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ISSN 1868-5943

April 2 / 2014 C 44346

April 2 / 2014 Eurofish Magazine

Turkey EUROFISH International Organisation

Aquaculture industry relies on quality, value-addition, sustainability, to expand markets NASF: Global seafood security informs debate in Bergen Aquaculture: Romanian carp farmer seeks investment Trade: Farmed fish production to increase 35% by 2022 is a member of the FISH INFO network

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In this issue

Turkey looks east for new markets Production from the aquaculture sector in Turkey has reached a new high. The main species are seabass and seabream from marine cultivation and trout from freshwater farms. However, commercial production of new saltwater species, such as meagre, is also increasing gradually as efforts to popularise them bear fruit. The industry has been working to diversify its markets exploring opportunities in the US, Russia, the Middle East, North Africa, and even the Far East, with the result that although the EU is still by far the most important destination for Turkish fish, other countries and regions are increasing in significance. The industry is also working on its credentials as a producer of sustainable fish, reducing the content of fishmeal and fishoil in feed, and seeking international certifications for environmental management and responsible farming. These developments will contribute to the sector achieving its goal of a four-fold increase in production by 2023. Read more from page 34 COFI SC Trade: The Committee on Fisheries’ Sub-Committee on Fish Trade, an FAO forum established to discuss economic and technical issues related to the international trade in fish and seafood, met recently in Bergen, where among the topics of discussion was the need to balance the benefits of international trade with sustainability – social, environmental, as well as economic. Fisheries and aquaculture are reckoned to employ some 55m people all over the world, the overwhelming majority in developing countries. Some 90 percent of the world’s capture fishers are employed in the small-scale sector, which provides them both with a livelihood and nutrition. Improving sustainability would contribute to better livelihoods and nutrition, according to a recent FAO-World Bank report, and enable coastal communities to better withstand threats from climate change induced alterations to their environment. Read more on page 26 Fisheries: A community of fishers on the west coast of Denmark is trying new approaches to preserve their livelihood and make fishing an economically viable alternative for the next generation. By forming a guild the fishers have devised a way of buying the quotas they need in a manner that limits the individual fisherman’s exposure. A new storage and processing facility will soon be operational and the fish has started to create a market among the well-heeled residents in the capital Copenhagen, by selling them west coast fish from a converted fishing vessel. Read more on page 32 Netherlands: The EU’s new Common Fisheries Policy entered into force at the beginning of 2014 bringing significant new elements into the management of fisheries and aquaculture in Europe, including fishing at maximum sustainable yield, banning discards, improved data collection, among others. The Netherlands strongly backed the reform realising that its important fishing and processing sectors would only survive in the long term if fisheries were sustainable. Government, industry and fishers have collaborated to increase the competitiveness of the sector using funding available from the European Fisheries Fund. Looking forward, the fish industry has set itself four objectives to be achieved over the next decade, which should increase profitability and reduce dependence on financial aid. Read more on page 65 Smoking: Smoking is one of the oldest methods, along with drying and salting, of preserving foods. Today however in most developed countries smoking is used less to preserve and more to give food the distinct taste that comes with the process. The technologies used to smoke products have evolved significantly over the years to make the end product tastier and safer. Read Dr Klinkhardt’s report on page 75

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Table of News 6 International News

Events 10 Seafood Expo Global, Seafood Processing Global, Brussels, 6-8 May Products from Danish, Norwegian, Spanish companies shortlisted for Prix d’Elite 10 Croatia 9-4247 Canned small pelagics from the Adriatic 11 Denmark 4-5923, 4-5927, 4-6015; 5-329, 5-429; 9-4237, 5-120, 5-124 Sophisticated solutions from the Danish Fish Tech Group 12 Estonia 5-429 Industry offers vast variety of products 12 Italy 11-2221, 11-2321, 11-2421 and hall 4 Significant Italian presence at SEG and SPG 13 Latvia 7-1901 Riga Sprats in Oil – a unique and tasty product with a long tradition 14 Lithuania 11-2351 Lithuanian pavilion returns to SEG for second time 14 Turkey 11-2101, 2110, 2201, 2301 Farmed and wild seafood from the land of the four seas 16 North Atlantic Seafood Forum, Bergen, 4-6 March Sustainability is the new normal 21 Seafood Expo North America, Boston, 16-18 March Innovating to extract the most value from a limited resource 24 Marel Salmon ShowHow, Copenhagen, 5 February 2014 An established show gets a new setting 26 FAO Sub-Committee on Fish Trade, 14th Session, Bergen, 24-28 February The challenge of balancing fish trade with sustainability 28 Aquamed 2014, Milan, 18 February 2014 Record numbers attend third edition of event

Projects 30 Joint final conference of the AQUAFIMA and Aquabest projects Fish farming and the environment in the Baltic Sea Region

Fisheries 32 Small group of Danish coastal fishers explores new sales concept Reinventing the small scale fishery

Turkey 34 Dr Durali Kocak, Director General, Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock Balancing fleet capacity with the resource is a priority 37 Fisheries and aquaculture in Turkey Emphasis on sustainability will pay off in the long term 42 Hasan Girenes, President of Agriculture and Fisheries in Yasar Group Defining a path to value creation


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Contents 44 Agromey owns a floating fish fillet factory Processing operations on board a converted ferry 46 Akua-Group fattens tuna for the Japanese market An industry subject to international monitoring 49 Akuvatur - vertical integration for higher quality Commercial production of new species 51 Camli is opening new markets Pioneer of its sector 53 Gümüsdoga focuses on reliability, quality Over-production can expand market 55 Kilic Holding concentrates more strongly on exports Looking outwards for growth 57 Kopuzmar focuses on margins to ensure its sustainability High quality boutique production 60 More Aquaculture – complies with all food safety standards Frozen seabass fillets for international markets 63 Turkish Aquaculture Farmers’ Central Union Promoting sustainable aquaculture

Netherlands 65 The Netherlands and the EU Common Fisheries Policy reform Course for change was already set years ago

Certification 69 Growth in farmed seafood production increases the need for responsible management Aquaculture certification benefits entire production chain

Aquaculture 71 Attracting investors is a priority for Piscicola-Cehu Silvaniei A carp farm and modern processing unit with potential

Trade and markets 72 Fish trade continues to expand driven by increase in aquaculture production Imports to emerging markets climb 74 Analysis of salmon markets does not suggest cheap prices in the offing Demand in US, EU should increase as economies grow

Worldwide Fish News Columbia











7, 9



6, 8




Technology 75 Gentle smoking lessens the preservative effect Drastic reduction of hazardous substances in smoke

Guest Pages: Abdellah Srour 78 The General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean Multifaceted approach to improve stock management

Service 82 Imprint, Diary Dates

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The European eel is a highly endangered species; since 2008 it has been on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list of critically endangered species. Part of the reason for its status is that very little is known about the breeding habits and early life of the eel. The eel is catadromous, it migrates from freshwater to saltwater to breed, but not just any saltwater body. An eel travels 6,000 km from the rivers of Europe to the Saragasso Sea between Bermuda and the West Indies to spawn. Eel larvae then have to make the return journey back to the European coasts borne by the currents. Today only 2-10 of the numbers seen in the 1970s are found returning to Europe. To

Line Reeh

Danish expedition seeks to plug the gaps in knowledge about the eel study the eel Denmark’s biggest marine research vessel - Dana - is today in the Saragasso Sea to investigate the relationship between climate-related changes in the eel’s spawning grounds and the sharp decline of the eel in Europe. Headed by DTU Aqua, the Danish Eel Expedition 2014 involves leading experts from a range of Danish and international universities. Together, the more than 20 research projects covered by the expedition are intended to plug the gaps in the knowledge about the breeding habits and early life eel. In addition to charting precisely where the eel spawns, and how this interacts with – and is affected by – climate-dependent fronts and

The crew on board Dana get ready to fish for eel larvae with the specialised net.

ocean currents, the researchers will attempt to shed light on issues such as why the eel spawns in the Sargasso Sea, which route the eel larvae take back to Europe, and what they feed on during their long journey. Lack of knowledge about the needs and diet of eel

larvae is currently responsible for a significant bottleneck in the work to breed eel larvae at farms in Denmark. The expedition is scheduled to last from 28 February 2014 till 5 May 2014 and is funded by the Danish Centre for Marine Research and the Carlsberg Foundation.

Romania: Combining aquaculture with leisure activities for tourists Doripesco, a processor of fish and seafood, participated in “Fishing and Hunting Adventures,” an event held in Bucharest in the middle of March. The fair hosted over 45 exhibitors (both fishers and hunters) in an area of over 3,000 square meters. One of the most popular products at the event was the company’s “cooked cabbage with fish”. A new and unique product on the Romanian market it has a slightly spicy flavour, and is delicious eaten cold. Visitors were also treated to series of products under the “Doripesco – Fishery of Transylvania” brand, a wide range of ready-to-eat products made

of premium fresh fish from the “Carpathian Delta” and prepared using original recipes. This range is a novelty on the Romanian market and the products can be consumed either cold or heated. The range includes fish with cucumber as an appetiser, vegetable fishermen stew, paprika fish, fishermen salad with tomato sauce, and many others, in addition to the traditional grilled carp and trout. Visitors to the Doripesco stand were also informed about over 20 angling competitions that the company will organise in 2014. In recent years, Doripesco has

become a leader in the organisation of professional sport/leisure fishing (catch and release). In 2012 it established a record of 24,744.80 kg of fish caught by 24 teams in 96 hours. The winner captured 2,011.40 kg in 96 hours. “Our desire is to develop nature tourism since Doripesco is sited in a protected natural area, under Natura 2000 and Ramsar,” says Dorin Crisbasan, Doripesco’s general manager. In addition to aquaculture, Doripesco offers tourists leisure activities such as sport fishing, bird watching and hunting. “We also have three restaurants, where people can enjoy the wonderful

Sorin Vulpe, the organiser of the fishing and hunting fair in Bucharest, and Ruxandra Coc, Doripesco.

scenery, while eating traditional menus made with fresh fish from our ponds,” he adds.

Spain: Issues concerning farmed fish health debated at forum On 19-20 February 2014 the fourth Forum on Aquaculture Health organised by FEADSA (the Spanish federation of associations for health protection in aquaculture) in cooperation with the pharmaceutical company CENAVISA, took place in Madrid. 6

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The forum was organised to stimulate debate on issues concerning the health of farmed fish that usually receive little attention. Specifically, the regulations on veterinary medicines and medicated feed, as well as the legal implications for fish farms and their

employees. Attendees included farm managers, technical staff, veterinarians, public administration and veterinary products manufacturers, as well as other professionals. Topics such as fish welfare, consumers’ health and respect for the environment were also

discussed. The reduced availability of therapeutic products for aquaculture is a serious problem that is amplified by the complex process required for drug approval. Better collaboration between industry, research and pharmaceutical companies may improve this.

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[ NEWS INTERNATIONAL ] Speakers pointed to the need to establish a public European database for approved drugs, target species, and other data. The Spanish aquaculture sector needs to strengthen its capacity to influence not only the

Spanish government, but also the European Union, which is why FEADSA was set up. Its activities include explaining to European legislators the particularities of aquaculture in southern Europe to counter the influence of northern

European countries. The forum emphasised the quality of Spanish pharmaceutical laboratories and encouraged them to use the Spanish aquaculture sector to develop new products that could also be exported to other aquaculture

markets. The event concluded by acknowledging FEADSA as an organisation that contributed significantly to the health of farmed fish and its acceptance of members with different stakes in the aquaculture sector.

FAO: Asia’s share of global ďŹ sh consumption expected to reach 70% by 2030

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driven by increases in the volumes of tilapia, carp and catfish. Tilapia production in particular is expected to reach over 7m tonnes by 2030, almost twice the volume in 2010. Fish is one of the most internationally traded commodities; the 2012 value of net exports (exports minus imports) from developing countries at USD35bn significantly exceeds the values of other highly traded agricultural commodities such as rice, tea, coffee,


Global production of fish and seafood is expected to increase further in 2013 to 160m tonnes from 157m tonnes in 2012. Aquaculture plays an important role in this production: in 2013 FAO estimates suggest that just under half the production of fish for human consumption will come from the aquaculture industry, while a recent report from the World Bank predicts that by 2030 that share will have risen to almost two thirds. Growth in the production of farmed fish will be


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[ NEWS INTERNATIONAL ] and tobacco. Audun Lem, Chief of FAO’s Products, Trade and Marketing Branch, expects the proportion of production that is traded internationally to be around 37. Developing countries are responsible for 54 of the value of global seafood exports estimated in 2013 to be USD136bn. China, Thailand, and Vietnam are today among the

most prolific exporters of seafood. But these and neighbouring countries are also increasingly going to be consumers of fish. Asian countries in south and south east Asia as well as China and Japan  are set to constitute an ever larger share of global food fish consumption. China alone is predicted to account for 38 by 2030, while for Asia as a whole

the proportion is expected to be 70. Anticipating this demand China and other nations are investing heavily in aquaculture. As more fish is processed for export one of the side effects has been an increase in the quantity of by-products, heads, guts, fins, and backbones. These are sources of nutrition as well as

of economic value particularly when they can be converted into products for human nutrition or into fishmeal and fishoil. Greater utilisation of fish byproducts to produce fishmeal and fishoil could also reduce the dependence on whole fish, such as the small pelagics, freeing some of it up for direct human consumption.

Romania: Minister Delegate, EUROFISH discuss areas of collaboration Adriana Doina Pana˘, the Romanian Minister Delegate for Waters, Forests and Fisheries, had a meeting with Aina Afanasjeva, EUROFISH Director, in April at the Department for Waters, Forests and Fisheries (DWFF) in Bucharest. Ms Pana˘ briefly presented the priorities for the fishing sector and the course of action for the sector’s development, both in terms of primary production, that is, aquaculture, fisheries in the Black Sea, and fishing in inland waters, and in terms of adding value through processing, taking into account the need to diversify the assortment of fishery products.

The Minister Delegate also stated that the National Strategy for the Fishery Sector would be finalised shortly. The strategy will underpin implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy for the period 2014-2020, according to the new EU regulations. In this context, she pointed out the need to strengthen and develop the collaboration between the DWFF and EUROFISH for promoting the national fishing sector, given that Romania is one of the founding members of the organisation. Adriana Doina Pana˘, the Romanian Minister Delegate for Waters, Forests and Fisheries, and Aina Afanasjeva, EUROFISH Director.

Germany: Patented deep-skinning system for better yields when skinning salmon Maja-Maschinenfabrik, a manufacturer of food machinery located in the south-west of Germany, offers a selection of fish skinning machines. The range extends from the compact table skinner, through several manual fish skinning machines, to the automatic, conveyor-equipped, skinning machine that can process up to 10 tonnes of fish fillets per day. The company’s speciality is salmon skinning and processors all over the world use its patented deep-skinning system, which allows extremely 8

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economic operation. The most advanced machine in the series, the conveyor-equipped, skinning machine ESB 4434/2P for fresh and smoked premium salmon fillets is equipped with a special tooth roller. The deep-skinning system increases the yield, as only parts of the central brown fat layer are removed with the skin, whereas the precious red meat remains on the fillet. The skinning height can be adjusted individually. The company’s ESB/2 machine is used on a daily basis by salmon processors around the

world. It not only produces excellent skinning results with increased yield, but like all the company’s machines, this range too is solidly built, stable, easy to operate and quick to clean. For fully automatic in-line operation, the company recommends the use of a cutting command. It guarantees the ideal start of the skinning process and avoids any manual reworking, thus saving time and money. Maja will demonstrate its machinery at the Seafood Expo Global, 6-8 May 2014, Hall 4, Stand 5847.

The food machinery manufacturer Maja-Maschinenfabrik will display its sophisticated salmon skinning machine at the Seafood Expo Global.

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[ NEWS INTERNATIONAL ] Italy: Comprehensive programme at Offshore Mariculture Conference The fifth Offshore Mariculture Conference, held in Caserta (Naples), Italy guided delegates through the current rules and regulations that govern the sector as well as described some of the challenges of securing investment and capital for a business. The comprehensive two-day programme included 10 sessions covering all major

aspects of the offshore aquaculture sector – stock management, nutrition, feed management, disease, technology, as well as how to integrate offshore mariculture with renewable energy. A session on innovation included a presentation on the latest technology available to the salmon farming industry including net design and anchoring

systems. Other interventions in this session discussed aeration for large rearing units in the Mediterranean, where dissolved oxygen levels are sometimes inadequate in the warm season, and submersible cages, which enable the use of highly exposed marine sites. As the offshore aquaculture industry develops, new challenges are coming up

that call for novel solutions as a presentation on net management, that introduces remote operated net cleaners, showed. The event, which was organised by Mercator Media, the organisation behind the Icelandic Fisheries Exhibition, was chaired by Alessandro Lovatelli from the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department.

Columbia: First trout processor to be certiďŹ ed to BAP standard Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP), a division of the Global Aquaculture Alliance, is a certification programme based on scientific and continuously improved standards for all the elements in the aquaculture production chain, hatcheries, farms,

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feed mills, and processing plants. In April last year standards were released for a number of new finfish and crustacean species including rainbow trout resulting in the certification of the first trout processing plant in March this year. The plant, owned by

Columbian company Truchas Belmira, processed 360 tonnes of trout last year and is expected to process 800 tonnes of fish this year. The company, which operates six trout farms, sells whole fish, butterflied fish and fillets to retail and foodservice customers

primarily in the United States and expects the new certification to facilitate an expansion of its markets in the US. The BAP certification ensures the production of healthful food using environmentally and socially responsible methods.

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[ EVENTS ] Seafood Expo Global, Seafood Processing Global, Brussels, 6-8 May

Products from Danish, Norwegian, Spanish companies shortlisted for Prix d’Elite


eafood Expo Global, as the former European Seafood Exposition in Brussels is now known, has announced the finalists for the Prix d’Elite competition. While grand prizes are awarded for best new retail product and best new foodservice product, five special awards will be presented for originality, convenience, health and nutrition, retail packaging

and seafood product line. Seafood Expo Global is among the biggest and certainly the most international seafood event in the world and for many companies it is the preferred launching pad for new products and services. This year the final shortlist comprises 34 products representing 11 countries. Bornholms AS, Jens Moller Products, and Vilsund Blue from

Denmark; Hallvard Leroy from Norway; and Angulas Aguinaga, and Delfin Ultracongelados from Spain, are among the companies on the shortlist. An awards ceremony to reveal the winners will be held on 6 May at 18.15 in the Auditorium 2000 at the Brussels Expo. Many companies will be participating at Seafood Expo Global as

part of a national pavilion. This enables the pooling of logistics and on-site services and profiles the country and its industry. For smaller and medium firms being part of a pavilion gives them more visibility without the effort of having to negotiate with the organisers individually. We feature a few of the pavilions in the following pages.

