastal habitats is located there. Payments for blue carbon services are becoming increasingly important at international level. In an effort to achieve a fair financial balance politicians are trying to make money available for committed projects in the interests of climate protection. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Payments for Ecosystem Servicesâ&#x20AC;?, PES for short, is the technical jargon for this. However, the criteria for awarding PES were developed primarily for terrestrial systems and it is uncertain whether they will work in the same way for coastal and marine ecosystems. In the case of aquatic ecosystems, for example, the causes of disturbance may lie outside the area in which the habitat that needs protection is located. Who receives the PES payment, the party that has caused the disturbance or the owner of the area? There is a need for research in this area, too. MK

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POLAND

Polish university laboratory tests the viability of farming warmwater shrimp in recirculation aquaculture

Challenges of shrimp cultivation are not insurmountable The Interreg South Baltic Programme is an initiative that fosters cross-border cooperation between Denmark, Germany, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden to create sustainable jobs and growth in the marine and maritime sector in these countries. Among the projects being funded under the programme is InnoAquaTech, a venture that seeks to evaluate aquaculture technologies and encourage their commercial application.

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t the University of Gdanskâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Institute of Oceanography in Gdynia, Halina Kendzierska, Monika NormantSaremba, Hanna Ĺ aîżądkowska, and Barbara Dmochowska are maintaining a recirculation aquaculture system containing the tropical shrimp, Penaeus vannamei (whiteleg shrimp). Amongst Polish consumers this is a fairly popular species; according to FAO statistics, imports of Penaeus species into Poland have increased by over 40ď&#x2122;&#x201A; to 3,600 tonnes in 2016 compared with 2013 suggesting a growing market for this crustacean.

Trial provides wealth of useful information Although it is being farmed in recirculation systems in other European countries, this is the first time an attempt is being made in Poland to test the commercial viability of this type of production. Over the course of the last two years that the project has been running, the team has learned some valuable lessons. For example, one of the main costs has been the energy needed to run the system and maintain the temperature of the water. The cost of energy is in fact critical to the feasibility of the production. Commercial producers recognise 54

this and keep their energy costs as low as possible by siting their production facilities close to a source of low-cost or even free energy, for example, a water treatment plant, biogas system, or geothermal source. The team also established that shrimp larvae or post-larvae could only be obtained from the United States, which, according to Dr Kendzierska, is the sole source of the specific pathogen free postlarvae that were needed for the trial. Salt of the right composition and feed were the other two inputs that the team had some trouble obtaining, but finally managed to find suppliers in Germany for the salt and in Norway (later switched to Belgium) for the feed. Since the production was only a pilot the volumes needed of the different inputs were very small in comparison to a commercial enterprise and suppliers were therefore not very interested in selling to the project, recalls Dr Kendzierska, who had to get in touch with several potential suppliers before getting a positive response.

Combining applied science with research The project is a good example of science being applied in the interest of commerce, part of

Halina Kendzierska (pictured) together with Monika NormantSaremba, Hanna Ĺ aË&#x203A;dkowska and Barbara Dmochowska is conducting trials on the commercial feasibility of growing warmwater shrimp in a recirculation aquaculture system at the University of Gdansk.

the reason Dr Kendzierska is so enthusiastic about the pilot. However, the scientific side has by no means been ignored, she emphasises, as experiments regarding the physiology of the animals are being conducted. We monitor the feeding rates, excretion rates and other parameters that influence the metabolic rate of the shrimp, she explains, as the metabolic rate is an indicator for their wellbeing. We can see from the metabolic rate if the shrimp are thriving or whether they are stressed. As it happens, the animals are suffering from stress caused in all likelihood by a combination of factors, including

the relatively high density and the very clear water. Shrimp are bottom dwellers and are used to more murky surroundings, so the clear water means they see what is going on around them and may also be aware that they are more exposed, both of which are a source of stress. Among the other challenges the team had to face was the fact that the system was not built for specimens as small as the ones that were delivered. As a result, several specimens managed to escape the nets that were keeping them in the tanks and had to be retrieved (a laborious manual process)

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POLAND

The researchers were able to grow the shrimp to 3 cm in the ďŹ rst year and up to 6 cm with the second batch. Commercial market size is 13-16 cm.

before they reached the filters and were destroyed. The drainage system also had to be changed in the second year of the experiment to reduce the use of water and of salt. Finally, the feed pellets were too large and had to be ground up so that the shrimp could eat them. However, despite the challenges the researchers were able to grow the shrimp to 6 cm in the first month and up to 12 cm during the whole first trial.

Commercial market size is 13-16 cm, but growing the shrimp to this size, although theoretically possible, would have been unrealistic given the constraints of the system.

Project conducts summer school to disseminate results The team will look for further sources of funding when the

project terminates mid 2019 either to continue trials with shrimp or to use the equipment to test different species. The results from the trial suggest it will not be easy to scale up, says Dr Kendzierska, but we have obtained a lot of information about the cultivation of shrimp and the formal results from the trial will also be published. Part of the aim of the project was to provide small and medium enterprises within the region access to knowledge and skills within this field, so a two-day summer school was organised in mid-September last year. It attracted some 30 people including representatives of small and medium-size enterprises, as well as employees of universities, specialized laboratories and research institutes.

and development prospects, design and installation principles including filters in recirculation systems and practical hints on basic parameters of water quality in white shrimp farming on land. Participants were exposed to the practical aspects of breeding in recirculation aquaculture systems, and also learned about the market for warmwater shrimp. The programme concluded with a discussion on the economics of shrimp production. The organisers are hopeful that the school will encourage new activities and investments in this field.

The programme was divided into thematic sessions, starting with lectures and a practical laboratory focused on crustaceans present on the Polish market. A session was dedicated to aquaculture in RAS systems. During this session participants were familiarized with issues related to establishing a farm, such as applicable legal issues, costs, the current state of technological advancement

Institute of Oceanography University of Gdansk Al. Maszalka Pilsudskiego 46 81-378 Gdynia Poland

For more information: Hanna Ĺ aîżądkowska, Monika Normant-Saremba, Barbara Dmochowska, Halina Kendzierska

Tel.: +48 58 523 6869 ocehl@ug.edu.pl, monika. normant@ug.edu.pl, ocebd @ug.edu.pl, halina.kendzierska @ug.edu.pl www.ocean.ug.edu.pl

InnnoAquaTech Project Project Timespan: Budget: Programme:

A summer school was organised to disseminate the results of the trials and to discuss the biological, economic, and commercial issues surrounding warmwater shrimp cultivation in recirculation aquaculture systems.

1.7.2016 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 30.6.2019 EUR1,677,000 INTERREG South Baltic

Partners: BioCon Valley GmbH, Germany University of Rostock, Germany Danish Technological Institute, Div. AgroTech Maritime Institute, Poland University of Gdansk, Poland National Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Poland Klaipeda Science and Technology Park, Lithuania

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POLAND

Automation to characterise renovated factory

Gadus restructures its processing operations The Polish ďŹ shing ďŹ&#x201A;eet is broadly divided into coastal vessels and those that ďŹ sh far out in the Baltic Sea. Both groups target the ďŹ ve species under quota (cod, herring, plaice, sprat, salmon) as well as various non-quota species. Cod is among the most valuable species targeted and the ďŹ sh has near iconic status among the ďŹ&#x201A;eets of several countries in the region.

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he problems affecting Baltic cod stocks are a source of concern among fishers, processors, NGOs as well as the authorities. Gadus is both a fishing company and a processor of whitefish and cod has a significant share in its product assortment. However, while Polish waters provide some of the cod raw material, the bulk is Atlantic cod imported from Norway and Iceland. This material is currently processed in one of the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s three plants located a stoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s throw from each other in Gdynia. A restructuring that has just been initiated in the company will see the operations in the three plants being moved to one site.

Vertical integration supports high quality Gadus was established in 1996 by Dawid Sztormowski and initially only traded in fish. Three years later, at the age of 22, he bought his first vessels, two gillnetters, and since then the company has kept adding to its fleet at intervals. We were buying to have enough quota and to get more efficient vessels since quotas are allocated to vessels in Poland and are not tradeable, says Mr Sztormowski, adding that it made his investments in the fishing industry very complicated. His goal was to have vessels that could work for ten months in the year. Today, a little 56

over 20 years since he acquired his first vessel, the company owns 17 vessels (including one shared with another owner) of which seven are in operation. Of these, three fish for pelagics and work for six months, while three are cod boats and work for ten months, the other active vessel targets brown crab in the North Sea. In between acquiring vessels, the company also started processing the fish as Mr Sztormowski and his brother, who had also joined him, felt that being vertically integrated with both catching and processing offered a number of advantages, such as full control of each step in the value chain. Besides, it made for a good story to tell customers. The expansion into processing, however, made it imperative that there was enough raw material to feed the processing factory. The companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s next step was to set up a company on the Lofoten Islands, Gadus Norway, a packing station where fish is bought from Norwegian vessels, controlled for quality, packaged, and freighted to Poland. In 2018 a filleting plant was also set up in Norway which operates 4 months in the year, from January to April when the cod catches are at their peak. Thereafter the cod migrates to Svalbard and only bigger trawlers can catch it. From next year the plan is to fly fish from the Norwegian factory directly to China.

Dawid Sztormowski co-owns and runs Gadus, one of the biggest processors of whiteďŹ sh in Poland.

Primary, secondary and tertiary processed products The processed products that the company manufactures include semi-fried frozen products like fishfingers and fish nuggets that are typically produced from the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own catches of fish that have been frozen into blocks. Julita, the plant manager, explains how the blocks are first cut into logs on a band sawing machine and then further cut into fingers. The still-frozen fingers are placed in a steamer to thaw the surface slightly to better enable the flour or batter to stick. The fingers are then coated with crumbs or cornflakes, passed through a vibrator to remove any excess coating and finally passed into the fryer. The final product can take the form of a semi-fried

or fully-fried fishfinger, the difference being that the latter reach a core temperature of 70 degrees and so can be eaten directly, while the formed need further cooking before they are ready to eat. The fish fingers can have different proportions of fish and batter depending on the requirements of the customer. Other processed products include fish nuggets and similar products in different forms. Most of these are produced with saithe or Alaska pollock, which together with cod makes up the bulk of the raw material that the company processes.

Tight labour market forces switch to machines The company also tests new products periodically. Recently, for example, it was lightly salted fillets.

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POLAND

Blocks of frozen headed and gutted ďŹ sh thaw gently prior to being processed.

DifďŹ culties in attracting and retaining labour mean that the ongoing restructuring of the production will focus heavily on automation.