Croatia 9-4247

Canned small pelagics from the Adriatic


roatia’s fisheries sector includes capture fishing in the Adriatic for sardines and anchovies, as well as small quantities of demersal fish, marine farming of seabass and seabream, and tuna ranching. Farming is also practiced in freshwater producing primarily carps and rainbow trout. The processing industry in Croatia produces

a variety of canned products using the locally caught pelagic fish – sardines, anchovies, mackerel, tuna – but also imported raw material. Sardines and anchovies from the Adriatic have a special reputation for taste and consistency among the nations that fish them. In Croatia they are used to make salted, marinated, and frozen products. The two species

have different seasons, anchovies being caught between the spring and end of autumn while sardines are caught in the winter months from October to March. At the Seafood Expo Global, as the European Seafood Exposition is now known, in Brussels, Croatian companies (Conex Trade and Mardesic) will show a variety of canned products that demonstrate the high quality and unique taste of the raw material, but they will also be looking for clients who are interested in semi-finished products that undergo final processing on the client’s market. Canning companies will not be the only representatives at the Croatian pavilion. A producer of seabass and seabream, Cromaris, will also have their products on display. This fish is typically sold fresh on ice or frozen, but Cromaris guts the fish and places it in a tray in modified atmosphere giving it a 10-day shelf life. Another company that will be represented at the Croatian


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pavilion is Arbacommerce, which will display a range of salted, marinated, and frozen anchovies and sardines. Finally, ZMH Horvat offers different fish and seafood products including squid. For more information about the companies at the Croatian pavilion contact: Mr Zoran Radan Croatian Chamber of Economy Roosevelton TRG 2 HR 10000 Zagreb Croatia Tel.: +385 1 4561620 Fax: +385 1 45 61545

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[ EVENTS ] Denmark 4-5923, 4-5927, 4-6015; 5-329, 5-429; 9-4237, 5-120, 5-124

Sophisticated solutions from the Danish Fish Tech Group


enmark has always had a significant presence at the Seafood Expo Global and the parallel event for the processing industry, Seafood Processing Global (SPG), and this year is no exception. At SPG 2014, 23 companies will present their newest products at the Danish Fish Tech Group’s National Pavilion of Denmark in Hall 4, booth numbers 4-5923, 4-5927 and 4-6015. The Fish Tech Group represents more than 50 Danish companies that are all world-class suppliers and advisors to the fish industry. The exhibiting companies are:

Dybvad StĂĽl Industri, Alectia, Beck Pack Systems, Blue Water Shipping, BlĂźcher, Boleto ApS, Cabinplant, Detectronic, DK Transportbaand, FMM - Food Machinery Market, Glud & Marstrand, InnospeXion, Iras, Kaj Olesen, Kyocera, Unimerco, NTF-Aalborg, Pescatech, Runi, ScanBelt, Semi StĂĽl, Smurfit Kappa Denmark, Uni-Food Technic and event organisers, DanFish International and DanAqua 2015. Among companies introducing new equipment at the SEG, Cabinplant will launch a new multibatcher, which the company claims will

reduce giveaway by a factor of four compared with any other machine on the market. Most other machines have a tolerance of plus or minus 200 g. Any extra weight given away reduces profitability. The new machine from Cabinplant is the next generation of multibatcher with a new design and improved weighing software that will significantly reduce the giveaway. Another Danish company, Kaj Olesen, will demonstrate its new pinbone remover which features two deboning units thereby greatly improving the chances of

removing all the pinbones in a fillet. The two units are adjustable and remove the bones gently without damaging the fish. The machine has a capacity of 250-700

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[ EVENTS ] kg of fish per hour or 8-10 fillets per minute depending on the size of the fish and the settings for the machine. It is suited to small production plants, but is also available in 2, 4, 6, or 8 lane machines for bigger plants. A new pinbone remover will be introduced by Uni-Food Technic, a developer and producer of machinery for the food industry. This machine is aimed at large processors with high speed

filleting machines that run more than 20 fish per minute. The new infeed system on the pin bone remover lowers the speed so that the machine can keep up with the new generations of filleting machines without compromising on quality. The pin bone machine can run 40 to 74 fillets per minute depending on the size and nature of the fish. Pinbone removal machines are improving all the time, but sometimes the smallest pinbones remain undetected.

This can lead to fillets being rejected by the customer. A new x-ray machine from the company InnospeXion promises to detect even the smallest pinbones reducing the risk that a shipment will be returned and enabling producers to claim a higher price per kilo. The system is already in use in factories in Iceland, Norway, and Russia. In addition to the Danish Fish Tech Group’s National Pavilion

there will be Danish pavilions in hall 5 representing the Danish fish processing and trading sector, and in hall 9, where a smaller number of companies will be grouped under the Food from Denmark banner. For more information about the Danish Fish Tech Group contact: Halldor Halldorsson, Business Development Manager, Danish Fish Tech Group, +45 21 22 95 60,

Italy 11-2221, 11-2321, 11-2421 and hall 4

Estonia 5-429

Industry offers vast variety SigniďŹ cant Italian presence of products at SEG and SPG


he pavilion of the Estonian Association of Fishery is a permanent fixture at the Seafood Expo Global and features companies producing and processing a variety of marine and freshwater fish. The Estonian fleet catches Baltic herring and sprats which are frozen into blocks and exported mainly to markets in Russia, Belarus and the Ukraine. The fishing sector is organised into three producer organisations, each of which has invested in processing facilities for sorting, freezing, and packing the fish. These facilities are equipped with modern processing machinery and meet all the requirements necessary to export their products. Estonian


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processors also produce a variety of hot and cold smoked, marinated, salted, frozen, pickled, and canned products using domestically caught fish as well as imported raw material. Production is both for the local market and for exports. Other processors concentrate on Estonian freshwater fish, pikeperch, perch and pike, filleting the fish and selling the fillets fresh or frozen on export markets. For more information about the companies and their products contact: Mr. Valdur Noormagi Estonian Association of Fishery Tel.: +372 6549301


taly will as usual have a large pavilion at Seafood Expo Global this year featuring almost 50 companies. In addition a further dozen equipment manufacturers will be displaying their technology at the parallel event Seafood Processing Global. While Germany’s Mittelstand (small and medium companies usually in the technology sector) is famous, less commonly known is the Italian equivalent. A number of Italian technology companies have established a name for themselves in fields as diverse as water technologies, refrigeration and freezing, thawing, nets and their maintenance, engineering and consultancy, processing equipment, and packaging machinery among others. The high quality of the equipment and the technical

sophistication have enabled these companies to compete internationally. For many companies the stagnating Italian economy has forced them to look for markets outside to survive and the most successful today have offices and sometimes even production outside Europe. While the technology firms will be exhibiting individually in hall 4, the main Italian pavilion will be in hall 11. Here processors, fish farmers, and traders in fish and shellfish from across the country will display their latest products and services. In addition to the companies the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry will have a presence at the pavilion. Information about participating companies is available on the website of the event organiser www.

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[ EVENTS ] Latvia 7-1901

Riga Sprats in Oil – a unique and tasty product with a long tradition The Union of Latvian Fish Processing Industry is responsible for the Latvian pavilion at Seafood Expo Global. Perhaps the best known product to come out of Latvia is canned Riga sprats in oil. Sprats from the Gulf of Riga are smoked using chips of alder wood, arranged carefully in cans which are topped up with oil and sealed. What makes this product special is not only the smoking process, but also the way the sprats are arranged in the can. The tradition of smoking and canning sprats goes back about a century. Building on this history

Latvian producers of canned sprats have formalised the criteria that entitle the product to bear the label Riga Sprats in Oil in order to preserve the quality and reputation of the product and to distinguish it from others on the market. While the product has a century old history it has also evolved over the years to reflect the increasing emphasis on food safety, quality, and consistency of the taste. Product development also extends to the kind of packaging used for these sprats, from traditional metal cans to glass jars which show

the quality and the attractive arangement of the fish in the jar. A more recent development is the metal can with a transparent

lid that combines the advantages of glass (product visibility) with the stackability and sturdiness of metal cans. The product is

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[ EVENTS ] exported mainly to CIS countries where it is known and appreciated, but also to other markets such as the US where Latvians have settled. Riga Sprats in Oil though the best known is far from the only

product manufactured by Latvian processors. Domestically caught as well as imported fish goes into the production of a range of smoked, salted, marinated, fresh and frozen products intended for the domestic and international markets.

For more information about the companies and their products contact: Mr. Didzis Smits Canned Fish LV Atlantijas iela 5 LV 1015 Riga Latvia

Tel.: +371 2636 4252 Fax: +371 674 96401

Lithuania 11-2351

Lithuanian pavilion returns to SEG for second time


he Lithuanian fish processing industry covers a span that stretches from multinational companies to SME’s and both ends of the spectrum will be represented at the seafood show. The bigger companies such as Vichiunai and Norvelita have their own stands, but eight of the others will be at the pavilion of the National Association of Fish Wholesalers and Processors, which brings its members to Seafood Expo Global for only the second time since its debut in 2012. Of the eight Islauzo Zuvis is a fish farming company cultivating carp in ponds and now also processing the fish in a facility that was opened last year. The remainder are processing companies. Iceco, one of the processors, has an unusual product mix. Apart from fish products it

also produces icecream. Another company, Saldoga, combines seaweed (Laminaria) with other ingredients, while Dese makes a huge range of herring products. Fish processors in Lithuania produce for the domestic and international market offering a wide range of hot and cold smoked, salted, and marinated products using local and imported supplies of fish and seafood. Processors also promote the services they offer such as storage, smoking, drying, cold storage and prepacking to western companies who are interested in contract production. Lithuania has been among the beneficiaries of western processing companies moving their facilities to avail of qualified labour and lower costs. Many processing firms offer high quality

production combined with competitive labour costs in certified facilities that are already producing for demanding markets, so to produce additionally on contract is a way of making better use of the installed capacity.

For more information about the companies and their products contact: Vytautas Andriuskevicius or Orinta Bucaite Tel.: +370 5 216 16 26

Turkey 11-2101, 2110, 2201, 2301

Farmed and wild seafood from the land of the four seas


urkish production of marine farmed fish has risen steadily over the three years to 2012 and between 2003 and 2012 has increased 2.5 times from 39,000 tonnes to 99,500 tonnes. Much of this fish is exported to the European Union and in recognition of the


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importance of this market, Turkey has a large national pavilion at Seafood Expo Global, which since 2005 has been organised by the Istanbul Fishery and Animal Products Exporters’ Association. The main species produced in the sea are seabass, seabream,

and a small volume of searaised trout. Seabass and seabream are usually grown to portion-sized fish, harvested and processed for export markets. The fish may be exported fresh or frozen, gutted or as fillets to markets in Europe, but also to Russia, and countries in

the Middle East. Processors are also experimenting with frozen highly added-value products that typically combine fillets of fish with vegetables, herbs, and other ingredients and that need just to be warmed up in a microwave or conventional oven to give a nutritious and tasty meal.

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[ EVENTS ] In 2013 the value of Turkish seafood exports amounted to USD250m. According to the Istanbul Exporters Association, Turkey aims to achieve a seafood export value of USD2.5bn by 2023, the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic. Companies exhibiting at the Turkish pavilion are: AbalÄąog˘lu Yem Soya ve Tekstil, Agromey GÄąda ve Yem, Akuvatur Su Ăœrn, Bag˘cÄą BalÄąk GÄąda ve Enerji Ăœretim, Bal-Pi, Dardanel Ă–nentas¸, Kemal BalÄąkçĹlÄąk (Group Sagun), KÄąlĹç Deniz ĂœrĂźnleri, Kopuzmar Su ĂœrĂźnleri, Penta (FST) Su ĂœrĂźnleri, PÄąnar Entegre Et ve Un Sanayi A.s¸., Sastas¸ Samsun Sog˘utma Tesis, and the promotion body Turkish Seafood Promotion Group.

For more information about the Turkish companies at the SEG contact: Mr. Ahmet Sagun President

Istanbul Fishery and Animal Products’ Exporters’ Association Tel.: +90 216 561 2020 or

Volkan Kekevi Director Istanbul Exporters’ Associations Tel.: +90 212 454 0761

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[ EVENTS ] North Atlantic Seafood Forum, Bergen, 4-6 March

Sustainability is the new normal All images courtesy Ronny Rosenberg

On 4 March 2014 the city of Bergen stood ready to host the 9th North Atlantic Seafood Forum. Known as the seafood capital of Norway, Bergen has been a trading hub for fish and seafood products for over 1,000 years. Since the twentieth century Bergen has been acknowledged as a leading region within the maritime and aquaculture sectors, and in 2004 the city was nominated by Time Magazine as the capital of European aquaculture due to salmon and trout farming.

The 640 delegates from 35 countries who attended the North Atlantic Seafood Forum in Bergen, Norway came away with a comprehensive picture of the latest developments in the seafood sector.

This role has been reinforced since the city started last year to host the North Atlantic Seafood Forum, the world’s largest seafood conference and global executive meeting place. This year too the conference was organised by North Atlantic Seafood Forum AS under its managing director, Jørgen Lund, Pareto Securities, MarLife, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in cooperation with the Norwegian Seafood Council, Kontali Analyse, the EU Fish Processors and Traders Association (AIPCE) and others.

over 3 days. As a new initiative, a large Polish industry delegation with 30 participants representing the largest fish processing companies attended the conference. Eurofish Magazine will highlight the most important features of the NASF European Retail Seminar, the NASF Sustainability and Communication Seminar, the Global Salmon Supply, Markets and Prices Seminar, the Pelagic Industry Summit and the Whitefish Industry Summit in this and future issues.

The programme included more than 100 speakers in 10 seminars

The opening and policy sessions were addressed by Mr Guus


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Aquatic resources used sustainably will increase food security Monika Mæland, Minister of Trade and Industry of Norway

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[ EVENTS ] Pastoor, AIPCE President, who underlined that food security and availability of food in a growing world population were the overarching themes of the conference. Connected to different dimensions of the NASF, these issues were reflected in the scope of topics such as the strategic role of aquaculture to fill the gap between the supply and demand, the implications, the shift in market forces, and the price pressure, to mention a few. Arni Mathiesen, Assistant Director-General, FAO highlighted that in addition to the initiation of new partnership and preparation for the new challenges, the main reason for this event was the fact that 12 of the world population relies on fisheries, and at the same time 800 million people lack food. “Therefore, all stakeholders must work together to explore innovative approaches in order to enable the world to obtain the fullest benefits from its aquatic resources through trade while contributing to food

The 4th NASF European retail seminar included views on the sustainability of fisheries products from leading European retail chains such as Sainsbury’s, Metro, ICA, Delhaize and M&J Seafood. Representing Sainsbury’s Group (UK), Judith Batchelar, Group Executive Director and Head of Sainsbury’s Brands,

Arni Mathiesen, Assistant Director-General, FAO

Guus Pastoor, President, AIPCE

security, ensuring environmental and social sustainability.

confirmed that this retail chain is currently the retailer with the most MSC-branded products in the world. Despite the difficult economic climate, fresh fish consumption is continuously increasing. This has been driven by the 5 top species, salmon, warm-water prawns, cod, haddock, and cold-water prawns. Together, these species made up 64 of value in 2014, compared to 61 of value in 2010, and this growth is driven by salmon. Another trend is that consumers are eating more fish at home compared to the pre-recession period. In particular, during the downturn an additional

Simon Coveney, the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Marine of Ireland, spoke about the trends of a growing middle-class – greater urbanisation and a certain shift in lifestyle towards consumption of fewer carbohydrates and more protein, especially from fish and seafood. A growing need for fish and seafood call for sustainable fish production and fisheries policies with sustainable use of ocean resources for fish farming.

Monika Mæland, the Minister of Trade and Industry of Norway, reminded the audience that growth and environmental issues had to be balanced. “By 2050, food production in the world has to increase enough to feed an additional 2.3 billion people, therefore, Norway will tackle this issue as a potential challenge for the Norwegian seafood industry. At the same time, Norway is not only an exporter, we also share our knowledge, especially in the areas of sustainable use of resources and food security”, added Ms Mæland.

Out of home consumption of seafood increases slowly

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The panel discussion following the retail and food service seminar; Judith Batchelar, Sainsbury's Brands; Hans-Jurgen Matern, Metro; Kent Olsson, ICA; Julien Mahieu, Delhaize; Mike Berthet, M&J Seafood.

900 million fish meals came in home and lunch box consumption. However, recent data confirms that consumers are slowly moving away from home consumption. Emerging species in the Ho-Re-Ca sector are seabass, crabs, scallops, halibut and hake. In the context of the consumer, the speed of preparation increased to 30 minutes in 2013 compared to 45 minutes in 1990, and health is high on the agenda. Eighty percent of the consumers say they want to eat more fish, but 27 of consumers eat fish in any given fortnight, and are only eating fish 1.2 times a week. These are long-term established trends including new ideas, simpler process of fish and seafood cooking and ideas of cooking from scratch. Hans-Jurgen Matern, Group Executive Board Member, Metro (Germany), shared his vision of integrated sustainability in Metro Cash&Carry. The Group sells 200,000 tonnes of fish annually, which includes fresh, 18

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frozen and canned fish products, sourcing from 190 countries by implementation of Global Standard Traceability Solution, a system which is applicable for all producers and which is different from the set of tools used

in Carrefour and Sainsbury. The number of eco-labelled products has increased dramatically from 70 different eco-labels in 2013 to 144 various eco-labels in 2014. “It is definitely too many labels that we have at present”, said Mr

Matern. “Consumers will never understand and remember the story behind even two different labels. The vision of Metro Group is that our stores are the primary source of trust and not the label. Therefore, we support idea of

Jørgen Lund, Managing Director, North Atlantic Seafood Forum.

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HAPPY PEOPLE We provide millions of people with pelagic fish which is an essential part of their daily menu.

HEALTHY FOOD We provide our international customers with healthy, nutritious, high-quality pelagic fish such as Herring, Mackerel, Horse mackerel, Blue Whiting, Silver Smelt, Sardine, Sardinella, Sprats and Sandeel.

RESPECT FOR ENVIRONMENT We use sustainable production methods with a relatively small ecological footprint.

Seafood Expo Global Brussels, 6-8 May Standnr 4149 / hall 9


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Tel. : +31 (0)70 354 5466

E-mail :

Fax : +31 (0)70 350 6069 05/04/14 5:45 PM

[ EVENTS ] keeping a maximum of 10-15 different labels in the assortment, since we do not see value for society in a too-large number of eco-labels”. The Swedish retail group ICA cooperates with 2,000 suppliers of eco-label products. “ICA’s private label food includes 157 products in the category of fish and seafood. Of these, 56 products are MSC certified, while 41 products (mostly farmed salmon) are aiming to get ASC certification”, said Kent Olsson, European Sourcing Manager Seafood, ICA. The retail group analysed how important sustainability was for its consumers by interviewing 10,000 consumers in Sweden, Norway and the Baltics, and the most important criteria were transparency and a high moral

sense. The group has received several awards for sustainability in Sweden.

Seafood consumers can be highly demanding Responding to the issue of sustainability and the vision of the Delhaize Group, the second biggest retailer in Belgium, Julien Mahieu, category manager fresh fish, stated that in the highly competitive Belgian market with limited fish consumption and high spending on food, consumers are the bosses. “They want assortment, freshness, price, proximity and they expect us to deliver sustainable products. Sustainability is an advantage for early adapters, and is slowly becoming a prerequisite on mature markets. Yet, the business challenge is that sustainability is set as a prerequisite in wild catch, while it is regarded as commercial asset in aquaculture”, added Mr Mahieu. Mike Berthet, Director of M&J Seafood (UK), showed examples of how their customers are brought closer than ever to the people who catch their fish. The largest foodservice buyer of fresh fish and seafood in the UK with the widest range of fresh, frozen and live species, the company serves about 12,000 customers every week. The delivery mechanism is reflected in the exclusive direct from boat "Skippers Catch," delivered next day to the chefs. M&J Seafood use their national network of temperature controlled vehicles to distribute across the UK, and each branch delivers fresh catch to the customers’ kitchen doors. In addition, the M&J Seafood Training Academy offers seafood chefs a three-level training programme accredited


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by City & Guilds and approved by the Craft Guild of Chefs. Regarding sustainability, the company is working with key NGOs and sources fish and seafood only within managed quotas, promoting under-utilised species. A monthly “more sustainable menus” initiative has been launched that offers more sustainable and diverse choices.

Different concepts of sustainability can pose problems Sustainable food production from aquaculture and fisheries is essential in the face of population growth. Sustainability here refers to food security, livelihoods as well as commercial success. The future of fisheries and aquaculture, which was presented by Mr. Arni Mathiesen, is closely tied to the sustainability of fish stocks, fisheries operations, and fish farming. Only sustainable aquaculture will allow the industry to develop while ensuring the conservation of the environment. Transitions take time however and require all stakeholders in the supply chain, producers, management authorities, scientific bodies, NGOs etc. to work together. Sustainability verification and communication through independent certification encourages this transition and can be a key element to bring value. Market benefits can include enhanced reputation, better sales, price premiums, and promotion of seafood over other proteins, claimed Nicolas Guichoux, Marine Stewardship Council. Referring to the updates on the understanding of the concept of sustainability which evolved during the last decade, Mr. Connelly, National

Fisheries Institute (USA), said that just as global retailers are segmented by performance, sustainability differs by regions, species and sectors. He illustrated this with a comparison of The Sustainability Consortium requirements and US fisheries management that stressed the difference between the basic concepts of sustainability, certification and eco-labels. Mr. Mikael Tinghuus, Royal Greenland, noted that “while consumers in western countries value sustainability, many consumers in the rest of the world do not. The main pressure on the fishing industry has been applied by western retailers to ensure consumer satisfaction…” One of the conclusions at the panel session was that the challenge for the seafood industry is to restore its reputation, and cooperation is needed at a global level to support the seafood industry to become more sustainable. In this context Øyvind Oaland, Marine Harvest, presented the Global Salmon Initiative (GSI), an industry led sustainability initiative which includes 15 producers responsible for 70 of global salmon production. “Sustainability, transparency and cooperation are the three principles of the initiative with the goal to provide a highly sustainable source of healthy protein to feed a growing global population, whilst minimising our environmental footprint, and continuing to improve our social contribution”, stated Mr Oaland. GSI is committing itself to ASC compliance by 2020. Ekaterina Tribilustova

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[ EVENTS ] Seafood Expo North America, Boston, 16-18 March

Innovating to extract the most value from a limited resource


t seems that everyone who is someone in the North American seafood industry, and everyone who supplies them with equipment, technology and services, were in Boston, Massachusetts, in March for the joint production of Seafood Expo North America and Seafood Processing North America. Still known colloquially by its former name, the Boston Seafood Show, the industry gathering has for many years been the largest seafood event in North America.

US market more fragmented than EU The event was, of course, a seafood marketing phenomenon. Insights into seafood marketing were there for the listening, whether in the seminars or on the floor of the convention hall. Seafood sellers interviewed at the expo pointed out some of the differences, as well as similarities, in marketing in the US compared with the EU. Some sellers noted that the larger number of supermarket chains in the US compared with some EU countries, such as France, makes it easier for sellers to get higher wholesale prices in the US market; selling in a regional market, for example the Boston area, or Chicago, can involve negotiating with several regional buyers, while in some

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European markets the buying power is more closely held by a few retail chains. Similarities include the importance of brand identification, many consumers being very loyal to their favorite brands; this can make the introduction of a new brand, particularly one produced abroad, a lengthy, expensive process. In both the EU and US, sales of product can be made by packing under the retailer’s own label; this brings the producer a lower price but helps maintain volume. Of special interest to many New Englanders (residents of the northeastern states of the US) was the lobster promotion program. Industry representatives, experts on lobster fishery management, and a TV celebrity chef were on hand to provide all sorts of information on one of the most valuable US seafoods, and a popular North American export to Europe. Questions were taken by the presenters on several topics, ranging from future supply of the lobster resource (“good�) to price trends (“probably higher�) to whether lobsters feel pain when boiled (muted stares from the only real experts on this question).

Seafood Expo North America produced by DiversiďŹ ed Communications

North America’s largest annual seafood industry gathering took place in Boston, Massachusetts, on 16-18 March. There were well over 1,000 exhibitors, including many new ones, from all over the world – nearly 50 countries, representing six of the seven continents. Even with competition from the famous St. Patrick’s Day parade and festivities in South Boston just a few streets away, many thousands of visitors attended the 3-day marketing and processing Expo.

Thousands get the latest on new products and processing developments in North America and beyond at Seafood Expo North America in Boston.

consumption, and trade shows such as the Boston Expo are an important means to that end. New products, and variants of old products, were on display by many sellers. No consumer needs an introduction to canned fish – four out of five kitchen cupboards in America have canned tuna on their shelves,

according to one exhibitor at the show – but many consumers are unfamiliar with other types of seafood and shows like this help overcome that challenge by providing visibility to new products. A good example is the Moroccan industry’s seafood promotion

Getting people to eat more ďŹ sh The main goal of the seafood industry is to expand seafood

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[ EVENTS ] efforts. As described by their Boston delegation, the industry hopes to triple the industry’s share of Moroccan GDP by 2020, by boosting domestic consumption and, just as important, expanding their already considerable export activities in the North American and EU markets. One way to achieve this is with new products. Morocco is already the world’s leader in canned sardines, but there is more

than one way to sell sardines, and that is by appealing to consumers’ taste for fresh, marinated fillets in convenient packages. Many other producers in other countries are doing the same thing. The Boston show highlighted product innovation (there were contests for new products in retail and foodservice, seafood excellence, and other categories) and improved packaging, as well as demonstrations

and other information about seafood preparation – a key area where US consumer knowledge often falls short. Exhibitors at the show emphasised that the need of the industry is not just trading more product, but more valuable product too. And a good way to boost product value is with the innovations that many exhibitors demonstrated at the Boston show.

DSI high quality Plate Freezers in a class of their own ... WE DO NOT DARE TO COMPROMISE OUR QUALITY! DSI RANGE OF PLATE FREEZERS INCLUDES: UÊ -Ì>˜`>À`ÊÛiÀ̈V>Ê«>ÌiÊvÀiiâiÀà UÊ >ÌÊ̜«ÊÛiÀ̈V>Ê«>ÌiÊvÀiiâiÀà UÊ Õ̜“>̈VÊLœÌ̜“Ê`ˆÃV…>À}iÊÛiÀ̈V>Ê«>ÌiÊvÀiiâiÀà UÊ -Ì>˜`>À`ʅœÀˆâœ˜Ì>Ê«>ÌiÊvÀiiâiÀà UÊ -iv‡Vœ˜Ì>ˆ˜i`ʅœÀˆâœ˜Ì>Ê«>ÌiÊvÀiiâiÀà UÊ œ“Lˆ˜i`ʅœÀˆâœ˜Ì>ÊL>ÃÌÉ«>ÌiÊvÀiiâiÀà UÊ œÀˆâœ˜Ì>Ê«>ÌiÊvÀiiâiÀÃÊ܈̅ÊȘ}iʜ«i˜ˆ˜}ʜ«iÀ>̈œ˜ UÊ Ê«>ÌiÊvÀiiâiÀÃÊ>ÀiÊ>««ÀœÛi`ÊvœÀÊ œÓÊqÊ Àˆ˜iÊqÊ““œ˜ˆ>ÊqÊÀiœ˜ UÊ *>Ìi˜Ìi`Ê œÀi*œˆ˜ÌÊÃÞÃÌi“ÊvœÀÊi>ÃÞÊVœ˜ÌÀœÊœvÊVœÀiÊÌi“«iÀ>ÌÕÀiÉvÀii∘}Ê̈“i

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See you at: SPG-Brussels 06-08 May 2014 rHall 4, Stand 6015 22

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Aquaculture needs to be economically and environmentally sustainable An important topic at the trade show was aquaculture. Many, if not most seafood sellers at the show produced or traded in farmed fish and shellfish (this was certainly true of non-North American companies), and several of the seminars during the Expo dealt directly with aquaculture-related issues, such as sustainability in production processes and future growth of global production. Panel discussants at two seminars on sustainability noted that global population has been projected to continue to grow, production of fish is likely to stagnate and aquaculture will be the only likely source of a significant increase in the seafood protein that a growing world population will be looking for. So there are (at least) two sustainability questions that cry for attention: is aquaculture environmentally sustainable, and is it economically sustainable? In other words, can a planet beset by pollution afford more fish farms, and can a planet beset by poverty afford to buy more farmed fish? While the Expo seminars were not run by economists, the answers to these questions still were variants of “it depends.” Aquaculture’s environmental impacts have not necessarily improved with modernisation: one panelist noted that research shows that ancient Chinese carp farming methods use very little energy compared with “modern” methods of farming trout, salmon, and shellfish. He noted further that much of modern aquaculture’s energy use is indirect: a sizeable amount of energy required for the production of farmed fish and shellfish is used in the production and transport of

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[ EVENTS ] feed for these animals, in addition to the energy in the direct operation of a fish farm. Much has been done, several attendees agreed, on reducing direct energy costs, while the cost of fish feed is largely influenced by forces outside of the seafood industry. Another area of improvement is water: its use, while inevitably a significant requirement in the farming of fish, has become more efficient, and wastewater costs – economic and environmental – have fallen over the last several years. Despite a variety of remaining challenges, experts from academia, FAO, WWF and other NGOs, and industry seem to agree that aquaculture has vastly improved environmentally over the last few decades (improvements that took conventional farming several centuries to achieve). On the economic side, the sustainability of aquaculture – i.e., whether it can grow in overall size while becoming more efficient (lower-cost and therefore producing lower-priced products) – again “depends,” a term employed not only by panel experts but experts on the Expo floor promoting their products. Economic sustainability, according to these experts at the seafood show, depends on the ability of industry to finance new technology, the speed with which such technology is transferred (begged, borrowed, stolen, or freely given away) across sectors and countries, the degree of consumer acceptance of farmed seafood products, and an improvement in the scope and efficiency of product distribution systems worldwide to match the growing supply in some locations to the growing demand in others.

Transfer of knowhow can bring global benefits Two good examples of technology transfer were discussed at the

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Boston show in seminar rooms, the show floor, and the outdoor smoking areas. One is a project underway by Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) to find ways to stem the damage of “early mortality syndrome” (EMS), a form of necrosis affecting farmed shrimp in several developing countries. As described by experts at the show, GAA’s research essentially involves comparing shrimp farms that successfully deal with EMS to those (including neighbouring farms) that don’t, to identify specifically which farm-management practices are helpful in fighting EMS. The knowledge gleaned from this research will then be available to shrimp farms generally to combat this costly disease; which will help this large segment of global aquaculture to be sustainable environmentally and economically. The other good example of technology transfer that got a lot of attention is an effort by the Global Salmon Initiative, which is an association of major salmon-farming firms around the world, joining forces with the WWF, FAO, and Dutch bank Rabobank to find, invest in, and spread aquaculture management practices that are optimally suited for the global industry’s sustainability. These practices include techniques to reduce diseases and other environmental impacts of fish farming, and on the economic side, cost-reducing actions such as stabilising feed supplies and prices by adjusting supply sources and modifying the ingredient mix in feed as fluctuations in input prices dictate.

Oyster-shucking contest draws the usual crowds Besides learning about who’s likely to make money in 2014’s seafood market and the many ways octopus can be marinated, attendees enjoyed other attractions at this

year’s Seafood Expo North America/Seafood Processing North America. The always popular oyster shucking competition drew many contestants and several times as many fans: this year’s champion (12 oysters in a minute and a half, with extra credit for a well-ordered display plate upon completion, was the competition’s first female winner, Ms. Deborah Pratt of Virginia. She beat past champions and others from all coasts of the United States (to level the playing field, the 12 oysters allotted to each shucker included 6 Atlantic and 6 Pacific oysters). As noted, North Atlantic lobster was highlighted at the show, with a demonstration by a celebrity chef and information provided by experts on lobster science and marketing. Expanding the

knowledge of seafood by retailers, foodservice officials, and consumers everywhere is vital for growing the world’s demand for seafood. Actually, the insights from one product can, with just a little imagination, be applied to other fish and shellfish species in other parts of the world – the management of the wild resource, the possibilities for farming various species, and the challenges and opportunities for marketing consumer products are broadly similar for many different species of fish and shellfish. It is exciting to see at trade shows like Boston’s, the energy and imagination the seafood industry uses in finding ways to expand the world’s consumption of a fascinating array of products from some of the weirdest-looking creatures on the planet! Roger Corey

Seafood Processing Global 6 − 8 May 2014 Hall 4, Stand 5847

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Wide range with capacities of 85 kg bis 12 t /24h Individual possibilities of installation Ice storage and transport solutions Automatic dispension and weighing

Eurofish Magazine 2 / 2014


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[ EVENTS ] Marel Salmon ShowHow, Copenhagen, 5 February 2014

An established show gets a new setting The Marel Salmon ShowHow was held for the first time at a new purpose-built venue conveniently located minutes from Copenhagen airport. The state-of-the-art facilities provided visitors with a hands-on experience of the company’s standalone equipment and integrated systems.


he large display area at Progress Point was crowded with people, most of them from Europe, but also some who had come from as far away as Australia, to see the latest in processing equipment that Marel had to offer. There was an impressive range of machinery on display at Marel’s Salmon ShowHow, the 13th edition of the event and the first to be held at Progress Point, the company’s newly acquired demonstration and training facility. Complete processing lines offering different degrees of automation, robots to fill portions into packages, slicing equipment, marinating machines, as well as the product that links it all together, the Innova software suite.

Focus on efficiency and quality The equipment was arranged into three product areas, primary, secondary, and tertiary or valueadded processing. A new system for gutting was one of the highlights in the primary processing area. Here, an automatic infeed system weighs the fish and then directs it to the appropriate gutting machine. Up to seven gutting machines can be linked to the infeed, which has a capacity of 120 fish per minute and the whole system can be supervised by a single employee. Filleting and trimming systems with different degrees of automation were also on display. 24

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Marel’s new demonstration centre, Progress Point in Copenhagen, offers 2,700 sq. m of display area, meeting rooms, an auditorium, as well as space for dining and entertainment.

The MS2730 filleting machine can fillet up to 25 fish per minute also trimming the back and thereby reducing the need for manual trimming. Another filleting line consisted of a deslimer followed by manual deheading, a filleting machine, waste conveyor and a 12-person active trimming line with integrated pinbone removing machines. An active trimming line is one in constant motion so in theory the operator never has to lift the fillet, but just trims it as it flows past. The company recommends a throughput of up to 18 fish per minute on the active trimming line. An automatic trimming line based on the ITM2 Trimming Robot was also being demonstrated. This can handle up to 25 fish per minute and uses vision technology to work out the optimal cut configuration in relation to weight, shape, or colour before trimming loins, belly sides,

or fillets. The machine houses five different types of knives, including one that goes over the surface of the fillet removing, for example, spots of blood. The trimmed bits are redirected to another belt which collects them in a receptacle for further use. As Stella Björg Kristinsdottir, Marketing Manager Fish Industry, pointed out, a robot can be programmed to the specifications required, whether highvalue trims or otherwise, and then it delivers the same uniform performance throughout the day without suffering from fatigue. The robot also minimises manual handling of the fish resulting in a higher quality product with less risk of contamination.

Smart solutions to automate processing The company also offers a range of slicing equipment of which the

most advanced is probably the I-Slice 3300 for the production of retail packs of smoked salmon. This weighs and scans the fillet and calculates how to slice so as to optimise the yield. The slices can then be placed on boards or trays by number or weight, or can be delivered on a conveyor while underweight slices can be automatically sorted out and collected separately. Another robot, this one designed to pick and place portions into retail packages, was demonstrated in combination with a portioning machine, the I-Cut 300. Here, the fillets are placed manually on the infeed belt and then scanned and cut into portions of the desired size. The spacing of the portions is adjusted automatically as they proceed to the robot which places them in trays or pouches that are then sealed. The robot’s grippers are crucial, says Ms Kristinsdottir, and they needed to be specially

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[ EVENTS ] developed for fish as the ones we use in the meat industry were not suitable. Designing machinery for the food industry has to take into account three factors that sometimes pull in opposite directions, says Kristjan Hallvardsson, Director of Innovation. These are hygiene, manufacturing cost, and machine safety. Given these constraints Marel follows certain design principles to make the equipment as hygienic as possible. These include providing good access for cleaning, welding rather than using bolts and screws, minimising plastic metal interfaces, angling all surfaces to prevent the accumulation of fluids and eliminating the use of hollow sections in product zones.

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Software is the company’s core Marel’s machinery is linked with the company’s software Innova. This controls individual pieces of equipment or whole processing lines and can also link to other systems thereby storing information from the entire value addition chain from reception of the raw material to despatch of the final product. When used for example by a company processing wild fish the software can record details of the fish from the time it is caught, including the weight, species, area it was caught etc., and print out reports with the information needed to satisfy the authorities. The software enables traceability throughout the system and also monitors yields, throughput, quality, capacity and labour efficiency

in real time, enabling processors to adjust the production process when necessary. In many instances the full potential of the machine can only be realised if it is being driven by the software. While many processors prefer to have all the equipment in a line from the same supplier, Marel will also integrate machinery from other suppliers into its systems. Michael Hjortshøj, Product Marketing Manager, Salmon Division expressed his satisfaction with the turnout. We had a substantial increase in the number of registrations compared to the event last year, he says, with some 260 visitors from 28 countries representing 138 companies, making it the best-attended edition of the event with an improvement in numbers of about 15 compared

to last year. This has been the trend for the last several years; when we started 12 years ago this was a much smaller in-house event, he says. The new building is a logical step in the development of the Salmon ShowHow, which to an extent is driven by the increasing global interest in seafood. World production of farmed fish is expected to overtake production of wild catches shortly and exports of fish reached USD136bn in 2013. More and more of this fish is processed and for a global company like Marel this offers opportunities to be seized in different parts of the world. For salmon processors in particular the sky high prices they have had to pay for the raw material last year mean that yields have to be maximised, which is where carefully designed hardware and clever software have a huge role to play.

Eurofish Magazine 2 / 2014


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[ EVENTS ] FAO Sub-Committee on Fish Trade, 14th Session, Bergen, 24-28 February

The challenge of balancing fish trade with sustainability The Sub-Committee on Fish Trade was established in 1985 as a subsidiary committee of the Food and Agricultural Organization’s Committee on Fisheries with the mandate to provide a forum for consultations on technical and economic aspects of the international trade in fish and fishery products including pertinent aspects of production and consumption.


s the international fish trade continues to grow, the role of the Sub-Committee, a unique multilateral framework for consultations on global trade, also increases in significance. The fourteenth session of the Sub-Committee took place in Norway, Bergen from 24 to 28 February 2014.

Small-scale fisheries cannot be underestimated Welcoming the delegates, Árni M. Mathiesen, Assistant DirectorGeneral, FAO, outlined the most important emerging issues in the sector to be addressed by the Sub-Committee. He underscored the role of small-scale fisheries in international trade and highlighted the key challenges the sector has to address to better balance the benefits of international trade with sustainable livelihoods, an issue discussed by the Sub-Committee for the first time. The importance of sustainability from an environmental, social and economic perspective were also stressed by Mr Mathiesen. Elisabeth Aspaker, Minister of Fisheries, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries of Norway stressed the importance of the seafood industry in Norway, which has long-standing 26

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Youssef Ouati, Morocco, First Vice-Chairperson; Audun Lem, Secretary of COFI-FT; Astrid Holtan, Norway, Chairperson of COFI-FT; Shankar L. , India, Chairperson of the Drafting Committee of COFI-FT; Johan Williams, Norway, Chairperson of COFI.

traditions as well as a promising future. She emphasised the important role of research and development in the Norwegian aquaculture sector. Norway’s experience and knowledge of managing resources plays an indispensable role in joint management of fish resources and combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fisheries.

Fisheries and aquaculture contribute to global food security Among other things the SubCommittee assessed the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department’s efforts in implementing fish trade related activities, as well as progress made on the implementation of

provisions of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries relevant to post-harvest fisheries and trade. The Sub-Committee highlighted the key role played by the fisheries and aquaculture sector in world food security as a source of food, and of economic growth and development. The role of fish in providing healthy food for human consumption and improving nutrition was also underlined by delegates. Making more fish available for human consumption through reduced post-harvest losses, improved use of by-products and retention of by-catch were acknowledged as necessary steps to make the most efficient use of the resource.

market access requirements, traceability, certification and ecolabelling schemes, and their impact on the international fish trade. Special attention was paid to the need for capacity building in developing countries to implement these requirements. The Sub-Committee also focused on economic analysis and modelling in the fish and food sectors in order to obtain a better understanding of their potential future perspectives. With this regard, particular reference was made to the annual “OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook” and the joint World Bank and FAO report “Fish to 2030: Prospects for Fisheries and Aquaculture”.