They are quick to produce, says Julita, the fish is just filleted, and the fillets immersed in a solution of brine. After a suitable period they are taken out, frozen, glazed, packaged and exported to Spain and Portugal. The filleting is done by machine, a fairly recent development, that is a harbinger of things to come. Like many companies in the fish processing sector in Poland, Gadus has problems getting the labour it needs for its operations. Already many of the processing personnel come from Ukraine and from Moldova as finding Polish workers is difficult. The restructuring of the processing operations will also introduce a much greater degree of automation, says Mr Sztormowski, as we have to increase efficiency. Machinery to process whitefish is not as easy to find as equipment used in salmon factories, but he is confident of

Breading, fresh and block packaging in one, IQF portion production and packaging in another, while fresh fish is processed in the third. In addition, there is a separate smokehouse, where delicatessen products are made for sale in the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own outlets. These are some 20 in number and can be found in the Gdansk area as well as in and around the capital, Warsaw. The shops are generally positioned together with other shops such as bakers and butchers, so that consumers can buy two or three things at once. A lot of effort has also gone in to the interior decoration so that some of them look like boutiques, says Mr Sztormowski. The volumes of

managing. Automation should also speed up the work processes, another important criterion as the work load is increasing. When I joined the company, recounts Julita, there used to be a dead season. Now however, we seem to be working flat out all the time. She attributes this to an increase in the number of customers, though changes in consumption habits and the spread of supermarkets may also mean that consumers are getting used to eating fish throughout the year rather than at particular seasons. In addition, fish consumption in Poland has been increasing as society gets wealthier.

Chain of boutique shops sell delicatessen products The three processing units are engaged in different activities.

Gadus Sp. z o.o. ul. Unruga 111 81-153 Gdynia Poland Tel.: +48 58 663 45 26 info@gadus.pl www.gadus.pl

Individually frozen ďŹ llets are among the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most popular products.

whitefish processed varies from some 100 tonnes per day during the peak season around Christmas to 40-50 t a day at other times. The fish comes in fresh every day also from Norway, from where it arrives within a week of being caught. This volume of fish also generates a significant amount of waste including heads, tails, and backbones. Guts are not an issue as much of the imported raw material is already gutted. Once the waste has been stripped of all useful material, for example, cheeks, throats, and swim bladders, the remainder is sent to become pet food. Some of the material, such as backbones and swim bladders, is exported â&#x20AC;&#x201C; chiefly to China.

Owner: Dawid Sztormowski Activity: Fishing, processing, sales and distribution Annual catches: 1,600 tonnes of cod, ďŹ&#x201A;ounder of 1,000 tonnes, 7,000 tonnes of sprats, 4000 tonnes of herring

Fishing ďŹ&#x201A;eet: 17 Baltic ďŹ shing vessels, of which one is co-owned Raw materials source: Baltic Sea, North Sea (from Norway and Iceland) Processed products: Fresh and frozen, cod ďŹ llets, cod loins, breaded products Facilities: Processing factories in Poland, packing station and processing unit in Norway Markets: Poland, EU, China, US

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POLAND

Association of Sea Fishermenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s PO has a long history

Lack of cod threatens coastal ďŹ shery The Association of Sea Fishermenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s PO, the oldest ďŹ shermenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s association in Poland with a history dating back over 70 years, has 165 members representing both coastal ďŹ shermen and those ďŹ shing with trawlers. The vessels, which number more than the members, amount to a quarter of the total Polish ďŹ&#x201A;eet.

A

bout 50ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of the fishermen in an area stretching from Weber to Krynica Morska belong to the Association of Sea Fishermenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s PO. Members have to meet certain criteria including a certain length of time as fishermen, show responsibility, feel comfortable in the fishing environment, and last but not least, be of good moral character.

Skinny cod are a stubborn problem Coastal fishers form between 60ď&#x2122;&#x201A; and 75ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of the membership of the association. The coastal fleet, which covers vessels up to 12 m, may only use passive gears to fish. The gears can have different shapes, and mesh sizes, and quotas allocated to the vessels determine how much the fishers may catch over the course of the year. In 2018, quotas for the national coastal fleet amounted to 60,000 tonnes of sprat, 12,000 t of cod, 40,000 t of herring, and 6,500 pieces of salmon. Trawlers target the same species but with different gears. Both coastal fishers and trawler fishermen are currently facing problems with the cod fishery in the Eastern Baltic. For several years now, cod have been small and skinny for reasons as yet unknown. Theories abound, ranging from global warming to a lack of exchange of water between the North Sea and the Baltic, parasites on the fish, to overfishing. The fishery which had been certified as 58

Jacek Wittbrodt, Managing Director of the Association of Sea Fishermenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s PO, an organisation with a 70-year-old history.

sustainable had its certification withdrawn in December 2015. Dawid Sztormowski, a white fish processor and fleet owner, who has been fishing for cod since 1999, has observed the change in the size of the cod over the years. From conversations with scientists he thinks the reason may partly be a lack of oxygen in the water. In a paper dated 18 December 2018 in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science, Karin Limburg and Michele Casini show an inverse relationship between hypoxia (the occurrence of low oxygen levels in water) and growth. Areas in the Baltic Sea with depleted oxygen levels have been increasing, so cod may have been increasingly exposed to hypoxia resulting in lower growth.