Major discussion points included recent developments in fish trade,

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[ EVENTS ] Aquamed 2014, Milan, 18 February 2014

Record numbers attend third edition of event Technological innovations, alternative usage of microalgae and impact of farmed fish consumption on human health were the key subjects at Aquamed 2014, a one-day conference and exhibition in Milan. Although a relatively new event – this was the third edition – Aquamed has already succeeded in gathering the European Mediterranean aquaculture industry for a day of discussions on issues facing the sector.

The concluding round table was led by Valentina Tepedino, Eurofishmarket (centre), and discussed producers, retailers and consumer perceptions of sustainability in relation to aquaculture.

The Aquamed conference was organized by SmartEnergy Srl. with the support of Friend of the Sea, the Italian Fish Farming Association (Associazione di Piscicoltori Italiani) and the Association of Mediterranean Aquaculture (Associazione Mediterranea Acquacoltori), Cromaris and Aller Aqua. In addition, 11 exhibitors were hosted including Eurofish International Organisation, Largo Consumo, Pentair Aquatic EcoSystems, Eurovix, Biotec, and Xylem Water Solutions. There were 280 participants at the conference, and while the core representation was from the Italian industry and authorities, there were international speakers and visitors from Denmark, Croatia, Turkey, Algeria, Ghana, Spain, Switzerland, and Tunisia among others. 28

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Increasing numbers switch to healthier products The importance of farmed fish in the diet of Italian consumers was one of several issues discussed during the first session dedicated to farmed fish consumption and human health. Dr. Gianluca Carenzo, Agricultural Cluster – CATAL project and agriculture, Parco Technologico Padano, highlighted the importance of the aquaculture sector in Lombardy focusing on responsible production and the growing preference for local products. In terms of species, trout is the most important with nearly half of the total value of the sector of EUR 30 million, followed by sturgeon,

eel, and new fish species. The main shift on the Italian market is characterised by consumers prioritising lower salt, less fats and generally healthier products. Another trend is the growing popularity of “simple no”, products with no additives, no gluten, no fats, no lactose, no caffeine, no GMO, nor other additives. Dr Paolo Bray, founder of Friend of the Sea, a certifier of sustainable seafood, spoke of the rapidly growing role of aquaculture by comparing global beef production and farmed fish, which in 2011 were equal (over 60 million tonnes each). Farmed fish should be evaluated not in relation to wild species, he said, but to other protein sources. An

interesting example of protein content in carp compared to other protein sources of animal origin showed that carp had one of the best protein contents in terms of percentage of edible weight (18) compared to chicken (20), pork (14) and beef (15), and the best protein conversion efficiency (30) compared to chicken (25), pork (13) and beef (5). Carp farming was thus 6 times more efficient than beef production. At the same time, the feed conversion of carp was the lowest both in terms of live weight and edible weight (1.5 and 2.3 correspondingly). Emissions from aquaculture production were the lowest as well as it had the least impact on the usage of land.

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[ EVENTS ] Farmed seafood enjoys greater acceptance “Wild fish is still preferred by Italian consumers, but gradually this situation has started to change as capture fisheries decline and imports increaseâ€?, was the opinion of Dr Renato Malandra, Mercato Ittico di Milano Presidio Veteriario. “In the past twenty years we have seen a considerable increase, and today about 35 of fish sold on the Italian market is farmed. Salmon, trout, seabass and seabream are the main speciesâ€?. However, fish consumption in Italy is declining as a consequence of economic realities. While national fish consumption grew continuously until 2007 reaching 22 kg per capita, in 2011 it went down to 20.8 kg per capita. The share of inexpensive and reasonably priced fish products is on the rise since consumers are looking for a balance between product quality and price.

Caviar may not always mean sturgeon roe The latest updates in the global sturgeon farming and various aspects of marketing sturgeon caviar and roe from other fish species under “caviar brandâ€? was presented by Dr Paolo Bronzi, VicePresident of the World Sturgeon Conservation Society. In 2011, the sturgeon aquaculture worldwide exceeded 50,000 tonnes, which is two times more than captured during Soviet times, which was a “golden periodâ€? for sturgeon capture. China is the largest producer responsible for 86 of the total output with over 44,000 tonnes. The worldwide production of sturgeon caviar currently amounts to 260 to 300 tonnes. Italy is the second biggest producer of sturgeon caviar after China

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(60 tonnes) with 30 tonnes produced from 30 farms. Estimations for 2016 showed a potential production of up to 500 tonnes. Many producers have tried to take advantage of the caviar image by marketing their products with the word “caviar�, said Dr. Bronzi, but much of it is in fact the roe of other fish. Development of sustainable aquaculture sector is not possible without further progress of the technologies for fish farming. New products and technologies for fish farming in the open sea were presented by Dakro Lisac, Refa Med. The company focuses on developing technical solutions to overcome the environmental and operational constrains that fish farmers can face in their work. A Tension Leg Cage (TLC) system was presented, where the concept is based on the dispersion of wave energy in the sea. These cages are flexible and small in the upper section where the waves hit hardest, while the supporting structure is positioned at a greater depth. In stormy conditions these cages move in synergy with the waves almost like seaweed, thus minimizing the strains on all cage components. In addition, a TLC occupies 1/20 of the area compared to other floating and submersible cages.

Microalgae as an alternative food source The world’s population is projected to exceed 50 billion people in 2050. Feeding this many people will call for vastly increased production from both agriculture and fisheries. According to the UN Environmental Programme, in order to satisfy this growing demand for food, the present production of food will have to double. One alternative may

be to start using microalgae as food, explained Dr Mario Tredici from the University of Florence. “Microalgae can be regarded as an alternative food source or food supplement because they are rich in vitamins, fatty acids and amino acids. Microorganisms have been used in our food culture for thousands of years if we consider wine, beer, bread, yogurt, etcâ€?. Furthermore, production of microalgae does not require fertile land, freshwater, or the use of pesticides. Microalgae use nutrients with an efficiency of nearly 100, they can use CO2 from smoke and do not require GMO. However, the need for constant energy is the main obstacle, as it increases the cost of production. The cost of cultivated algae biomass is 5 to 10 times higher than that

of traditional biomass, therefore it is necessary to first find ways to reduce production costs. Silvio Mangini, Archimede Ricerche, presented the current state of algal products on the global market focusing on the food sector. The main costs in the production of cultivated microalgae depend on labour (30) and installation (25), while the costs for CO2, energy, water and chemicals make up 10 each. In 2015 Aquamed will again be held in February at the Congress Centre, Michelangelo Hotel in Milan. The precise date will be intimated shortly. Ekaterina Tribilustova

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Eurofish Magazine 2 / 2014


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[ PROJECTS ] Joint ďŹ nal conference of the AQUAFIMA and Aquabest projects

Fish farming and the environment in the Baltic Sea Region The joint ďŹ nal conference of the projects AQUAFIMA and Aquabest was held in Mariehamn, Ă…land Islands on the 5 and 6 February 2014. Under the heading “Sustainable aquaculture in the Baltic Sea Region − boosting regional development while limiting environmental effectsâ€?, the 120 participants from research institutions, policy making, administrations, the environmental sector, and private industry involved in aquaculture in the Baltic Sea Region attended the conference and discussed how to develop the aquaculture potential whilst maintaining the environmental integrity of the region.


he welcome adress was given by Carina Aaltonen, Minister for Environment at the Government of Åland, and was followed by a plenary session on the present state and future role of aquaculture in the Baltic Sea Region. Speakers included Ole Torrissen (ICES / IMR), Mikhail Durkin (HELCOM) and Raimonds Vesers (EU Commission – DG MARE). Matti Skor and Jouni Vielma, lead partners in the AQUAFIMA and Aquabest projects introduced the main project results.

Assessing aquaculture against the alternatives Later the plenary speakers were joined by Ellen Bruno (Swedish

Society for Nature Conservation) and Karl Iver Dahl-Madsen (Organisation of Danish Aquaculture) for a panel discussion led by Lovisa Selander (Baltic Development Forum) on the topic “Sustainable development of aquaculture in the light of a healthy Baltic Sea�. The panellists agreed that the sustainability of aquaculture needs to be assessed in relation to its alternatives; imported fish, wild caught fish or a shift in diet to more meat based protein. A lively discussion followed on aquaculture production to cover the increased demand in the region pushed by the aquaculture industry sector against environmental constraints with regard to nutrient

flows and open cage farming in the Baltic Sea. The second conference day went into greater detail about the AQUAFIMA and Aquabest project activities. The morning session presenting the different activities of the project partners was followed by parallel sessions where participants had the chance to learn more and have in-depth discussions on topics the projects have worked on. In the session “Environmental regulation of aquaculture and stakeholder attitudes� delegates presented regional descriptions and self-evaluations of current environmental legislation and licensing systems for aquaculture. Based

on that new and alternative environmental policies, instruments and incentives were discussed among the participants. The session “Spatial planning for sustainable aquaculture� pointed out that future aquaculture development should be based on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) in marine areas and similar planning processes in inland areas that involved all stakeholders in the discussion. As a result of the AQUAFIMA project the mapping of actual and potential aquaculture locations in the Baltic Sea was presented. “Adopting new technologies for Baltic Sea Region aquaculture� focused on recirculation aquaculture systems (RAS) as one alternative

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From left, Ole Torrissen, ICES; Mikhail Durkin, HELCOM; Raimonds Vesers, DG MARE; Karl-Iver Dahl-Madsen, Organisation of Danish Aquaculture; Ellen Bruno, Swedish Society for Nature Conservation; Lovisa Selander, Moderator, Baltic Development Forum.

production technology for controlling both nutrient fish production and nutrient emissions. Within the Aquabest project a feasibility study manual for

regional administrations and entrepreneurs was elaborated to help in evaluating possibilities of adapting to new production technologies.

Using local ingredients in fish feed The session “Closing the nutrient loop of aquaculture” discussed the availability and cost-efficiency of using local ingredients in fish feed such as Baltic Sea-sourced fish or mussel meal as this would potentially create a closed nutrient loop for Baltic Sea aquaculture. In order to manage aquaculture successfully the AQUAFIMA project also worked on education schemes for aquaculture specialists. The session “Education in the field of aquaculture” presented e-learning modules offered by University of Rostock/Germany and a RAS course provided by DTU Aqua/ Denmark. Finally, the session

“Enhancing the attractiveness of aquaculture among the Baltic Sea Region and its economic potential” dealt with the topics of promoting aquaculture, consumption of products and the role of aquaculture in fish supply chains. Furthermore, results of analyses of aquaculture based fisheries management in coastal areas, such as the cross-border region of the Curonian Lagoon in the Baltic, were presented. The complete documentation of the conference is available at the projects websites: and Annett Hölling REM · Consult

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Eurofish Magazine 2 / 2014


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[ FISHERIES ] Small group of Danish coastal fishers explores new sales concept

Reinventing the small scale fishery A small group of fishermen on the west coast of Denmark is finding innovative ways to maintain the viability of their fishery and make it attractive for younger generations to join the business.


ome of the most desirable addresses in central Copenhagen are in the area around the square Kongens Nytorv. Surrounded by the old opera house, art galleries, the French embassy, expensive hotels, and up market stores, the square is also where Nyhavn starts, a canal lined with colourful 17th and 18th century buildings housing bars, cafes, restaurants, and apartments. At the other end the canal opens into the harbour so that the boats that are berthed all along the sides of the canal can sail out into the Oresund. The vessels anchored in the canal are a motley mix of pleasure boats, fishing vessels, and even the odd houseboat. A recent addition to this flotilla is the Jammerbugt, a fishing vessel painted the traditional light blue that appeared in the canal towards the end of last year. What is unusual about the Jammerbugt is that the cabin has been refashioned as a fish shop with a glass-fronted refrigerated counter displaying fish and seafood. Depending on the season one can find freshly made fish burgers, fresh flounder, lumpfish, saithe, turbot, haddock, hake, fresh and smoked salmon, and fresh cod. The fish is very fresh – it has been caught the day before and brought to the Jammerbugt to sell. Selling fish from a boat is not unusual in itself. Havfriskfisk (sea fresh fish) uses an eponymous 32

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website to inform potential customers, when a fishing vessel will arrive in a harbour and what fish it will have on board. Customers can buy the fish directly from the boat. Jammerbugt is different in more than one respect. It is a converted fishing vessel that was remodelled purely to sell fish rather than catch it. It is anchored in Nyhavn in the very centre of Copenhagen, and it is owned by a unique fishermen’s guild based on the north west coast of Jutland in an area called Thorupstrand.

Fishermen form guild to protect their livelihood The Thorupstrand Kystfiskerlaug (Thorup beach coastal fishers’ guild) was established in 2006 by the fishing families of Thorupstrand in response to changes in fisheries legislation in Denmark that brought about a consolidation in the industry as bigger fishermen bought up quotas from smaller ones. According to Thomas Højrup, chairman of the guild, this destroyed much of the smaller inshore fishery, replacing a environmentally friendly form of fishing that used gillnets, traps, Danish seines, and long lines with trawlers and purse seines. The fishers from Thorupstrand realising the threat they were facing got together to form a guild that would buy fishing quotas that would be shared by all the members of the guild. The members agreed that the

The Jammerbugt, a fishing vessel that has been remodelled in to a floating fish shop to sell fish caught by the Thorupstrand guild. The boat is anchored in Nyhavn in the heart of Copenhagen.

quotas would not be traded and that new members could join the guild by paying the same fee of DKK100,000 as the founders of the guild had done. If a member leaves he gets the same amount back as he had paid in ensuring thereby that the market value of the quotas stays in the guild. Each year the quotas are distributed between the members who pay the guild for the right to use them, a sum which goes towards paying off the loans taken from the bank to acquire the quotas.

Ensuring an opportunity for the next generation The formation of the guild has served multiple purposes. On the one hand it has enabled the fishing families of Thorupstrand to continue their fishery at a time when the Danish small scale fishery has shrunk. This has had wider

implications for the town of Thorupstrand as a vibrant fishing community brings economic benefits to the area where they are based. The guild also provides a way for young people interested in becoming fishers to fulfil their ambitions without becoming highly indebted. In addition, the fishing methods and gear used by the fishers in the guild are sustainable causing little or no damage to the environment compared with other forms of capture fishery; the seabed is protected, there is very little bycatch, and the fishers use less fuel. The investment in the Jammerbugt is seen as a way of selling sustainably-caught fish to a consumer circle that is willing to buy into this concept. The relatively affluent consumers that inhabit the area around Nyhavn and Kongens Nytorv form the target market for the fishers of the Thorupstrand Kystfiskerlaug. Well-educated, health conscious, and older than the

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[ FISHERIES ] median, this is the typical profile of fish consumers, and Nyhavn and the areas around it host many of them. Sofie Romme, the trained chef who manages the shop, says there are young people too, who come and buy fish, mothers with small children for example, but they typically buy the childrenfriendly fish burgers. The challenge is to attract younger consumers to the Jammerbugt to ensure the sustainability of the concept.

New filleting facility almost completed The boat underwent a comprehensive refitting that converted it from a regular vessel fishing in the North Sea to a floating fishmonger’s. A thorough overhaul of the wooden hull, extensive woodwork, a renovated engine room, expanded cabin, and new refrigerators were among the changes that the vessel went through before it sailed to its destination in Nyhavn in December 2013. The boat is supplied two to three times a week by refrigerated trucks bringing the fish caught in the North Sea by the guild’s vessels.

The boats make day trips going out in the morning and returning in the evening so the fish never spends more than a day at sea. Fish from Thorupstrand is augmented with fish bought from the auction at Hanstholm to be able to offer customers a wider range of species and products. According to Iben Wiene Rathje, a fisheries biologist advising the project, although it is too early to come to any conclusions about the success or otherwise of the project, sales have been more or less on track with expectations and, importantly, have been increasing as word of this new fish outlet gets round. People like the fish and appreciate the story that goes with it as well as the fact that they know the fish they buy is from Thorupstrand, says Ms Rathje. The guild in collaboration with two other associations is also building a storage and processing facility, where the fish can be filleted before it is transported to the boat in Copenhagen. Currently this is being done in Hanstholm, a town further north, but since March this year the new facility has been operational.

Sustainably-caught fish from Thorupstrand. A small group of fishers has formed a guild that buys fish quotas and distributes them among its members. Some of the catch is sold from a fishmonger’s in Copenhagen that the guild has started.

Since the Jammerbugt is owned and supplied directly by the guild the fishers have effectively eliminated any middlemen. The earnings from the sale of the fish go directly back to the guild. We are aiming at a turnover of DKK10,000 a day, says Ms Romme, to enable the guild to buy more fish quotas. Although it has only been open for a couple of months sales are already approaching half that amount, and the trend is steadily upwards. In late spring and summer when the weather gets warmer the plan is to have a few chairs and tables on the deck, where customers can enjoy a light,

fish-based meal. For a connoisseur fish from the North Sea, particularly the cod, is qualitatively different from the fish caught in the Oresund, the body of water between Sjælland (Zealand), the biggest Danish island, and Sweden, where many of the local vessels fish. Fish from the Danish west coast caught sustainably by a small group of coastal fishermen fighting to retain their traditional livelihood and ensure its existence for coming generations is a story that resonates with customers and should in time even persuade young buyers to purchase more than fish burgers.

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Resources must be utilised sustainably for the benefit of the country

Balancing fleet capacity with the resource is a priority Although overall fish consumption is low in Turkey thanks to a general predilection for lamb, the figure of 8 kg of seafood per capita hides sweeping variations. Along the coasts consumption is far higher than in inland regions due to the widespread availability of fresh fish both wild and farmed. While capture fisheries production has been broadly stable over the last five years, aquaculture production, both marine and freshwater, has been increasing significantly, contributing to employment opportunities in rural communities, foreign exchange earnings, and food security. Dr Durali Koçak, Director General for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock of Turkey highlights here some of the current developments in the sector. What are Turkish priorities for the next couple of years for the fisheries and aquaculture sector? What does the administration aim to achieve and what measures are being considered to reach these objectives? What is the role of the National Marine Aquaculture Development Plan and is there a similar plan for the fisheries sector? The first priority for Turkey in the field of fisheries and aquaculture is to utilise the country’s resources sustainably and at the optimum level for the welfare of the community. Some of the current and future measures to reach the targeted levels for fisheries and aquaculture include: legal, administrative, and technical measures; establishing an effective control and investigation mechanism; ensuring a balance between the resource and the fleet capacity by reducing the number of vessels; improving data collection and analysis; encouraging the introduction of new species for aquaculture; and promoting research on alternative feed materials. 34

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Dr Durali Koçak, Director General for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock of Turkey.