With only few commercial species in the Baltic, ďŹ shing has to be sustainable Jacek Wittbrodt, managing director of the association, seems frustrated with the lack of progress on this issue. Since 2012 it has been obvious that there is a problem and it has been getting worse, he says. Everybody is aware of the issue, the ministry, NGOs, other countries around the Baltic, control agencies, but nobody seems to know how to solve it. While closing the fishery altogether has been discussed in some quarters, Mr Wittbrodt feels that this would not only affect fishers but also workers in downstream activities, processing, marketing, and distribution, making a complete ban on

the fishery highly unlikely. The Baltic Sea has relatively few commercially valuable species so prohibiting catches of one of these will have a significant impact on the fishermen. Another issue is the extent to which Polish catches of sprat are being used for fishmeal and fish oil as opposed to human consumption. According to Mr Wittbrodt more than nine tenths of the sprat goes into fishmeal and oil. Part of the problem he says is that the Polish processing industry does not have the capacity to handle the quantities of sprat that are landed. As a result, vessels sail to Danish fishmeal and oil factories and land the catches there. But the issue is also that the market for human consumption of sprat is extremely limited and expanding it will call for a long-term effort.

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POLAND

Coastal ďŹ shery hit by falling cod quotas In 2019 the total allowable catch (TAC) for cod in the Eastern Baltic was reduced 15% from 28,388 tonnes in 2018 to 24,112 tonnes. In 2010 the TAC was 51,267 tonnes. For the coastal ďŹ&#x201A;eet cod is the most important ďŹ sh and the decline in quotas has pushed these ďŹ shers into seeking other opportunities for employment.

The coastal ďŹ shing segment accounts for 60-75% of the membership of the Association of Sea Fishermenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s PO.

Coastal ďŹ shers diversify their activities to survive The objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP)â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a profitable industry, healthy fish stocks, food security, and viable coastal communities â&#x20AC;&#x201C; are only possible with a proper control and enforcement system. A recent audit of the Fisheries Control System showed that the system was deficient in a number of areas and the European Commission has therefore

proposed a number of changes to modernise and simplify the way in which fishing rules are complied with in the EU. The changes will also make the control regulation more coherent with the reformed CFP. One of the changes envisaged is the use of mobile phones or tracking devices to monitor coastal vessels. These however will not be popular with fishermen, says Mr Wittbrodt, but he adds, â&#x20AC;&#x153;if laws are passed, they will be followed.â&#x20AC;? However, if the

DiversiďŹ cation of activities is the way forward for coastal ďŹ shers Like other organisations representing a trade, the Association of Sea Fishermenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s PO lobbies on behalf of its members, inďŹ&#x201A;uencing legislative proposals that can affect ďŹ shermen. It also helps its members access support from the EU to modernise their vessels, the gear, and to diversify activities. As a producer organisation the association ďŹ nds the buyers offering the best price for the ďŹ sh, organises the distribution, ice, storage but also processes the ďŹ sh and helps with diversiďŹ cation. Jacek Wittbrodt, managing director of the association, hopes that the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (2021-2027) will reintroduce a provision granting support for scrapping vessels which stopped in December 2017. The support could help ďŹ shermen invest in other activities diversifying their sources of income.

proposals mean that small fishermen have to install equipment on board, he is not sure that they will be willing to make the necessary investments. The way around it, he suggests, is to enter into a dialogue with the ministry and see if a solution can be found where the ministry contributes to or defrays the costs. For coastal fishermen it will be difficult, he thinks, especially in light of the lower quotas. While the big trawlers are generally doing well economically, the coastal fleet has been hit hard by the cod situation. Cod is the basic fish for the coastal fleet and any changes to the quotas affect this segment particularly hard. Coastal

fishers have lived with this uncertainty for years, many of them have other jobs alongside their fishing activity, but the steady downward trend in the cod fishery is threatening the future of the segment. The next generation is looking much more closely at the other opportunities to earn a living rather than risking an investment in a vessel. The industry is shrinking, and Mr Wittbrodt fears the coastal fishery will soon end up as an artisanal activity rather than a commercial enterprise. Mr Wittbrodt hopes that the next European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (2021-2027) will reintroduce a provision granting support for scrapping vessels which stopped in December 2017. The support could help fishermen invest in other activities diversifying their sources of income.

Association of Sea Fishermenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s PO Zrzeszenie Rybakow Morskich, Organizacja Producentow Ul. Gen. J. Hallera 19 84-120 Wladyslawowo Poland

Managing director: Jacek Wittbrodt Members: 165 (coastal + trawler ďŹ shermen)

Tel.: +48 603 741 808 sekretariat@zrm-op.org www.zrm-op.org EUROFISH Magazine 1 / 2019

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[ TRADE AND MARKETS ] GlobalG.A.P. is expanded to B-2-C standard

Web portal offers information on aquaculture producers GlobalG.A.P. is one of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most important certiďŹ cation standards for food safety. Initially, it acted as a business-to-business standard, attesting that the products of certiďŹ ed suppliers were safe and their production sustainable. In the meantime, however, GlobalG.A.P. is increasingly becoming a business-to-consumer standard. At the end of the 1990s a group of European trading companies took a far-reaching decision. In those days there was a lot of confusion with regard to the different operational standards and audits used by suppliers. Increasing globalisation of trade relations brought more and more goods onto the market for which the basic conditions of their production were unknown and sometimes difficult to understand. The effort required for testing was too much even for large companies. The idea and subsequent joint efforts to create uniform testing procedures and requirement catalogues led to the development of an independent certification system for good agricultural practice (GAP) which, under the name EurepG.A.P., became the recognised standard in the food industry. Soon after, every farm and food producer that wanted to sell their products to well-known retailers anywhere in the world had to comply with the EurepG.A.P. standards for â&#x20AC;&#x153;Good Agricultural Practiceâ&#x20AC;?. The importance of the label increased with the growth of consumer concerns about food safety and health, production-related environmental damage, animal welfare standards, and social concerns within the workplace. More and more food producers and retailers around the 60

Kristian MĂśller, Managing Director GlobalG.A.P. Most consumers today expect certiďŹ ed products to meet high social, ecological and ethical standards.

world joined the organisation, thereby increasing its importance and reach. To better communicate its position as the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading standard the name EurepG.A.P. was changed to GlobalG.A.P.. That was in 2007. Today, GlobalG.A.P. offers more than 40 industry standards and certification programmes for agricultural plant production, animal husbandry and

aquaculture. Certification standards such as LocalG.A.P. and GlobalG.A.P. can be â&#x20AC;&#x153;tailoredâ&#x20AC;? via add-ons for specific applications. In the meantime, more than 188,000 manufacturers in over 125 countries are certified to such standards. More and more retailers today demand valid GlobalG.A.P. certification before they add new products to their range.

Online database enables direct veriďŹ cation of certiďŹ cates GlobalG.A.P. works with more than 2,000 inspectors and auditors from 155 accredited certification bodies who carry out independent audits of producers. At the heart of the GlobalG.A.P. concept is an internet-based database that allows customers to check each

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[ TRADE AND MARKETS ] manufacturer and validate their certificates. With nearly 190,000 businesses included, the database is probably one of the largest online sources of verified food safety and sustainability information. Access to the database is via a 13-digit numerical code, the so-called â&#x20AC;&#x153;GGNâ&#x20AC;? (GlobalG.A.P. Number), which clearly identifies certified businesses within the database. GlobalG.A.P. customers with access rights use the online database on a daily basis to check certificates using the GGN as a search key. Certificates that cannot be found are immediately declared invalid.

Aquaculture standards for almost all production systems In 2004 the scope of the GlobalG.A.P. label was extended to aquaculture when a standard for salmonids was introduced. Other fish species followed, e.g. standards for pangasius in 2009. Since the basic requirements of the species-specific standards were mostly very similar GlobalG.A.P. developed a species-spanning aquaculture standard that is equally suitable for almost all production systems used for fish, crustaceans and molluscs. It was introduced in 2011 and essentially covers all production areas of aquaculture, from parent animal husbandry and fry production to feed production and the farming and processing of edible fish. Currently, 30 species of fish and seafood are certified to these standards in 28 countries. This corresponds to a total production of more than 2 million tonnes. GlobalG.A.P.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aquaculture standards define criteria for all marketrelevant areas: legal security and food safety, animal welfare, environmental protection and ecological responsibility, health, safety and well-being of employees in the workplace. In the area of environmental protection alone applicants

Greater transparency and better communications

have to meet 66 criteria if they wish to obtain a GlobalG.A.P. certificate. Important social criteria include, for example, the rejection of child labour, schooling for children of farm workers and unimpeded access to drinking water. GlobalG.A.P. Managing Director Kristian MĂśller knows that consumers expect certified products to meet high social, ecological and ethical standards. And that is precisely why he mentions the labelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s limitations: a certification organisation cannot correct or prevent all the weaknesses and undesirable developments that exist anywhere in the world. Despite all the market power that GlobalG.A.P. undoubtedly possesses it can only act within the framework of national laws, social traditions, customs and conventions.

CertiďŹ cation criteria must be well-founded and auditable In contrast to many standards for livestock farms GlobalG.A.P. recognised the importance of animal protection at a very early stage and commissioned a specialist stakeholder committee to formulate scientifically sound and economically justifiable, practical, auditable criteria for animal protection. Since 2011, certified livestock farms have been able to voluntarily adopt these additional modules for animal protection (â&#x20AC;&#x153;animal protection add-onsâ&#x20AC;?), which were initially only available for chickens and fattening pigs. Animal welfare add-ons are intended as additional supplementary certificates for animal owners who want to go beyond the legal requirements. In the meantime criteria have also been defined for aquaculture in the areas of animal protection, animal welfare and animal health and they have been laid down in

51 control points. GlobalG.A.P. demands that husbandry conditions are geared in all aspects to animal welfare, that the infrastructure is checked for compliance with applicable animal welfare regulations, and that unnecessary stress to the animals is avoided. The holding and farming of fish, shellfish and molluscs should comply with socially accepted rules.

Creating a consumer-facing label The value of a GlobalG.A.P. certificate for the global economy and international trade is undisputed and recognized worldwide. However, as the labelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s impact was only at business level, as it were â&#x20AC;&#x153;behind the scenesâ&#x20AC;?, consumers were for a long time not familiar with it. To change this the organisation has now introduced a businessto-consumer label for certified aquaculture businesses alongside the successful B-2-B concept. They presented it for the first time at the Brussels seafood trade fair in 2016. With this step GlobalG.A.P. is responding to the requests of its partners from trade and industry and reacting to current market developments.