The implementation of the National Marine Aquaculture Development Plan has resulted in an increase in marine aquaculture production. Production capacity of the companies has increased,

automation has reduced feeding and labour costs, and stability in the sector has improved. However, some issues, such as competition between stakeholders, mainly the tourism sector and environmental

organisations, are still among the core challenges. Regulations governing fishing gears, fishing methods, fishing season, minimum length and

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weight of species etc., are now in place and fishing operations are conducted in accordance with this legal framework, which is renewed every four years, and incorporates opinions from universities, research institutes, fisheries organizations, and stakeholders from other relevant sectors. New fishing licenses have not been issued since 2002 to maintain a sustainable resource utilisation and at the same time improve the social and economic level of the fishermen. The new regulations enable support from the ministry for purse seiners and trawlers, 12 meters and above, that wish to stop fishing. This way 364 fishing vessels were removed from the fleet in 2013 and in 2014 a further 534 fishing vessels will be removed decreasing the trawl and purse seine fleet by 27 after the two years’ reductions. Over the year new legislation will be enacted on targeted fish species, fishing areas, and fishing licenses so as to further increase the sustainability of fisheries. In the European Union fisheries policy has gone through a significant reform process and the new Common Fisheries Policy came into effect as of January this year. As the EU is Turkey’s largest trading partner for aquaculture products (Turkey has 25 of the market for seabass and seabream in the EU) do you foresee that the new policy will have an impact on this trade flow? The revised EU Common Fisheries Policies has highlighted the sustainable and rational utilisation of resources; more efficient measures against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing; improved welfare

08_TURKEY_TR.indd 2

for fishermen; food security for consumers; and support for aquaculture. As long as EU criteria for human health and IUU fishing are fulfilled, I believe the EU will not prevent imports from foreign suppliers. Turkish fisheries and aquaculture products fulfil all the hygiene criteria required by legislation. On this point, personally, I do not believe that preventative measures will be taken against the trade in aquaculture products. Therefore, I anticipate that trade volumes will increase. Turkey plans to increase production of farmed seafood to 500,000 tonnes by 2023 from 212,000 tonnes in 2012 according to a background paper produced for the recent Black Sea stakeholders conference in Bucharest. What measures need to be taken to allow this expansion in production in a way that is in harmony with the environment and with other users of the marine and freshwater environment and what role does the GFCM recommendation for Allocation Zones for Aquaculture (AZA) have to play in this regard? Although the goal of 500,000 tonnes of aquaculture production is an estimate I believe that the implementation of accurate and efficient production policies can easily achieve this production level considering Turkey’s freshwater and marine potential. Freshwater cage culture production and the presence of newly constructed dams have the potential to improve the aquaculture sector. We would also like to increase the production of farmed mussels and shrimp. Supplying new investors with new production areas and addressing

any problems they face are the other targets to be reached. It would be wise to take into account GFCM recommendations in the field of allocated areas for aquaculture production. Once the relevant stakeholders benefiting from water and water based areas are convinced, sector development will be much more rapid. The planned growth in the production of farmed fish will necessitate increasing quantities of fishmeal and fish oil to produce fish feed. Today fish feed from Turkey is produced with the catches of anchovy, sprat, horse mackerel, and scad from the Black Sea. Are there policies to encourage the switch to by-products from the

fishing and processing industries in the production of fish feed? Today the supply of fish oil and fishmeal is critical for the future of aquaculture production because most of the raw material is obtained from wild fishing. Limited natural resources are provoking an ongoing debate about the sources of raw material needed to increase aquaculture production. In Turkey, anchovy and sprat are used for the production of fish oil and fishmeal. However, the lack of sufficient raw material forces Turkey to import the necessary materials. By-products from the fish processing industry are already used in the production of fish

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Eurofish Magazine 2/ 2014


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meal and there is no support for this from the government. Export subsidies to the aquaculture industry have contributed to the growth of the sector. Production of rainbow trout is the fastest-growing part of the aquaculture sector and the successful export of trout products to the EU is causing farmers there to push for an anti-dumping investigation. Where do you see a solution to this issue? Turkish producers do not receive any export subsidy for trout exports. Some producers in the EU have demanded an anti-dumping investigation into some Turkish exporting companies. However, I do not think that the limited production support scheme will be regarded as an anti-dumping practice. This scheme is not targeted to increase export, it is given only to producers and not exporters. The goals of this limited support for producers are to support fingerling production; to enable sustainability and security of production; and to fulfil recording requirements of producers and production. Moreover, export prices of trout to the EU are always higher than the domestic price. Therefore, it is clear that this production support cannot be considered an anti-dumping application. Currently, fish product prices tend to be higher on the international market. Turkish capture fisheries production stems primarily from the Black Sea, which accounts for roughly three quarters of the total capture production. Yet the Black Sea as an enclosed water body has significant and increasing issues with regard


Eurofish Magazine 2 / 2014

08_TURKEY_TR.indd 3

to environmental degradation. What steps is Turkey taking to reverse this problem and what has been their impact? The Black Sea is important for the Turkish fisheries. It is a closed sea and has problems with pollution, which comes mainly from the Danube River. It is not a single institution’s or single country’s responsibility to struggle with the pollution problem; it requires inter-institutional, inter-regional and international collaboration. We are, of course, aware of our responsibilities and open to international cooperation. From the Turkish side some legal measures have been implemented so as to decrease possible pollutants such as waste water and other waste from industrial plants. Evaluation of these measures have been positive. Furthermore, turbot and sturgeon fingerlings have been released for restocking purposes. The small scale fishing fleet is an important subsistence sector for fishery in Turkey. What problems are the fishery sector in Turkey met so far? And what measures are taken to improve it? The small scale fishery (vessels <10 m) accounts for approximately 85 of the fishing fleet and 10 of the catches in Turkey. The major problems of small scale fisheries are a lower share of the stocks, despite the higher number of fishers, as compared with industrial fisheries; and unstable prices due to fluctuating catch amounts. We have introduced some measures for the benefit of the

small scale fisheries community including limiting industrial catching areas and allocation of those areas to small scale fisheries; excluding small scale fisheries from the closed fishing season regulation applied to industrial fisheries from 15 April to 1 September; allowing small scale fishers to start the catch for Atlantic bonito 15 days earlier than industrial fishers. In addition the catch volumes and income level of small scale fishers is likely to increase following the support for decommissioning industrial vessels Seafood consumption per person in Turkey is slightly above 8 kg which is the lower end of the European scale. How can Turkish consumer be encouraged to consume more seafood considering the health benefits it offers? Is there any role for producer organizations for the development and stability of the market? Seafood, a healthy and valuable source of animal protein, is not consumed at the desired level in Turkey. A traditional preference among Turks for meat is among the several reasons for the lower consumption level. Another factor is the preference for fresh fish and seafood rather than frozen and processed products. On the other hand, levels of consumption vary from region to region. For example, consumption along the coast is well above the level seen in the inland regions. In recent years, higher living standards and better education have increased the awareness of the benefits of seafood consumption and this will contribute to higher consumption.

Although fisheries organizations are common in Turkey, these bodies lack the institutional capacity to ensure the stability of the market. Increasing their role in the sector is actively encouraged and supported by the government. The countries of Central Asia have benefited from the Regional Programme for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development initiated and funded by Turkey and which comes to a close in a few months. What are the priorities of the second phase of this programme and how will it relate to CACFish, which was one of the outcomes of the first phase? The Central Asia Regional Programme for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development is funded by the Turkish government and implemented by the FAO. The objective of the programme was to develop the fisheries and aquaculture sector in Central Asia, specifically in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, the partners in the programme. It sought to increase the capacity of the sector to generate food, employment, and income in socially responsible and economically viable ways that are compatible with the environment. The second phase of the Regional Programme for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development aims at meeting the needs of the partners of the programme, including promotion of better management practices; and exchange of know-how, knowledge, and technology. The programme is also expected to provide indirect support towards implementing the 5-year workplan of CACFish.

05/04/14 5:47 PM


Seabass, seabream, and trout are the main products from the Turkish aquaculture sector. Here, at the Camli processing plant, fish are graded on arrival from the cages.

Fisheries and aquaculture in Turkey

Emphasis on sustainability will pay off in the long term Seafood Processing Global 6 − 8 May 2014 Hall 4, Stand 5847

The Turkish capture fisheries and aquaculture sectors moved in opposite directions in 2012. While farmed fish production increased for the tenth year in a row, that from fisheries declined. Both sectors are important for the jobs they generate in coastal areas as well as the nutritional benefits fish provides the local population.


bout 38 million people, or a little over half of Turkey’s population of approximately 75 million, is settled on the coasts. Of the country’s total coastline of 8,333 km, 42 borders the Aegean, 21 the Mediterranean, 20 the Black Sea, and 17 the Sea of Marmara. The Marmara coastline compensates for its relatively small size by hosting Istanbul, a vast and dynamic city with a population of some 14 million. This gives the coastline of Marmara a disproportionate weight, when measuring the population inhabiting the different coasts. Thus, of the total coastal population 52 live on the coast of Marmara, while the Aegean, Black Sea,

08_TURKEY_TR.indd 4

and Mediterranean coasts have 15, 13 and 19 respectively.

Black Sea small pelagics used mainly for fishmeal and fish oil Economic activity in the coastal regions is primarily in the fields of tourism, shipping, shipbuilding, and fishing. Capture fisheries in Turkey employed some 38,000 people and amounted to about 396,000 tonnes in 2012 from all the seas surrounding the country, the Mediterranean, Aegean, and Black Seas, and the Sea of Marmara. The fleet consists of 14,300 vessels greater than 5 m of which 11,800 vessels are less than 10 m. Nearly 5,000 vessels

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Eurofish Magazine 2/ 2014


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Table 1 Fishery and aquaculture production (tonnes) 2009




Marine capture (finfish and seafood)

425 046

445 680

477 658

396 322


158 729

167 141

188 790

212 410

39 187

40 259

37 097

36 120

Freshwater capture

Source: For aquaculture production and freshwater products, Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock.

are fishing on the Black Sea, 4,700 on the Aegean while the Sea of Marmara and the Mediterranean have 2,600 and 2,000 respectively. The distribution of catches from each water body is far from uniform. The Black Sea is responsible for approximately three fourths of the annual catches, followed by the Sea of Marmara with about 10, and the Aegean with 8. The Mediterranean is the least productive contributing a mere 4 of the total. The main species in terms of volume are the small pelagics, anchovies, pilchards, sprats, and horse mackerel which amounted to 72 of the catch in 2012 and which are caught primarily in the Black Sea.

They are used almost exclusively for the production of fishmeal and fishoil, two of the main ingredients in fish feed. Fish for human consumption on the other hand comes from all the seas surrounding Turkey though the Black Sea catches tonnes are significantly higher than those from the other three.

5,400 tonnes in 2004 to 87,000 tonnes in 2011. Catches of pilchards fell to 28,000 tonnes from 35,000 tonnes in 2011, but were still well above the average for the decade (22,000 tonnes), while the figures for horse mackerel reveal an increase from 18,000 tonnes in 2011 to 25,000 tonnes in 2012.

Catches of anchovy declined by 28 in 2012 to 164,000 tonnes representing a seven year low and 35 below the average of the decade. The year on year decline in sprat catches was even more abrupt at 87 to 12,000 tonnes, but sprat catches have been highly volatile over the decade – fluctuating from

Catches affected by several different factors There are several factor that could affect catches in the Black Sea. Some of the species for example, anchovy and horse mackerel, are migratory with spawning, wintering, and feeding areas in different

parts of the Black Sea, while others, such as sprat, and whiting occur in the EEZ of several of the Black Sea coastal states. In addition, fish stocks are vulnerable to the effects of eutrophication, climate change, invasive species, pollution, and alterations to the habitat. Further, the Black Sea is also the site of several commercial activities including recreational, shipping, oil and gas exploration and exploitation, that also have an impact both directly and indirectly on fish stocks. However, perhaps the main factor that affects the stock is overfishing, which despite fleet reductions in Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania, remains too high at the regional level. The GFCM assesses that turbot and spiny dogfish are overfished, while sprat, whiting and anchovy are believed to be partially or fully overfished. In a paper in the Journal of the Black Sea/Mediterranean Environment,

General Directorate of Fisheries and Aquaculture proposes workshop topics Dr Durali Kocak, General Director for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock of Turkey met with Aina Afanasjeva, Director, EUROFISH, in March to discuss topics of interest to the Turkish aquaculture sector for the planned national workshop to be organised by EUROFISH and the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock of Turkey at the international trade fair, Future Fish Eurasia, in June 2014. Ways of cementing the cooperation between EUROFISH and Turkey were also discussed at the meeting. The important role of the FAO-Turkey Partnership Programme “Central Asia Regional Programme for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development” (Fish Dev – Central Asia) and Turkey’s commitment to assisting the development of the Central Asian fisheries and aquaculture sector was acknowledged as an excellent initiative in the region. One of the outcomes of this programme is the Central Asian and Caucasus Regional Fisheries and Aquaculture Commission (CACFish). The role that EUROFISH can play in creating greater awareness about Fish Dev – Central Asia and CacFish, such as by publishing information about these programmes in the Eurofish Magazine, was discussed with both Dr Durali Kocak, and Mr Mustapha Sinaceur, FAO Representative Erkan Gozgozoglu, Ministry Consultant; Erdinc Günes, Head of Statistics and Information Systems Department; Dr M. Altug Atalay, Head of Aquaculture Department; Dr Durali Kocak, in Turkey and Sub-Regional Coordinator for Central Asia, with General Director, Directorate General Fisheries and Aquaculture. whom Aina Afanasjeva also had a meeting while in Ankara. 38

Eurofish Magazine 2 / 2014

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Table 2 Structure of aquaculture production (tonnes) 2009




158 729

167 141

188 790

212 410


75 657

78 165

100 239

111 335






5 229

7 079

7 697

3 234

Sea bream

28 362

28 157

32 187

30 743

Sea bass

46 554

50 796

47 013

65 512





Total Inland water

Marine water Trout

Mussel Prawn Other





2 247

2 201

1 442

1 364

Source: Data on administrative register of Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock

the author, Bayram Öztürk from Istanbul University, says that IUU (illegal, unreported, and unregulated) fishing by Turkish fishers takes place both within Turkish territorial waters and without, in the latter case sometimes with fatal consequences. Illegal fishing takes different forms of which the most common are the use of illegal fishing gear and violation of the minimum catch size, while others include fishing during the closed season, and in prohibited areas along the coast. The Turkish authorities have increased their efforts to combat illegal fishing, such as by establishing offices that collect data on landings in 36 ports, better enforcement and stricter sanctions for violations. Improved co-ordination between the authorities in the Black Sea states is also helping to regulate illegal fishing. The coastguard too tries to prevent fishers from fishing outside the Turkish EEZ, but over the years there have been diverse incidents of Turkish fishers being caught and penalised by authorities from other coastal states. IUU fishing targets many different species of which turbot is probably the most valuable as it commands a high price on the domestic market, but other species 40

Eurofish Magazine 2 / 2014

08_TURKEY_TR.indd 7

such as bonito, sardine, scad, chub mackerel, whiting, red mullet, sea snail, sturgeon, anchovy, bluefish, sprat, and horse mackerel are also sought after. Illegal fishing is definitely one of the causes of overfishing, but it also contributes to habitat degradation, loss of biodiversity and economic and social hardship for fishers fishing legally. Bycatch of cetaceans, sharks, and sturgeons, and freely drifting nets that trap fish and other marine creatures as well as get entangled in propellers, are some of the other side effects of illegal fishing.

Efforts to improve situation start to bear fruit Efforts to improve the situation both nationally and at the regional level are ongoing; in Turkey new fishing licenses have not been issued since 2002 and fishermen are given incentives to decommission their vessels, which has resulted in a decline of over a quarter in the trawl and purse seine fleet over the last two years. The sector is governed by a web of regulations covering gears, seasons, methods and minimum catch sizes. In the

Adriatic a management plan was put in place in 2013 for small pelagic species, and, under the auspices of the GFCM and the FAO, more selective fishing gear is being introduced and management tools are being improved. Another problem that is being addressed is the lack of data on stocks, since “if you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it.” The number of stocks for which data is available is increasing all the time and there are regional level discussions to implement a basic data collection framework which should improve the consistency and reliability of data and thereby contribute to better stock management. In addition to capture fisheries Turkey has a dynamic marine aquaculture industry located primarily on the Aegean Sea coast and employing some 8,000 people. The main species farmed here are seabass (66,000 tonnes) and seabream (31,000 tonnes). The Black Sea is the site for a modest production of sea-raised trout (3,000 tonnes). There is also a large and growing production of freshwater rainbow trout (111,000 tonnes) in the interior of the country. Conflicts between the marine aquaculture sector and other users of the coast, such as the tourism industry, were reduced significantly about eight years ago when fish farms were pushed offshore. This move contributed to a growth in production, which is projected to increase further to 500,000 tonnes (including trout) in 2023 with the help of freshwater cage production and the recent construction of dams. Welldeveloped research infrastructure comprising a network of faculties, departments, and laboratories at universities with links to the industry provide a wealth of know-how as well as a supply of educated employees which will also promote the growth of the sector. And new sectors such as mussel and shrimp

farming, which the government is keen to develop, will also play a role in the overall expansion in production. The industry is increasingly aware of the need for sustainable production that takes into account the environmental impact of the production and in particular the feed. Certification to standards such as GlobalG.A.P., Friend of the Sea, as well as ISO 14000 are becoming widespread.

Developing new markets and novel products a priority Developments in neighbouring Greece have warned the industry that expanding production at any cost has negative consequences and today companies are more circumspect with their expansion plans. Production will increase, but more slowly than in the past and will be closely linked to the development of new markets and products. Today seabass and seabream is mainly sold to markets in the EU while rainbow trout is exported as well as consumed on the local market. However, Russia, the United States, the Middle East, and even the Far East are markets that are being cultivated with some success. The international promotion of Turkish seafood is managed professionally by the Seafood Promotion Committee, which is given its strategic direction by a board comprising representatives from the Aegean Exporters Associations, the Istanbul Exporters Associations, the Mediterranean Exporters Associations, the Turkish Exporters Assembly, and the Ministry of Economics. In Turkey itself, though, consumption has stagnated for some years now at about 8 kg per capita, though this figure conceals wide regional disparities, and both the government and the private sector are working to change this.

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Sustainability of fish farming in Turkey

Defining a path to value creation As we all know, by mid century, we must double world food production to feed the exploding human population sufficiently. The majority of that growth is likely to come from farmed seafood, as fifty percent of fish produced for consumption today are raised on farms. Besides the rapid increase in the population, declining wild-fish stocks and increasing seafood demand around the globe clearly indicate that fish farming is here to stay. And if aquaculture succeeds in fulfilling its goals acting responsibly, seafood will stay on the plate for generations to come.


oday, the response of fish farming business to the aquaculture boom is changing from “risk management” to “value creation”. And sustainability is a vital part of “value”.

Balancing accelarated fish production with sustainability is a tough act. There are many issues to consider when realizing “ecologicallysound”, “economically-feasible” and “socially-responsible” aquaculture production. Economic issues have revolved around profitability, market demand and feeding efficiency. Sociological interests have centered on employment, infrastructure and living standards. Ecological issues include conservation behaviors, resource management and ecosystem well-being. If implemented properly, sustainable aquaculture offers many economic and product benefits, such as consistent harvest, scalable operations, high productivity and safe products.

200,000 tonnes farmed fish, Turkey is one of the most important fish producers in Europe. Aquaculture production has continued to increase steadily during the past 10 years. As of 2013, Turkey has become the world’s biggest producer of seabass and bream. The current development trend in production of three major species, trout, seabream and seabass, certainly seems set to continue. The aquaculture sector is identified as a rising star of the Turkish economy with considerable potential to provide a healthy boost to the country’s gross domestic product and to reduce the current account deficit. Besides, fish farming provides resources for the livelihood and adequate incomes of a majority of people.

Turkish aquaculture holds great promise

After government agencies implemented regulations in 2006-2007 ending inshore farming, the industry has gone through consolidation with some big companies buying smaller players. Consolidation ensured that only large-scale companies stayed in the business.

So, what is Turkey’s place in the “big picture”? Strategic location, government interest and support, and scope of expansion for both domestic and international markets makes Turkey a strong power in global aquaculture market. With an annual production of over

Today, in Turkey, all fish farming techniques aim for sustainability. It is proven that small-scale operations are not sustainable. Medium to large-scale operations are needed as aquaculture development requires two essential inputs: knowledge and


Eurofish Magazine 2 / 2014

08_TURKEY_TR.indd 9

Hasan Girenes, President of Agriculture and Fisheries in Yasar Group, Chairman of Izmir Fish Producers Association.

capital. Large scale companies in Turkish aquaculture business are fully vertically-integrated from juvenile hatcheries to fish farms as well as from fish feed plants to processing and packaging plants.