With the help of the GGN end consumers can access the online platform GGN.org to find out about participating aquaculture farms. This creates more transparency and improves communication between consumers and farms. The producers can show how they raise their fish and what efforts are necessary for them to offer healthy fishes of perfect quality. In addition, the GGN. org website provides useful and valuable information on aquaculture, which can also increase confidence in this form of food production. The increasing globalisation of the seafood trade requires new, more effective communication strategies. The thirteen-digit GGN takes consumers to the fish productâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s origin, to the fish farm, which brings food producers and their customers closer together over long distances and cultural differences. The website offers â&#x20AC;&#x153;hard facts and vivid storiesâ&#x20AC;? about aquaculture around the globe, explained Kristian MĂśller at the launch of the consumer portal in Brussels. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We want consumers to understand how salmon grows in Norway or trout in Turkey, or what traditional aquaculture in Thailand has in common with modern fish farming in England.â&#x20AC;? To further enhance the benefits of the GGN online portal GlobalG.A.P. is also making it available to other certification standards. They have, for example, agreed on cooperation with the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Friend of the Seaâ&#x20AC;? standard. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Such partnerships are important,â&#x20AC;? said Kristian MĂśller, â&#x20AC;&#x153;because they enable us to offer portal visitors an even wider range of certified fish species and trustworthy national standards.â&#x20AC;? MK

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[

EUROFISH

Copenhagen

GLOBEFISH Rome

INFOSAMAK

INFOPECHE Abidjan

Montevideo

INFOYU

Beijing

Casablanca

INFOPESCA

INFOSA

Windhoek

INFOFISH Puchong

FISH INFONETWORK NEWS

]

News

Bangladesh pangasius producer gets good response at Qingdao event Seafood production in China is the highest in the world by a vast margin. It also exports more seafood than any other country. China is also a big importer of seafood, some for processing and re-export, but other imports are intended for consumption on the huge domestic market. Pangasius, for example, is now among the popular seafood products in China. Pangasius products from Bangladesh attracted much attention at the 23rd annual China Fisheries & Seafood Expo which took place in November in Qingdao, China. The products from Virgo Fish & Agro Process Ltd comprised whole frozen pangasius, frozen pangasius steaks, frozen pangasius fillet and frozen butterfly cut pangasius. The company is one of the beneficiary companies under the CFC/ FAO/ INFOFISH Project on â&#x20AC;&#x153;Promotion of Processing and Marketing of Freshwater Fish Products: Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan and Sri Lankaâ&#x20AC;?. Beneficiary companies received technical and

A pangasius producer in Bangladesh is seeing a lot of international interest in his products, particularly from China.

marketing assistance for freshwater fishery products under this project. INFOFISH facilitated the promotion of the products from Bangladesh as part of the marketing component of the project. Pangasius from Bangladesh was a â&#x20AC;&#x153;breath of fresh airâ&#x20AC;? at a time when most importers

were looking for suppliers other than Vietnam. The response was very positive with nearly 35 interested buyers from China, Russia, Colombia and Japan who were interested in the different product formats. While Chinese buyers were keen on the frozen fillet and whole butterfly cut, buyers from Colombia

were interested in the steak cuts. According to the organizers of the show, Sea Fare Expositions, all 10 exhibit halls were filled at the Qingdao International Expo Center. Â There was a record of 1,600 companies from about 50 countries and it was attended by 33,000 visitors.

Work on guidance document for social sustainability is on track The Sub-Committee on Fish Trade is the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s preeminent body established by COFI, the Committee on Fisheries, to discuss and decide issues related to the international trade in fisheries products. At its session in Busan, Korea in 2017, it addressed, for the first time, the social sustainability of fisheries value chains, where it confirmed the

62

importance of protecting human rights, securing small-scale fisheries, and collaboration between authorities representing the different players in the production chain (fishers, ports, labour, etc) to combat Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and the abuse of labour rights. The Sub-Committee recommended that FAO explore

the possibility of developing a guidance document to assist valuechain actors implement existing instruments, measures and criteria to improve business conduct, human rights, and labour standards. Audun Lem, Secretary of the SubCommittee, estimates that the first version of the draft guidance will be ready by mid-February 2019.

These will then be presented at different events around the world to collect feedback from stakeholders (unions, industry, associations, etc.). Following the incorporation of these comments the guidance will be submitted to the Sub-Committee in November 2019, and subsequently to COFI in 2020.

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FEDEPESCA is helping small ďŹ shmongers make the most of technology and social media

Giving traditional ďŹ sh retailers a voice Luisa Ă lvarez Blanco is the managing director of FEDEPESCA the Spanish National Federation of Independent Fish Retailers. Fishmongers form a very important link in the distribution and sale of ďŹ sh and seafood to consumers, accounting for 40% of the fresh ďŹ sh market. However, the sector faces a number of challenges, not least the decline in the number of retail establishments and a corresponding loss of jobs. Ms Ă lvarez Blanco discusses here the reasons for this development and how it can be arrested. In much of Europe small shops such as butchers, fishmongers, greengrocers etc. are being replaced by the big retail chains, a trend that has also affected the small fish retailers that are FEDEPESCAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s members. How can this development be countered? What added value can small fish shops retailers bring that will persuade customers to continue shopping there? We have a big generational replacement problem in the sector. We need professional training, so we can count on young workers qualified in digital marketing, new technologies and skills in business and product management. And small business management needs to be digitalised as much as possible. Small fish shops offer a great variety of products, but they should also introduce new products such as ready-to-eat preparations and new purchase experiences, such as tastings, workshops or even pairing lessons. We should offer the best possible service without losing our identity. Services like online sales, order taking by WhatsApp, and home delivery will save customers time and allow them to make their purchases from the small retailer in complete confidence. Per capita consumption of fish in Spain is among the highest in Europe, but the trend over the last few years has been one of

decline. What explains the falling interest in fish and seafood among Spanish consumers and what role can FEDEPESCA and its members play in reversing this development? Fresh products consumption is on the decrease in every category of foodstuffs. Consumers think that fish products are difficult to buy, store, and cook, which is why these products in particular are suffering this decline. Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s priorities have changed since more time is spent on the internet and social media. We eat out more often, and we also eat more processed food. We are distancing ourselves from our traditional way of buying, cooking and living, in other words, we are moving away from the traditional Spanish cultural and gastronomic heritage. A lack of time, and a lack of confidence when faced with a counter full of fishery products are among the reasons why fish consumption is decreasing amongst young people. Traditional fish retailers should be able to adapt to the needs of this customer, who is always in a hurry and buys without planning. They need to be offered ready-to-eat products and attractive purchasing experiences. Retailer should also improve their online positioning and join collective initiatives, such as the one in â&#x20AC;&#x153;La Paz Marketâ&#x20AC;? in Madrid. This market was the first in the world to work with Amazon.

Ms Luisa Ă lvarez Blanco, Managing Director, FEDEPESCA

Another example could be Mercado 47 (Market 47) carried out by the city council of Madrid. FEDEPESCA is also working to reduce the tax rate for fishery products. Currently this rate is 10ď&#x2122;&#x201A;, the same as for other products such as soft drinks. Taking into account the importance of fishery products in a healthy diet FEDEPESCA is calling for a reduction to 4ď&#x2122;&#x201A; (superreduced tax rate). The association has also joined an initiative headed by ship-owners from Vigo, called â&#x20AC;&#x153;Eduksanoâ&#x20AC;?, which canvasses for mandatory nutritional education

for children with the aim of keeping a healthy lifestyle. In some countries different ways are being tried to sell fish to consumers. Among them is the use of subscription models, where the customer pays a monthly fee and receives a package of fresh fish every week or every fortnight. Is this or other novel sales models also being tried in Spain? Many approaches in relation to this exist, but for now, none has been successful on a large scale.

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GUEST PAGES

Weekly subscriptions, â&#x20AC;&#x153;mama shoppersâ&#x20AC;?, boxes with ingredients and recipes â&#x20AC;Ś.. creativity is sharpened to engage the new customer, who is lost and scattered in the overwhelming online and street store offer. One of the problems is also that the profitability of businesses supplying food is very low, so how to strengthen the balance sheet with new business models also needs to be studied. Customers often do not even know about the services of traditional fishmongers. They are unaware that an order can be placed with a call, with a text message, or even by WhatsApp, and the order of fresh fish or even of handmade readyto-eat products, can be delivered to a workplace, home or anywhere else. Some fishmongers are even offering products made with high quality ingredients and really natural recipes cooked at low temperature and packed in individual portions, ready to warm up. Consumers are attracted to retail chains because it is convenient to shop at a â&#x20AC;&#x153;one-stop-shop.â&#x20AC;? A big retailer will often also have its own fresh fish counter offering more or less the same service as any small independent fishmonger. How can small fish retail shops then compete? What could be their unique selling point? It is important to note that retail chains, which have increased their foodstuffs sales area by 4 million sq. m in Spain, are fostering fresh foodstuffs areas because these products guarantee that customers visit the establishment. Other large operators selling online, such as Amazon or Alibaba, represent a big threat, so retailers use fish counters to attract customers to the shop. In fact, they lose money with their fish shops but it is essential to attract the customer. Traditional fish retailers cannot compensate loses with gains in other products. For 64

these reasons, in order to compete, fishmongers should be associated with other characteristics such as skills, dedication, product variety, more personal, and better service and should also offer a different experience. In addition, retailer should focus on better fish shop management and automation of processes to reduce costs. The major social and economic changes that are affecting Spanish society including the rapid movement of women into the workforce, increase in single person households, the lack of time to spend in the kitchen, and the growing demand for convenience could be an opportunity for small fish retailers. How can FEDEPESCA help them to exploit it? Fish retailers should make themselves customersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; personal assistants, who take care of their clientsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; diet. Home deliveries every day and handmade and ready-to-eat products can make it easy for customers to maintain a healthy diet. The fish retailers should recommend the number of seafood products consumers should eat and put these products in their homes, so they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to think. Handmade ready-to-eat products done by traditional fishmongers are suitable for workers, for very busy people, and are very good also for senior citizens. Life expectancy in Spain is very high. Many elderly people live alone, and they are losing cooking skills, so this market segment is very important. The association also intends to initiate collective projects and investigate the possibility of exploiting the internet, big data, robotics, and artificial intelligence in ways that will be useful for small businesses. How do you see the future of the sector in five years? Do you expect the number of small fish retailers to continue declining