Sustainable fish feeds In Turkey, more and better aquafeeds have fueled the increase in aquaculture production. Fish feed industry is working hard to meet aquaculture industry’s needs, such as fish health and welfare, profitability and sustainability. Since most companies are vertically integrated, it is easier to track and trace the source of feed raw materials. As aquaculture grows, so does the demand for marine raw materials. There is no evidence that using

fish in aquafeeds threatens sustainability of resources. Fish feed of the future will probably contain some marine ingredients, both to make the feed tasty for the fish and to ensure that the fish contain healthy omega fatty acids. But to maintain a steady growth in aquaculture production, it is clear that the proportion of fish-based ingredients has to be reduced. Some promising next generation solutions might be plantbased protein for replacement of fishmeal and nutrition formulations that replace nutrients found in fishmeal. In Turkey, research and development studies are also carried out to use bacteria, yeast, algae and animal by-products as fish feed ingredients. These innovations have the potential to ripple through the industry and reshape the seafood industry.

05/04/14 5:47 PM


Ecologically-sound fish production Ecologists of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) have found that, in most cases, where farms are appropriately sited and responsibly managed, impacts to the environment are minimal to non-existent. In Turkey, government agencies carry out periodic inspects to fish farms to ensure compliance with regulations. And it is not yet reported that any fish farm has polluted the water resources and has negative environmental impact. In my opinion, innovation in aquafeeds is the first step in maintaining a sustainable fish farming business. It is proven that evaluation of environment-friendly feed

types both benefit the environment and improve farm economy. Such feeds with an optimal balance of nutrients help the fish to utilize most of the nutrients in the feed for growth, while a minimum of nutrients are lost to the water. Today, technological advancements adopted in fish farms of Turkey help to minimise the environmental impact of the operations. Continuous monitoring at all levels of production from â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;the beginning till the endâ&#x20AC;? ensures safety of the product and â&#x20AC;&#x153;ecofriendlyâ&#x20AC;? production. Increasing use of automatic feeding systems in fish farms help to optimise feed utilisation and drive productivity. Likewise, technologies for conversion of fish waste to biomass and fertilizer are some

new research areas carried out in cooperation with universities and the industry in Turkey. Certification schemes are becoming increasingly popular in Turkish aquaculture. More consumers prefer â&#x20AC;&#x153;greenâ&#x20AC;? products today. An increasing number of restaurants, retailers and food processing companies are looking to source seafood from sustainable providers. Within this scope, our fish farm company, PÄąnar BalÄąk, located in Ă&#x2021;es¸me IldÄąrÄą, is one of the two companies certified by â&#x20AC;&#x153;Friend of the Seaâ&#x20AC;? in Turkey for producing sustainable fish.

aquaculture in a sustainable manner that protects marine ecosystems and conserves wild fish populations. So many countries are establishing â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sustainable Aquaculture Programsâ&#x20AC;? to enhance the sustainable development of aquaculture industry. We, as Turkey, also need to implement a well-thought â&#x20AC;&#x153;National Sustainable Aquaculture Strategyâ&#x20AC;? to boost our fish farming industry in a sustainable way.

The road map for Turkey

It is obvious that Turkish aquaculture sector holds great promise today. To carry the sector into a brighter future, we shall aim to act smart, think green and achieve growth with sustainability.

Today, leading fish producer countries are committed to developing

Hasan Girenes March, 2014


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Eurofish Magazine 2/ 2014


05/04/14 5:47 PM


A floating fish fillet factory

Processing operations on board a converted ferry Agromey, a vertically integrated producer of seabass, seabream with a capacity of 15,000 tonnes is one of the major producers and exporters of these two species in Turkey. It is part of the Akel Group, an agribusiness, whose core business is raw materials.


gromey combines a fish feed plant, grow-out sites, processing facilities, and sales and distribution including a European office, to make it a highly integrated company. A hatchery is the only stage in the production chain that it lacks, but Turkey already has abundant hatchery capacity for seabass and seabream and it is not a problem to buy the fry from the market. The company’s fish feeds are sold under the brand Agromarin and are produced for both rainbow trout and seabass and seabream. The rainbow trout feeds are produced for each stage of growth, in the nursery, for ongrowing, for the grow-out stage of 60 g and up, as well as a special feed for broodstock. For seabass and seabream the company produces nursery feeds and ongrowing feeds.

Advantages of in-house feed production In Turkey many farming companies produce their own feed. This is the single biggest expense in fish production and if the company produces several thousand tonnes of fish per year it adds up to a large sum if the feed has to be purchased from an external supplier. In-house feed production has the additional advantage that it can be used to pay for fingerlings. A feed producer can, for example, enter into an 44

Eurofish Magazine 2 / 2014

08_TURKEY_TR.indd 11

agreement with a hatchery under which the producer supplies the hatchery with feed and gets fingerlings for on-growing in return. The arrangement also has the advantage that the producer then knows what feed the fry has been fed with and can make changes to the formula if necessary. Agromey is in fact in the process of expanding its feed production by establishing a second line at its plant that will be commissioned in June. This will increase its production capacity to 100,000 tonnes per year.

USD1.5m investment in floating processing plant Agromey has two on-growing sites, one in Karaburun and the other in Milas, where the cages are located. The fish are harvested after about 18 months and taken to one of two processing plants, where they are graded, filleted, frozen, and packaged. Today most of the fish produced is seabass, around 70 of the total production with a focus on big fish, above 600 g. The company is considering other species like meagre, but is well aware that it is not enough to produce a fish, it also has to be accepted by the market. Consumers tend to be conservative preferring to buy what they know, rather than trying something new. Last year the company invested in a new concept, a floating packaging

Eray Yapici, Boat Production Manager and Tolga Uruk, Sales and Marketing Director.

plant. A 67 metre decommissioned ferryboat was acquired and was renovated to be able to process fish. The whole investment amounted to some USD1.5m. The need for a suitable processing solution came up because large parts of the Karaburun peninsula are protected zones where putting up permanent structures is not permitted. Establishing a processing plant was therefore out of the question. This called for some creative thinking as the company wanted to have the processing facility as close to the cages as feasible so that the fish could be brought from the cages to the processing plant with minimal transport time. The solution was the ferryboat that was renovated at a shipyard in Tuzla, Istanbul, and equipped with a fully functioning processing plant that is certified to international standards. The boat today is anchored 0.8 nautical miles from the shore in water that is 30 m deep.

Tolga Uruk, director of sales and marketing in Agromey is justifiably proud of the new investment. The fish cages are so close to the processing facility that they can be descaled, graded, packaged on ice, and despatched so that they are, for example, in the United States within 36 hours of being harvested. The new processing capacity also enabled the company to close down its processing plant in the Torbali district near Izmir, leaving it with a single land-based plant in Aydin. At the Aydin facility we are producing fillets, and gutted fish both fresh and frozen, while on board the vessel we produce whole round fresh fish, says Mr Uruk. The main advantages of the processing plant on board the vessel are its proximity to the cages, and that it provides a space for our employees. Not being allowed to build in Karaburun means that we could not provide a space for our staff, the

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on-board processing facility solves that problem. It is a self-contained unit with facilities for the staff, a canteen, a laboratory, and office space. Even electricity and fresh water is generated on board, he adds, as well as ice from both fresh water and salt water. The facility has been approved by the FDA and also has an EU export number, so fish processed here may be sent both to the US and the EU.

Exports more interesting than domestic sales The main product to come out of the processing vessel is whole round fish and this is unlikely to change in the near future as further processing into fillets or frozen products will continue to be at the Aydin plant. Currently, 80 of the production is exported and the remainder sold within Turkey. Fortunately, preference on the two markets are different, with seabass preferred on export markets and seabream appealing more to Turks. The market for large fish sizes 400-600 g and 600-800 g is mainly in the US. Most producers want to sell as much as possible on the international market as the Turkish lira has lost value against the US dollar and the euro. This is fine if

producers’ costs are denominated in the local currency, but fishmeal and fish oil are international commodities, the prices of which are denominated in dollars. Farmers want to export their fish internationally to offset their dollar costs. However, most companies sell a proportion of their production on the local market. Agromey has been selling fish to the international retail chains that have operations in Turkey such as Metro, Real, Carrefour, and Tesco as well as the wholesale markets. Penetration by the supermarkets throughout the country has made it easier for Turkish consumers to buy fish, but per capita consumption lags the EU average by a substantial margin and has been stagnant for several years. To combat this, producers such as Agromey are supporting activities that will raise awareness in schools about the benefits of eating fish and that offer the children a chance to sample fish and fish products.

has meant that seabass and seabream prices have been slowly increasing in the last few months both on the domestic market and internationally to the satisfaction of producers. But they would rather see a slow increase in prices rather than the wild fluctuations of the past. Demand for farmed fish including seabass and sea-

bream is going to increase, says Mr Uruk, as societies increase their standards of living and become more aware of the healthfulness of fish and seafood. Production will have to increase to meet this demand and producers throughout the Mediterranean including in Greece will have a role to play.

The fish are harvested after about 18 months and taken to one of two processing plants, where they are graded, filleted, frozen, and packaged.

Increasing demand for farmed fish The crisis in Greece as well as the moderation exercised by Turkish producers who put 100m less fry in the water last year than in 2012

Agromey Company Fact File Sair Esref Blv. Tuzcuoglu Is Merkezi No: 48, Kat: 5 Konak TR 35220 Alsancak, Izmir Turkey Tel.: +90 232 446 88 11 Fax: +90 232 446 09 08 Sales and marketing director: Mr Tolga Uruk

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Products: Seabass, seabream, fish feed Product forms: Fresh whole round, fresh fillets, frozen fillets Volumes: 15,000 tonnes seabass and seabream Facilities: One fish feed plant (Torbali), two on-growing sites (Milas, Karaburun), two processing plants (Aydin, Karaburun) Markets: Europe, mainly the Netherlands, Russia, US, Middle East, Far East Asia

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Akua-Group fattens tuna for the Japanese market

An industry subject to international monitoring Bluefin tuna is the world’s most expensive fish. In January 2013 a 222 kg specimen sold for USD1.8m at Tokyo’s Tsukiji market corresponding to a kilo price of more than USD8,000. Tuna is highly sought after on the Japanese market where the best fish are sold to make top quality sashimi and sushi. This demand for tuna from Japan has repercussions all around the world including in the Mediterranean where companies practice capture-based aquaculture i.e. catching young tuna and on-growing them in captivity.


he Integrated Taxonomic Information System, an American taxonomic database maintained by various federal agencies, classifies the genus Thunnus comprising tunas and albacores into eight species of tuna. The variety that is captured and fattened in the Mediterranean is the northern bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus).

Slow transport from catching to ongrowing site The northern bluefin tuna is a pelagic fish that schools by size and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. The fish enters the Mediterranean from May to July to spawn and leaves again for the Atlantic from midJuly to September. They feed on other schooling fish such as anchovies and the effect of this activity can be seen on the water surface allowing fishers to easily detect schools of tuna. The fish are typically captured using purse seines which are then connected with transport cages by binding the nets on the two structures together and then lifting the purse seine slightly to encourage the fish to swim through into the transport cage. Catches from several purse seines can be added to 46

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one transport or towing cage before it is slowly moved to the on-growing site, a journey that can save several weeks depending on the distance to be traversed. The towing cages are usually transported at a speed not exceeding 1 to 1.5 knots in order to reduce stress and physical injuries to the fish, which in turn lead to higher mortality rates. The better the condition of the fish when they arrive at the on-growing site the quicker they adapt to captivity and start feeding. The slow speed and long distances that need to be covered also mean that the fish must be fed during the journey. The management of tuna in the Atlantic is the responsibility of ICCAT, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas. In 2014 the total allowable catch (TAC) for bluefin tuna in the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean was set at 13,400 tonnes of which the EU was allocated just under 8,000 tonnes and Turkey got 557 tonnes. The TAC was the same as it had been in 2013 as campaigned for by environmental organisations concerned about overfishing, despite claims by fishers from many parts of the Mediterranean that they had been seeing more and more tuna in the sea.

Cenk Yurttas, Farm Manager at the Akua-Group, one of four tuna ranching companies in Turkey.

Tuna from other countries fills requirement In Turkey the quota is split between fishers who sell the fish to four on-growing companies, one of which is the Akua-Group. Cenk Yurttas, farm manager of the Akua-Group, says the company has a quota of 1,800 tonnes of catch and 2,400 tonnes of harvest capacity. Companies like Akua-Group buy the fish they

need from the quota of fishers from countries other than Turkey. Moroccan fishers are their main external supplier, in fact the company has joint fishing operations with two Moroccanflagged vessels that sail to the Mediterranean in the catching season. In addition, the company has a contract with Libyan fishers and another with Tunisian fishers. Without the fish from the Moroccan, Libyan, and Tunisian quotas we would not

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be able to continue our business, says Mr Yurttas. According to Mr Yurttas in Turkey there are approximately 95 fishing vessels that are licensed to catch tuna. For the last several years ICCAT has not permitted all the vessels to go out and fish for tuna. Instead the quota is allocated through a lottery system. This year, for example, twelve or thirteen fishing vessels each got a share of the Turkish quota of 557 tonnes. Next year another twelve or thirteen vessels will be given a share and so on. The quota share is thus rotated between all the fishing vessels. The vessels that have not received a share of the tuna quota, fish instead for other pelagic fish. In Turkey a license

Hasan Dikmen and chief diver Birol Bulug are licensed to dive to 42 m.

to catch tuna also permits the holder to catch other fish and these vessels, when they have no share of the tuna quota, then sail to the Aegean Sea, the Black Sea or the Sea of Marmara to target other species.

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Close monitoring by observers Tuna quotas may not be traded, says Mr Yurttas; Turkish fishers cannot fish the Moroccan quota for example, instead Moroccan

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boats fish their own quota in the waters of the Mediterranean to the east of Cyprus, which is where most Turkish boats also fish for tuna, and then sell it directly to the on-growers as seed stock. The quotas allocated


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Eurofish Magazine 2/ 2014


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The tuna are fattened for six to eight months on a diet of pelagic bait fish, sardines, herring, mackerel, and sardinella delivered by this service vessel to the cages.

to the countries can be fished anywhere in the Mediterranean. The catching season is restricted to one month from 15 May to 15 June and each catching vessel must have an ICCAT observer on board. The vessels can choose their fishing area; Moroccan vessels can come to Cyprus, Turkish vessels can go, for example, to France. The monitoring continues in the tug boats that pull the cages from the catching site to the on-growing site and which must have a local observer on board. When the fishers catch the fish, they have to then seek permission from the government to transfer the fish to the towing cages and this is monitored by divers with cameras who count the fish and estimate the biomass. These figures are then entered into the bluefin catch document (BCD) which is sent to the ministry, who in turn sends it to ICCAT and the quota is correspondingly reduced. Once the quota is fully fished the boats have to return to the harbour. The control is very strict, says Mr Yurttas, and as a result we think that the stock has increased, but the scientists have to confirm this before there will be any change in the quotas. Once the towing cages arrive at the site where the on-growing 48

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cages are moored, the fish are tranferred again. Fish from different quotas are kept in separate cages, i.e. tuna from the Moroccan quota will not be mixed with tuna from the Libyan quota. The stress brought about by the journey, the transfers and the new feeding regime generally results in some loss of weight. Spawning also results in some weight loss. The fish also usually take a few days to settle down and get used to their new diet. Thus this loss has to be compensated for, before there is any net gain in weight. The fish are fed on a diet of frozen small pelagics, sardinella, sardines, herring, mackerel. When they start feeding, a 100 kg fish can consume about 10 kg of bait fish a day in the summer months, says Mr Yurttas. This gradually decreases however, and by January the fish are only eating about two kilos a day. Unlike many other species, tuna are valued more if the meat is dark, a parameter that depends on the diet. We start by feeding them sardines, explains Mr Yurttas, for their high fat content, but it makes the meat lighter, so then after two or three months we switch to mackerel which gives them a darker colour meat. The tuna are generally fattened for a period of six to eight months roughly from June when they are

caught to February when they are harvested. However, fish will sometimes be kept for another season because bigger fish fetch a higher price per kilo. Size categories are from 60 to 120, 120 to 180, 180 to 240 and above 240, and if after a season the fish is below 120 kg it will often be kept. This is also why bigger fish over 100 kg are preferred to smaller ones, when catching.

Fresh tuna flown to Japan when prices peak The tuna are harvested at the beginning of the year over a period of three to four weeks typically starting in the middle of January. Occasionally small amounts of fish will be harvested at other times of the year, usually

just before Christmas or at other times when the price for tuna on the Tsukiji market goes very high. The fish will then be flown fresh to the market to make the most of the high prices. Otherwise 95ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of the fish is harvested for Japanese reefers that freeze the fish to minus 60 degrees and sail it to Japan. The craving for tuna in Japan has created an industry for tuna fattening in the Mediterranean as well as other parts of the world to meet this demand. However, the record prices for tuna at the Tsukiji market may be a thing of the past. This year the top selling tuna, a 230 kg specimen, went for USD70,600 (USD307 per kg), a 95ď&#x2122;&#x201A; drop compared to last year.

The tuna catch weight is between 30-60 kg and are fed for 6-8 months until they reach a market size of about 120 kg.

Akua-Group Company Fact File Vali Kazim Dirik Cad., Mola Is Merkezi, No:32, Kat:3, D-5 TR 35210 Konak-Izmir Turkey

Partner: Nedim Anbar Farm manager: Cenk Yurttas Product: Frozen tuna, fresh tuna Market: Japan Volumes: 2,400 tonnes

Tel.: +90 232 446 33 06 07 Fax: +90 232 446 33 08

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Akuvatur - vertical integration for higher quality

Commercial production of new species The aquaculture industry in Turkey farms ďŹ sh in both marine water and freshwater. The main production in the latter is rainbow trout which is grown inland using water sourced from springs and rivers. Carps are also grown in freshwater ponds, but the production is very limited. Saltwater production on the other hand is dominated by seabass and seabream.


any companies however are experimenting with other Mediterranean species, but commercial production is mostly limited to meagre (Argyrosomus regius). There is at least one exception to this general trend and this is the company Akuvatur, which for the last several years has been producing real dentex (Dentex dentex), pink dentex (Dentex gibbosus), and red seabream (Pagrus caeruleostictus), in addition to seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax) and seabream (Sparus aurata).

Broodstock for all produced fish Akuvatur was established in 1990 by Dr Haluk Tuncer, a biologist by profession, and someone who, from the outset, was interested in creating and supplying a market for farmed species other than seabass and seabream. Over the years Akuvatur has gradually increased its capacity, which today is 80m fry and 2,000 tonnes of fresh fish per annum, and has become a vertically integrated company with its own broodstock facility, hatcheries, feed plant, grow-out sites, packaging plant and sales channels. Controlling every aspect of the production means that the company can ensure the quality of the final product and is not dependent on outside suppliers

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for any of the inputs. There are only a few big hatcheries in Turkey who supply more or less the entire market. Akuvaturâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hatchery is one of them. The facility is spread over two sites; one in Adana in the south of Turkey which is 120 ha in size has a capacity of 39m fry, while the other is in Milas and has a capacity of 38m fry. In addition the company has a broodstock facility at yet another site. Here the company carries out its R&D activities to improve egg quality, breed new Mediterranean species, and genetically select superior seabass and seabream. It is at this site that company scientists research ways of getting fish to produce eggs through the four seasons. The total capacity of the hatcheries of about 80m fry represents about a fifth of the market and the output is intended both for the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own production and for sale to other farmers. Producing fry is in fact Akuvaturâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s main activity responsible for 65ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of the total sales (of fish and fry) by value. The main production at the hatchery is seabass and seabream juveniles. In addition, the company maintains a broodstock of the other species it produces â&#x20AC;&#x201C; real dentex, pink dentex, and red seabream. The juveniles of these species are used only for the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own production and are not supplied to the market. Once

the fry from the hatchery are ready to be introduced into sea cages they are taken to the Karaburun Peninsula on the west coast of Turkey, where the company has its four cage sites in an area where the depth of the water is 70 m and the currents are strong. This year there will be a new addition to the production â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the first batch of meagre (Argyrosomus regius) will be ready for harvesting in October.