or will it reach a certain level and then stabilise and perhaps even increase again? What impact do you foresee this having on the Spanish consumer? With the rapid changes we are experiencing, five years has become a long timeframe and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s difficult to foresee what is going to happen. Data from the National Statistical Institute shows the destruction of traditional fish retail shops and employment since 2013 has slowed down and is now stable, after falling nearly 22ď&#x2122;&#x201A;. In 2018, the Ministry of Education published the first professional training qualification in the associationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s history. And, FEDEPESCA has just presented the First Professional Expert Diploma in collaboration with the Spanish University for Distance Learning and the ministry. The loss of traditional fish shops is really bad news for the health of Spanish citizens. Purchases at a traditional fish shop are 25ď&#x2122;&#x201A; higher on average more than at large retailers. Women play a very important role in the Spanish fisheries industry in terms of their contribution to the economic and social development of the sector. Although things have improved significantly over the last years, there is still some way to go to achieving full and effective equality of opportunity for women in fisheries. In your eyes, what remains to be done to attain this objective? Great progress has been made in the latest years. The creation of the Spanish Network of Women in the fishery value chain and the momentum of the National Association of Women in the fishery value chain have helped to give visibility to women in the whole value chain. In our sector women represent 53ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of more than 200.000 workers. In

Spain women still spend more time on the family than men bringing higher rates of professional stress for women. In FEDEPESCA we have implemented an equality plan and we encourage the presence of women in our management board and in our projects. In our training program we have introduced a new chapter focused on equality with a summary video, to build awareness. We are ahead of the first generation of Spanish women getting on to the labour market, and now this generation is reaching management positions. Progress is unstoppable. On a more personal level what aspects of the fisheries sector appeal to you most? What brought you to FEDEPESCA in the first place, and what is it about your job that makes working in fisheries different from, for example, working in the meat or cheese industry, where many of the issues faced by FEDEPESCA are likely to be similar? I first arrived to the world of associations by chance, after a degree in business science. Working in FEDEPESCA is really exciting. More than a job, you feel like you are fighting for a cause. Small fish shop owners have many difficulties ensuring their voice is heard, especially in a world full of multinational companies and with huge competitive pressure, so we help them. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a very emotionally demanding job. The fishery sector is really addictive. It is complex and one never stops learning how things work in the different parts of the value chain, which gives a wide perspective. Legal requirements in every area (financial, labour, sustainability, food safetyâ&#x20AC;Ś) change constantly and one is forced to stay abreast of these changes. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m very lucky! I love my job. Perhaps as I was born in Galicia to an officer of the national navy I was fated to this!

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DIARY DATES 5-7 March 2019 North Atlantic Seafood Forum Bergen, Norway Tel.: + 47 22 87 87 00 jjl@nor-seafood.no www.nor-seafood.com

17-19 March 2019 Seafood Expo North America Boston, USA Tel.: +1 207 842 55 04 customerservice@divcom.com www.seafoodexpo.com

7-9 May 2019 Seafood Expo Global / Seafood Processing Global Brussels, Belgium Tel.: +1 207 842 55 04 customerservice@divcom.com www.seafoodexpo.com

May 13-14, 2019 RASTECH 2019 Washington DC, USA Tel.: +1 250 474 3982 jthain@annexbusinessmedia.com www.ras-tec.com

29-31 May 2019 PolďŹ sh Gdansk, Poland Tel.: +48 58 55 49 362 monika.pain@mtgsa.com.pl www.polďŹ shfair.pl

1-3 October 2019 Conxemar Vigo, Spain Tel.: +34 986 433 351 conxemar@conxemar.com www.conxemar.com

October 7-9 2019 Aquaculture Europe Berlin, Germany mario@marevent.com www.marevent.com

10-12 July 2019 Global Fisheries Forum & Seafood Expo St. Petersburg, Russia Tel.: +7 906 731 92 79 reklama@rusďŹ shexpo.com www.rusďŹ shexpo.ru

20-23 August 2019 Aqua Nor Trondheim Tel.: +47 73 56 86 40 mailbox@nor-ďŹ shing.no www.nor-ďŹ shing.no

3-5 September 2019 Seafood Expo Asia Boston, USA Tel.: +1 207 842 55 04 customerservice@divcom.com www.seafoodexpo.com

14 November International Cold Water Prawn Forum St Jonnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, Canada Tel.: + 45 40 79 10 11 icwpf@gemba.dk icwpf.com

9-11 February 2020 ďŹ sh international Bremen, Germany Tel.: +49 421 3505 264 wedell@messe-bremen.de www.ďŹ shinternational.com

19-20 February 2020 Aqua Farm Pordenone, Italy Tel.: +39 0434 232233 www.aquafarm.show

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February 1 / 2019 C 44346

Hungary Pioneer in pond farming becomes member of EUROFISH

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February 1 / 2019

THE GLOBAL SEAFOOD MARKETPLACE

ISSN 1868-5943

7-9 May 2019 | BRUSSELS, BELGIUM BRUSSELS EXPO Eurofish Magazine

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EUROFISH

Copenhagen

GLOBEFISH Rome

INFOSAMAK

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INFOPESCA

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INFOYU Beijing

Casablanca

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INFOSA

Windhoek

   

Profile for Eurofish

Eurofish Magazine 1 2019  

Featuring Hungary and Poland, this issue also looks at how coastal wetlands are effective carbon sinks.

Eurofish Magazine 1 2019  

Featuring Hungary and Poland, this issue also looks at how coastal wetlands are effective carbon sinks.

Profile for eurofish