Location in protected area with no run off The small dock on the peninsula where the boat that goes to the cages is moored is part of a protected area. This means that no permanent structures can be built there and the area is kept free from industry and agriculture, even the roads are not macadamised, but are dirt tracks. This has the disadvantage that the company can only use temporary shelters for the staff that are working at the cage sites. On the other hand the purity of the water in which the fish grow is under no threat from any industrial or agricultural run off. The on-growing sites are continuously monitored by several authorities including the Ministry of Food Agriculture and Livestock, the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, and the Coast Guard, who can and do make random checks at the site. The company has also

invested in certification to the ISO9001, 14001, and 18001 as well as the GlobalG.A.P. standard which applies to the entire production chain, broodstock, hatchery, growout, harvesting and post-harvest handling. The standard covers food safety, worker health and safety, hygiene, medicinal residues,

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Gökhan Cam, Sales and Marketing Manager, Mediterranean fish.

The flesh of the red seabream is white in colour and the fish is fatty, making it a very tasty fish that can be prepared in a variety of ways.

common diseases, animal health and welfare, water quality, pathogen and disease spread, escapes, and environmental risk assessment, among others.

Specially developed feed formula In 2007 Akuvatur established its feed production factory to meet its rapidly growing requirements for feed. In this way it could adjust the formulation to its specific requirements producing the feed it needed to achieve specific tastes. Each day two trucks carry the feed, a mixture of anchovies, shrimps, sardines, and squid, to the cages, a distance of some 200 km because the feed is freshly prepared and cannot be stored. The idea is to mimic as much as possible the diet of the fish in the wild so that they have a natural taste and colour. When the fish have reached the desired size they are harvested and brought to the EU-approved (British Retail Consortium (BRC) approval is in the pipeline) packaging facility located a mere 15 km away from the cages. The facility has a capacity of 20 tonnes of fresh fish per day which are packed in five or ten kg styrofoam boxes on ice, weighed, labelled for traceability, 50

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and dispatched. The proximity of the packaging facility to the cages allows the product to be harvested, packaged and dispatched within a few hours giving it a shelf life of 14 days. Most of the fish is bound for the EU and Akuvatur has a distribution company in Thessaloniki, Greece where the custom clearance is completed and from where the fish can be sent to the individual markets in the EU pallet by pallet rather than a whole truck at a time.

Wide range of fish sizes Actual production today is 1,200 tonnes, says Gökhan Cam, the sales and marketing manager, of which 60-70 is the new species, while the remainder is seabass and seabream. The latter are called premium products because of the special natural feed they are given, which results in a smooth firm white flesh, medium levels of fat, and a delicate texture. Portionsized bass and bream of 300/400 and 400/600 g are available throughout the year, while bigger bass can be supplied from September. We can supply very large sizes of new species all year round, says Mr Cam, for example the pink dentex and real dentex sizes are 0.8-1.2, 1.2-1.6 and 1.8-2.5 kg.

The large sizes however take a long time to grow, it can take three years for a fish to reach 2.5 to 3 kg. The red seabream is available throughout the year in portion sizes of 300/400, 400/600, and 600/800 g and because Akuvatur is the only producer and supply is limited, prices are good, and the fish is consumed mainly at the upper end of the market. We are looking for hotels and restaurants that are interested in new species, says Mr Cam.

Situation in Greece is mixed blessing Like all fish farmers in Turkey Mr Cam is well aware of what is happening in Greece, Turkey’s great rival in the market for seabass and seabream. Due to the economic crisis, production in Greece has slowed allowing Turkey to take over the mantle of biggest producer of these two species in the Mediterranean (and the world) in 2012 with 96,000 tonnes versus 86,000 tonnes (Eurostat). While this is naturally a source of some pride, producers in Turkey are also concerned that the situation in Greece may result in farmers there resorting to desperate measures such as selling smaller fish

at lower prices which could affect the market negatively for all producers. Customers are seduced by lower prices says Mr Cam and then it can be difficult to sell larger fish, which tend to be more expensive per kilo. Fresh fish is not an easy product to sell, feels Mr Cam, who moved to Akuvatur from a company that was selling meat and dairy products. One of the differences he notes is that with meat there were over 600 different products the sales of which were targeted at different segments of the market. This allows a lot of flexibility with regards to marketing, something which is more difficult with fresh fish. He finds he also has to overcome consumer resistance to buying a product that needs to be prepared before it can be eaten. Unlike many packaged meat or dairy products which can be opened and consumed more or less directly, fish needs to go through a longer process before it is ready. Then there is the issue of the fishy smell that is generated when cooking the fish. On the other hand, fish is a healthful, omega-3 containing product that is produced with the least impact on the environment of all animal proteins, and this is what we must focus on when marketing, he says.

Akuvatur Mediterranean Seafood Co. Company Fact File Mansuroglu Mh. 295/2 Sk. Ege Sun Plaza, A Blok No:1 K:2 D:220 TR 35030 Izmir Turkey Tel.: +90 232 375 6800 Fax: +90 232 375 6800 Managing Director: Dr Haluk Tuncer

Products: seabass and seabream fry; fresh fish (real dentex, pink dentex, and red seabream, seabass and seabream) Fresh fish sizes: 300 g to 2.5 kg Production: 80m fry; 1,200 tonnes fresh fish Capacity: 2,000 tonnes Markets: Domestic retail chains, domestic wholesale markets, exports to Greece, Spain, Italy, France, USA, Kuwait

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Camli is opening new markets

Pioneer of its sector Camli is part of the Yasar group, one of the biggest conglomerates in Turkey with interests in industrial coatings, paper, hospitality, and food and beverages, and an annual turnover of USD 1.2bn. Within Camli there are divisions for ďŹ sheries and feeds, but also for livestock, and for agricultural products.


amli was one of the pioneers of the integrated fish farming model in Turkey, where feed, hatchery, nursery, on-growing, processing, packaging, sales and distribution are all owned by the same company or group. Activities in the fish production business started in 1985 and have been growing ever since. The hatchery today has a capacity of 84m fry which it uses for its own production as well as selling it to other farms.

The feed too, which sells under the brand name Bioaqua, goes into its own fish production and is sold to other farmers as well. Of the 35,000 tonnes produced 15,000 is used within the company, while the rest is sold to farmers of seabass, seabream and trout. Ă&#x2013;zgĂźr Aracioglu, seafood sales manager, estimates that Camli is the biggest seller of fish feed in Turkey considering that several producers only manufacture fish feed for their own use.

Making the most of the Pinar brand

several other agricultural products including dairy, and water, with the result that Pinar is one of the most valuable brands in Turkey today.

Camli produces 8,000 tonnes of seabass and seabream a year from seven sites. In addition to its fish portfolio PÄąnar has several agricultural product divisions including dairy, meat, and bottled water, and within the seafood division the brand is used for both fresh and frozen fish products on the domestic and export market. Pinar is also the brand that is used for

The main products are seabass, seabream, and meagre and sales of trout feed enable the company to obtain trout if needed for the local or export market. As with most of the other seabass and seabream producing companies in Turkey, Camli is producing more

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Eurofish Magazine 2/ 2014


05/04/14 5:48 PM


Bora Aydemir, Seafood Business Unit Director, and Özgür Aracioglu, Seafood Sales Manager.

seabass than seabream due to the water conditions at its site on the west coast, where the water is a few degrees cooler than it is in the south. Sea bream can also grow here, says Mr Aracioglu, and we do have some production, but the fish can only be harvested two months later than fish in warmer waters. The company maintains a ratio between the seabass and seabream produced and augments the production with fish from other farms if necessary. These farms are those that already have a relationship with Camli, from whom they obtain the fry and the feed, so the quality of the fish is the same as the fish from Camli’s on-growing sites. Camli also produces mussels at its Mersin site, growing them in socks suspended from a rope. Production amounts to some 1,000 tonnes per year.

Fully certified production The hatchery, on-growing sites, and feed facility are all certified to the GlobalG.A.P. standard and in addition the company is certified to the ISO14001 environmental management standard and is working on the ISO50001 energy management standard. Being a fully integrated company implementing a traceability system was accomplished relatively easily. At its processing and packaging facility in Izmir, which was opened in 52

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2011 the company produces fillets and frozen products. The facility is certified to the BRC and IFS standards and supplies many of the retail chains in Europe. Fresh fish goes mainly to Spain, Italy, the US, Russia, and countries in the Middle East, while frozen products go to Germany, Italy, and the UK.

Subsidiaries in Germany, Dubai Frozen products are exported to Europe, to Italy, Germany, and the UK. The products are mainly fillets, pin bone out with a 10 glaze, either naturally frozen fillets in a bag, but also combined with spices, a sauce, or other ingredients, and packaged in an aluminium tray that can be put directly into an oven for a quickly prepared hot meal. The fresh fish on the other hand is whole round fish of which the company aims at a ratio of 70 for the export market. The importance of the European market for Camli is underlined by the fact that it has established two companies in Germany, one for trading and the other for distribution. These supply the ethnic market in Germany as well as France and Belgium with frozen products under the Pinar brand. Another company in Dubai supplies branded products to the Middle East and will be used to introduce frozen fish there.

Prices have been better this year compared with the same period last year. This Mr Aracioglu attributes partly to the crisis in Greece which has reduced supplies to Europe and the US, and partly because in Turkey production has not increased as it has in the past. Pinar itself is producing at its capacity of 8,000 tonnes. The last two years fry production was ramped up in Turkey and in Greece too was also very high. The result was that there was too much fish on the market causing prices to fall and most producers lost money. This year fry production was reduced and producers anticipate that the amount of fish will be commensurate with the demand. Camli bases its hatchery production on the orders for fingerlings it receives from farmers and on its own requirements for fish. If hatcheries produce more than that due to over-estimations of how the market will develop, it leads to over production, as has happened in the last couple of years. This year hatcheries are applying the lessons they have learned, reckons Mr Aydemir. Production of seabass and seabream in Turkey is expected to rise but will do so gradually. Total licensed capacity is almost 200,000 tonnes while production is half that so there is plenty of scope for production to increase even without additional licenses being issued.

Developing new markets is critical Increasing the production only makes sense if there is demand for the fish. In Turkey there are perhaps half a dozen major exporters of seabass and seabream and one of the priorities is to open new markets. Selling to Europe and Russia is not enough. The US, for example, is a market with a lot of potential, says Mr Aracioglu, We need to develop new markets if we want to continue growing as a company. In Europe the scope is limited, we can increase the range of products but over time prices will gradually decrease and there is no population growth to increase the size of the pie. The Turkish seafood promotion committee organises visits or has stands at different seafood trade events all over the world. Turkish Airlines is also working closely with exporters to freight fresh fish from Turkey to distant destinations. Camli is using several strategies to ensure the growth and profitability of the company. Actively looking for new markets and customer segments, closely following product trends such as quality, health, taste, and safety, and developing new products in collaboration with clients. It is also producing small volumes of meagre to be able to offer a more diversified product portfolio.

Camli Feed Animal Husbandry Co. Company Fact File Eski Kemalpasa Asfalti, Pinar Sut Yani TR 35060 Pinarbasi - Izmir Turkey Tel.: +90 232 436 2021 (ext. 267) Fax: +90 232 436 2022 1371 Seafood business unit director: Bora Aydemir Seafood sales manager: Özgür Aracioglu

Products: Seabass and seabream, meagre Product forms: Fresh fish, frozen fillets, frozen ready meals Other products: Fish feed, juvenile fish (30m per year) Annual volumes: 8,000 tonnes seabass, seabream; 200 tonnes meagre Markets: Europe, Russia, USA, Middle East, Turkey Customers on domestic market: Tesco, Carrefour, Real and Metro

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Gümüsdoga focuses on reliability, quality

Over-production can expand market Gümüsdoga is among the biggest producers and exporters of farmed seafood in Turkey with produced volumes amounting to about 16,000 tonnes, of which 9,000 tonnes is seabass and seabream and 7,000 tonnes is trout.


ümüsdoga is well known producer of seabass, seabream and trout in Turkey as well as of fish feed. The feed is produced at a modern feeding mill and is used for the company’s production of seabass, seabream and trout as well as for sale on the market. The feed is produced at the company’s plant in Milas and is tested at every stage to ensure that the final product meets the required standard. The main raw materials for the fish feed are fishmeal and fish oil. These commodities are obtained from Turkish producers but can also be imported from South America or northern Europe. When the material arrives at the factory random samples are taken and are subject to a range of physical and chemical analyses. The results of these procedures have to lie within a certain range for the material to be accepted.

Tightly controlled fish feed production The monitoring continues through the entire manufacturing process with samples going to the company laboratory to be tested for a range of parameters. The production concludes with the feed being loaded into bags and placed in storage until they are distributed. The whole manufacturing process is automated so human intervention is reduced to the minimum. The feed factory has two production lines and produces about 70,000 tonnes per year, says Mehmet Gümüsel, the

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export manager, and a member of the family that owns the company. Of this volume approximately 30 is used for Gümüsdoga’s own fish production, while the rest is sold to other farmers. The company’s fish production depends on fingerlings obtained from external suppliers as Gümüsdoga does not have its own hatchery. As with most other producers of seabass and seabream Gümüsdoga too produces substantially more seabass – 60 to 70 of the total production of 9,000 tonnes. Both seabass and seabream are sold as whole round fish to markets in the EU including France, the UK, Germany, Spain, and Italy. The Turkish market is also important, says Mr Gümüsel, about 30 of the production is sold locally. Traditionally people in the cities of Istanbul, Izmir, and other parts of the Aegean coast have always consumed fish, but now it seems as if seabass, seabream, and trout are becoming popular all over Turkey and not just in the big cities. The spread of the retailers from the big urban areas to the more rural parts of the country has no doubt contributed to the increased popularity of whole round fish. The other factors are availability and price. Unlike wild fish, farmed fish is available throughout the year in the same quality and for more or less the same price. Wild fish availability fluctuates with the season and the price changes depending

“Our strength does not lie in the volume of fish we produce, but in our reliability and the ability to produce consistently good quality,” says Mr Mehmet Gümüsel, Export Manager of Gümüsdoga.

The feed factory has two production lines and a production of 70,000 tonnes of feed a year for the market (70%), and for the company’s own use.

on supply and demand. These aspects too are contributing to the popularity of farmed fish.

Seabass and seabream spread through Turkey Even in the central and eastern parts of Turkey where trout is better known than seabass and seabream, the latter are becoming more popular. Greater availability may be part of the reason, and, additionally, if

consumers are already used to eating fish they may be predisposed to trying other kinds of seafood. The demand for fish on the local market is good for producers, but for many of them the export market is primary. Earning in hard currency is necessary when costs are in dollars and fish meal and fish oil, the main expense in the production of farmed fish, are international commodities denominated in dollars, even when they are produced in Eurofish Magazine 2/ 2014


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Turkey. The Turkish fresh fish market is supplied mostly with locally caught or locally farmed fish. Some imports, such as salmon, are also seen, but the volumes are limited. A certain amount of frozen fish is imported, but that does not compete with local fresh fish, says Mr Gümüsel. According to him, one of the most important developments on the export market is the increasing trade in value-added products such as natural fillets, or fillets combined with other ingredients to give a ready meal. Producing these special retail products in Turkey is relatively easy, we have the fresh raw material, the cost of labour may not be as low as in China, but is still highly competitive, and the price these products command makes it an attractive proposition. There has been a definite increase in their popularity over the years as they are so easy to prepare, they need just to be introduced into the microwave or a pre-warmed oven and they are ready within minutes. An added benefit is the presence of omega-3 fatty acids and other healthful components associated with fish. While cheaper whitefish products are available on the European market they do not offer the same benefits, he feels.

Market for seabass and seabream expands The Turkish fish farming industry has seen some changes over the last couple of years. The industry has consolidated and today there are fewer big exporters of seabass and seabream. While there has been a degree of over-production in the past, Mr Gümüsel feels that it has also resulted in the overall market getting larger. Over-production tends to force producers to find new solutions, look for new markets, and develop new products. Farmers today are 54

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producing about 25 more than they were doing five years ago, yet they have found markets for the additional fish and the companies have survived and will continue to do so. In his opinion, what is overproduction today will be the norm tomorrow. Seabass and seabream have certainly become very wellknown fish widely available in retailers and fish shops all over Europe, and in the food service sector, particularly in southern European restaurants, they are popular species. Recipes for these two species are widely available on the Internet, which is perhaps another indicator of their popularity. Gümüsdoga’s production of seabass and seabream is spread over several on-growing sites, where the fish are raised in cages. Feed is supplied from feed barges that are connected to the cages with pipes and the feed is blown from the barge into the cages at regular intervals. Closed circuit cameras monitor the fish so that any problem can rapidly be detected and measures taken to solve it. Once the fish have achieved the correct size they are harvested and brought to the company’s filleting and packaging plant. The plant is certified to international standards and has an EU-approved number. It can process about 50 tonnes of raw material a day and about 70 of the production is exported to countries in the EU.

Entire trout production smoked Seabass and seabream are Gümüsdoga’s most important product in terms of volumes, but the company also has significant production of trout with farms in central Turkey, in Fethiye in the south west, as well as in the Black Sea area. Almost the entire production is smoked and filleted

Trout being vaccinated. Almost the entire production is smoked for the export market as Turkey has no tradition of eating smoked products.

and exported to northern Europe. In Turkey there is no tradition for eating smoked trout, says Mr Gümüsel, we prefer the whole round fish. Trout production in Turkey has expanded very rapidly over the last ten years going from 40,000 tonnes in 2003 to 111,000 tonnes in 2012. Producers have also been very successful at exporting their products to the EU. So successful in fact that it has provoked some EU producers to initiate an anti-dumping investigation earlier this year. The investigation is in the initial stages so trout companies are

concentrating on their business for the time being. For the last five or six years Gümüsdoga has been producing more or less the same quantity of fish, expanding production only slightly and Mr Gümüsel expects this to continue in the future as well. Our strength does not lie in the volume of fish we produce, but in our reliability and the ability to produce consistently good quality. We focus on meeting our commitments, making timely deliveries, and producing to the client’s specifications.

Gümüsdoga Company Fact File Akyol Koyu, Dibecik Mevkii TR Milas, Mugla Turkey Tel.: +90 252 536 6228 Fax: +90 252 536 6002

Export manager: Mehmet Gümüsel Production: Seabass, seabream, trout Product forms: Fresh seabass and seabream, smoked trout fillets Volumes: 9,000 tonnes seabass, seabream; 7,000 tonnes trout Other products: Fish feed, 70,000 tonnes

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Kilic Holding focuses more strongly on exports

Looking outwards for growth Kilic Holding is among Turkey’s biggest 500 companies, an honour held by only three other companies in the aquaculture sector. Fully integrated, the group has its own production of fingerlings, fish feed mills, on-growing sites, processing facilities, sales and marketing, and even the manufacture of eps (expanded polystyrene) boxes to store and transport the fish.


ith four production sites offering a total capacity of over 270m Kilic Holding has the largest production of seabass and seabream juveniles in the world. Seabass and seabream juveniles are the main species produced but smaller quantities of juveniles from other species, including meagre, striped seabream, red seabream, and grouper are also grown. The vast number of juveniles are used for the in-house production of market-sized seabass and seabream, but they are also sold to other farmers for on-growing. Increasingly, the company is also exporting the juveniles to producers in other countries. As production of juveniles has increased over the years so has the tonnage of market-sized fish. Today the company has a production of 30,000 tonnes up from 20,000 tonnes four years ago, says Murat Bakirci, the CEO since 2010 and architect of the company’s strategic orientation to overseas markets.

Rebalancing export markets The focus on export markets has completely changed the company’s sales profile. Four years ago exports were about 40 of the tonnage, says Mr Bakirci, while today the export tonnage is about 70 and the export value exceeds 70. Exposure to the different countries has also changed. Nothing was exported to Russia and the Ukraine and even the US

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and the Middle East were virtually non-existent as markets. On the other hand Italy was absorbing 76 of all exports. Now all that has changed. Italy has gone down to 20, instead Russia is picking up 21, the UK 5, Spain 7, the Netherlands 9, the US is a small but growing market and even in Ukraine, despite the political situation, Kilic sold 1,000 tonnes of fish in 2013. The margins come from the exports, he declares, on the domestic market you cannot push the volume and you cannot push the price. You can spend millions on advertising without knowing the end result. The rebalancing of markets has led the company to pursue the potential it sees in the Middle East, the US, and Russia, where the last four years have seen regular growth. Sales to Europe are growing by 6-8 and to Russia by about 10, while production tonnage is increasing by 10-12 a year.

Working to increase domestic fish consumption Activities on the different markets have been reorganised either for greater efficiencies or in response to external events. For example, Italy is no longer the major distribution hub it used to be, and the company has had to respond to conditions in Syria, which have had an impact on distribution both within Syria and to other parts of the Middle East. While sales have been growing on export

Countries in the Middle East and North Africa are new potential markets, but some are also seeking Kilic’s expertise to develop their own aquaculture industries, says Murat Bakirci, Chief Executive Officer, Kilic Holding.

markets, at home they have been flat, something Mr Bakirci attributes to Turkey being a predominantly meat-eating nation. The company is working to increase sales within Turkey, but it is a long haul. Essentially, per capita consumption of fish has to increase and efforts to do this need to be co-ordinated with the government to get the best results as the country is too big and too diverse for any single company to do it alone. But efforts are underway. Thirty years ago chicken at any retail outlet in Turkey was sold as a whole bird, today it is possible to get portions, wings, for example, or chicken breasts, or legs, or other pieces, in a package. It is not necessary to buy the whole bird any longer. This is the future for fish too. Although in Turkey there is resistance to the idea of buying fish in a package, but the advantages are becoming clearer at least

to younger generations of Turks. Fish packaged in modified atmosphere is healthy, hygienic, has a longer shelf life, and above all, is convenient. Women are joining the work force in increasing numbers, but are still overwhelmingly responsible for domestic chores as well. The ability to save time when preparing meals is something to which many can relate. To promote the consumption of fish companies are therefore working with the Turkish seafood promotion committee. They are also investing in social programmes and working with NGO’s to encourage, for example, school children to eat fish. And they are using social media to spread the word too. Unlike producers of many other products fish farmers can credibly claim that eating fish is actually good for one, so by disseminating their message to eat Eurofish Magazine 2/ 2014


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In spring this year the company plans to open a new canning facility in Milas that will also be used for the production of value-added products intended for the export market.

more, they may be doing themselves a favour, but they are also helping consumers to lead more healthy lives. However, changing long-standing consumption patterns will not come about overnight, but will happen in small increments. It will take a sustained effort to overcome the innate conservatism of many when it comes to buying, preparing, and eating fish on a regular basis.

Potential in Middle East, North Africa Europe, Russia, and the US are obvious places to sell fish. In addition, the Middle East and North Africa are also proving to be interesting for Kilic not only because of the regions’ potential as markets for farmed fish, but also because governments there are seeking the company’s expertise to develop their own aquaculture industries. In Oman discussions with the government are on-going about a possible joint venture. In Morocco the government has ambitious plans for a domestic aquaculture sector into which it is already putting resources and it is considering Kilic as a possible partner to 56

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realise these. The company has therefore been analysing the legal and commercial framework to assess the feasibility of establishing something there. It is interesting for us, points out Mr Bakirci, because our growth in Turkey is subject to some constraints and it is necessary to have alternatives. In the United States, for example, they like large fish, 1.5 kg and above, and large fillets, and to produce this it is necessary to have a larger stock in the sea to compensate for the time it takes to grow these big fish. Licensing restrictions in Turkey make it attractive therefore to have production sites in other countries. Morocco has also a large catch of small pelagic fish of which about a third is used to make fishmeal and fish oil. Any farmed fish production facility in Morocco would almost certainly benefit from locally produced fishmeal and fish oil.

New factory for value-added products Other parts of the business are also expanding. In Milas the company expects to complete a new plant in March for the production of canned items. These started as a trial with

the production being outsourced to a producer in Istanbul, while the recipes, marketing, and sales were handled by Kilic. The response to the products has been positive so the company is taking over the production itself. This is a new product and a new market for us and we are still learning the ropes, so we will proceed cautiously, says Mr Bakirci. The cans are being filled with the company’s own production of trout, seabass, and meagre in different sauces, and because of this can compete with canners who have to import, for example, tuna. Apart from cans the plant will be used for the production of value-added products, such as fillets in a sauce, which are intended for the export market. Kilic has also started studying in greater detail the markets they are in. For example, France and Spain may be neighbours, but in terms of fish consumption they could belong on different planets. In Spain the analysis showed that 87 of consumers like fresh fish, while in France consumer preferences were evenly split between canned, fresh, value-added, and frozen. In-depth market analysis can lead to more efficient product positioning, channel management and market segmentation and prevents dumping of the product.

Diversifying its markets, making and sticking to its strategy plans, investing in research and development, proceeding cautiously where necessary, yet not chary of taking risks, these and other factors have enabled Kilic Holding to climb to the top of the Turkish seafood industry ladder. Seafood consumption is set to grow globally and the company’s strengths should ensure that it is in a good position to grow with it.

Value added products such as these seabream fillets packaged in modified atmosphere are becoming increasingly popular on the Turkish market.

Kilic Holding Company Fact File Kemikler Koyu Mevkii Milas-Bodrum Karayolu 18. km TR Mugla Turkey Tel.: +90 252 5590283 Fax: +90 252 5590287 Chief Executive Officer: Mr Murat Bakirci

Activities: Juvenile production, on-growing, sales & marketing, fish feed production, manufacture of eps boxes Volumes: 30,000 tonnes seabass, seabream, other marine species, trout Products: Fresh whole round fish and fillets, frozen fish and fillets Packaged products: MAP fish, MAP fillets, value-added packaged products, canned fish Markets: EU, Russia, US, Middle East

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Kopuzmar focuses on margins to ensure its sustainability

High quality boutique production Kopuzmar offers a range of fresh and frozen products based on seabass, seabream, trout, and meagre. These include natural items, such as whole round fish, gutted fish, and fillets, as well as ready-to-cook products that combine fish with other ingredients to give a complete meal.


opuzmar went through a change in ownership in June 2013, when the original owners, after a long period of negotiation, sold their share to a private equity firm resulting in a new board of directors and an adjustment in strategy for the company. Ismail Aksoy, the marketing and sales director, says that one of the impacts

of the new ownership has been a substantial increase in sales capacity. The new owners have invested in the company giving it a solid financial foundation and bringing in more professional managers with the result that there are now over 300 people employed. The new board is also playing an active role in the company shifting its focus

from the domestic market to concentrate more on exports. The vision for the company has changed to one that is more global. We are now looking at exports of 90-95, says Mr Aksoy, as opposed to a ratio of 30 sales on the domestic market as we had in the past, and the products we focus on are value-added items.

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The relatively low volumes, high quality, and emphasis on value-added products, are all part of the vision of Kopuzmar to have a business that is focused and above all profitable, says Ismail Aksoy, Marketing and Sales Director.

40m of which part is used for the company’s own production while the rest is sold to other farmers. In Ismail Aksoy’s opinion over the last couple of years there has been a change in the focus of the fish farming industry. While in the past production was critical, companies produced as much as they could, today expansion in production is more measured as the industry realises that production is only half of the business, the produced volume also has to be sold. The crisis in Greece has probably also shown the Turkish industry what the consequences can be of unfettered expansion in production. Expanding

production capacity calls for significant capital and if the fish cannot be sold or sold only at very low prices it can drive a company to the wall. The competition between Greek and Turkish companies has had its fallout and now the industry in Turkey is healthier, says Mr Aksoy. Most of the exporting companies that are left are big and stable and are self-disciplined enough to make only modest increases in production. The effect of these changes is already apparent; there have been less fluctuations in the price over the last year and since January this year prices have been stable or showing a slight upward trend.

Over the last five or six years demand for seabass and seabream has been increasing as many countries with no history of importing these species have started buying from producers in Turkey. Among them are Russia, countries of the Middle East and North Africa, as well as the United States. Despite increasing demand we do not expect very high prices, says Mr Aksoy, but that is actually preferable to us because high prices tend to upset the market and reduce demand as customers switch to other products or other proteins. From our point of view stable prices are more desirable as they are more conducive to the sustainability of our business, he adds. Kopuzmar has a range of value-added products in its portfolio, but the bulk of the production is processed products like fillets. Here too Kopuzmar is seeing growth not only in markets in northern Europe where convenience products are well established, but also in southern European countries and even in Turkey where there is a historic preference for whole fish. Changing lifestyles, greater numbers of women in the workforce, and the need to be able to quickly prepare a meal are among the reasons for the growing popularity of fillets. In addition, fillets of seabass and seabream with their white meat, high content of omega-3s, and reasonable price offer a combination of advantages that not many other products can match.

Meagre offers a lot of potential

Kopuzmar owns all the steps in the production chain, from fish feed manufacturing, hatchery, on-growing, processing and packaging, to marketing and sales. 58

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The production of seabass and seabream at Kopuzmar is currently 3,500 tonnes and it has a further two licenses each for 2,000 tonnes, of which one will be used this year. Seabass and seabream producers were entitled to a subsidy from the government, which has recently been

slashed. Many companies continued producing using a business model that depended on the subsidy, says Mr Aksoy, now that it has been cut back we will soon see the effect it has on companies. Our production is small so the impact of the subsidy or lack thereof is only slight. While most of the production is seabass and seabream Kopuzmar was also one of the first companies to introduce farmed meagre (Argyrosomus regius) to the market, a species which it still produces in modest quantities. Meagre was known as a wild fish, but catches of meagre had been decreasing for some years when Kopuzmar decided to farm it. Production today amounts to some 500 tonnes a year and the company has been filleting the fish and exporting the fillets to European countries. The advantage of meagre is that it can grow very rapidly, so producing a large fish or a large fillet is cheaper than with seabass for example. All the company’s units, the hatchery, feed mill, and farms, are certified to the GlobalG.A.P. standard. The processing facility is certified to the BRC (British Retail Consortium) as well as IFS (International Featured Standards) standards. The company supplies its feed mill with raw materials from the Black Sea, which Mr Aksoy says are superior to that obtained from South America due to a higher protein content. In addition the distance to be covered between the fishmeal factory on the Black Sea and company’s feed mill is considerably less than the distance the fishmeal from South America has to traverse. This, he says, means that there are fewer additional ingredients needed to minimise, for example, oxidation. Kopuzmar’s entire fishmeal production of 10-15 thousand tonnes per year is

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The processing facility is certified to the IFS (International Featured Standards) as well as the BRC (British Retail Consortium) standard ensuring the high quality of the production.

used for its own purposes. Since the volume is relatively small and is used only for their own farmed fish the quality of the fish feed is paramount and the company insists on the highest quality of raw materials. We try not to substitute the fishmeal and fishoil we use in our feed with products of vegetable origin, explains Mr Askoy. If we were commercial producers of fish feed, who sold the product on the market, it would have been a different

situation. As it is we need a feed that will result in a high quality product in the shortest possible time. The relatively low volumes, high quality, emphasis on value-added products, are all part of the vision of Kopuzmar to have a business that is focused and above all profitable. We are in this business for the long term, says Mr Aksoy, and we can only do that if the margins are reasonable.

Kopuzmar’s frozen fillets are especially popular in northern Europe where convenience products are well established, but changing lifestyles are affecting southern European sales as well.

Ugurlu Balik Üretim Ve Ticaret LTD. STI. Company Fact File Marketing and Sales Director: Mr Ismail Aksoy Products: Seabass, seabream, meagre, trout Product form: Frozen fillets Volumes: 3,500 tonnes (whole fish) Markets: Europe, Russia, Middle East, North Africa, USA Employees: 300

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More Aquaculture – complies with all food safety standards

Frozen seabass fillets for international markets More Aquaculture is part of the AKG Group which has interests in construction and tourism apart from the aquaculture sector. More Aquaculture specialises in frozen fish, almost entirely seabass and seabream which it produces for the EU market, primarily the UK.


event Akgerman, Executive Director of More Aquaculture, says that business has been good, with demand, particularly for seabass, at higher levels today than at the same period last year, due in part to the crisis affecting the industry in Greece, which has resulted in lower production there. But while demand is strong at the moment he says that lower production in Greece is not necessarily a good thing for companies like his that specialise in frozen products. With fresh products there is greater acceptance for an increase in price and if the price of fresh fish goes up by one euro then the price of fillets goes up by at least two euros and customers buying frozen fish are unlikely to accept the higher price, he explains. If it gets too expensive they will just buy another species. For the moment however, things are going well with sales going to the UK, France and Germany.

Increasing demand for seabass Today More Aquaculture is producing 550 tonnes at one of its sites and 2,800 tonnes at another giving 3,350 tonnes in total of which 70 is seabass. The tonnage produced at a site and thereby the area of the site is determined by the license. The smaller site has an area of 60

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20,000 sq m as this has been calculated to be what is needed for a production of 550 tonnes. Last year production was split equally between the two species, however this year there is more demand for seabass. At the smaller site there are 20 cages for seabass and seabream each either 24 m, 20 m or 16 m in diameter located 1.5 km from the shore. The smaller cages are used for the younger fish. As More Aquaculture does not yet have its own hatchery it is buying fingerlings from two or three suppliers and introducing them into the cages. The company is however planning its own hatchery and has invested in a building, but is still some distance away from being able to go on stream. The fish are fed with a feed barge that visits each cage and pumps the feed into the cage using a system of compressed air. In summer the fish are fed twice a day as the water is warmer, the rate of metabolic activity is higher, and the fish grow more rapidly. In winter everything slows down and the fish need only be fed once a day. Seabass and seabream are usually farmed together, not in the same cages, but in different cages at the same site. But they are quite different in some respects, for example, seabream is a hardier fish while seabass needs to be

Yusuf Topaloglu, who is responsible for exports, and Gülhan Ural, the quality control and assurance expert.

vaccinated against disease; seabream also has a shorter growing time of between 14 and 16 months, while seabass takes 18 to 20 months for a portion-sized fish of 350 g. During the growing period the fish are graded by size and the nets on the cages are changed to reflect the bigger size of the fish. Density within the cages is maintained at 12-13 kg per cubic m. While 350 g is the most common size, the company can supply fish from 200 to 1,500 g. When the fish are harvested they are loaded into large tanks filled with ice and transported to the processing facility so they can be processed immediately.

Frozen fillets in 15 minutes Here the fish are descaled, graded, and filleted and the fillets are IQF frozen before being bulk packaged in cartons. The processing plant is EU-approved and certified to several international standards including HACCP, BRC, IFS, GlobalG.A.P., and Friend of the Sea, says Gülhan Ural, the quality control and assurance expert, which is valuable for our customers and ensures the quality of the production. Employees at the plant are subject to occupational safety and health regulations. The plant is equipped with modern machinery including

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is very high. In the unlikely event of a problem the traceability system will allow the source of the fault to be identified so that remedial measures can be taken. The system also allows consumers to learn more about a product they have bought by giving them a code which can be fed into a website that will generate the entire history of the product.

More Aquaculture is producing 550 tonnes at one of its sites and 2,800 tonnes at another giving 3,350 tonnes in total of which 70% is seabass.

Marel grading equipment, Pisces descaling machinery and fillet line, and Linde freezers, so that customers can rest assured that their products are made with

modern processing machines for high quality end products. The Linde tunnel freezer takes 15 minutes to freeze a batch and because it is frozen so quickly the quality

More Aquaculture started with the production of frozen fillets and now has started trials of frozen fillets in different kinds of marinade, for example, tomato sauce with seabass fillets or seabass fillets with white wine. So far these products have gone to a single company in Germany, but discussions with other German as well as Israeli companies are on-going. We need to innovate

constantly says Mr Topaloglu as we are not the biggest fish farm in Turkey, so we have to be able to quickly develop and place new products on the market. Once we introduce something new it will be copied by all the other companies so that the novelty fades very quickly and we have to be ready with something else.

Regular audits by major retailers Mr Yusuf Topaloglu, the person responsible for exports, is naturally always looking for new customers, yet at the same time he is wary of putting too many eggs into one basket. The customer portfolio needs to be diversified so that if something happens with one customer there are others to fall back on,


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In the EU-approved processing plant the fish are descaled, graded, and filleted and the fillets are IQF frozen before being bulk packaged in cartons.

More Aquaculture started with the production of frozen fillets and now has started trials of frozen fillets in different kinds of marinade.

some fish to this sector in Hong Kong and I imagine that we could do the same in China, says Mr Akgerman.

Main focus on frozen fillets

The processing plant is certified to several international standards, HACCP, BRC, IFS, GlobalG.A.P., and Friend of the Sea. These certifications improve production and are valued by the company’s customers.

we have to manage our production volumes carefully and not just depend on somebody who says he can take all that we produce. What happens to us if he suddenly goes bankrupt? The UK, France and Germany are the company’s main markets. In the UK the fish is sold to importers who sell it further to the retailers, but More Aquaculture also sells directly to processing companies, who defrost the fillets and put them into trays combined with herbs, spices or other ingredients and sell them to the supermarkets. Although the company is not supplying to the supermarkets directly it is subject to regular audits by all the retailers, who need to ensure that products sold in 62

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their stores come from certified facilities. Recently More Aquaculture has been exporting fresh fish to the USA. Mr Akgerman is bullish about the American market; consumers there are familiar with European seabass, where it is called branzino, as they have their own versions (black seabass, striped seabass, and seabass) both wild and farmed, Italian and Greek restaurants like to offer it, and at the smarter seafood restaurants too it is popular. Another market the company is looking at is China, where the target is hotels and restaurants that are frequented by European tourists and business people. We already sell

Although More Aquaculture can supply both fresh and frozen products the focus is overwhelmingly on frozen items thanks to the specialised nature of the production facility. Fillets are more profitable than whole fish and the investments in filleting personnel and equipment as well as freezing machinery needs to be exploited to the maximum. Another issue is the volumes of fish produced; companies supplying fresh fish need to have large volumes which

they can harvest and sell quickly even if margins are low, which for More Aquaculture is not an option. The weakness of the Turkish currency today should benefit exporters, but as Mr Akgerman points out the cost of feed, one of his main expenses, is denominated in US dollars so he sees no benefit from the lower Turkish lira. More Aquaculture is planning a small expansion of its factory to be able to store greater volumes of frozen products before they are sold. The capacity of the cold store is currently insufficient to be able to efficiently store and retrieve the product and the increase in space which will be ready in summer will make it easier for the production staff.

More Aquaculture Company Fact File Kemalpasa Cad. 6170/1 Sokak No. 5/1, Isikkent TR 35210 Izmir Turkey Tel.: +90 232 483 1010 Fax: +90 232 441 4962

Executive Director: Mr Levent Akgerman Volumes: 3,350 tonnes, 70% seabass, 30% seabream Products: Frozen fillets, frozen marinated fillets, fresh fish Markets: UK, France, Germany, Italy, Hong Kong, USA Employees: 120

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Turkish Aquaculture Farmers’ Central Union

Promoting sustainable aquaculture Production from fish farming in Turkey has increased several fold over the last decade or so. Aquaculture is both marine and freshwater and is distributed over most of the country with concentrations of marine farms along the western coast, and trout farms in the east. Farmers are organised into provincial unions that themselves belong to a central union which fights for its members’ interests at the national level. Faruk Coskun, the President of the Aquaculture Farmers’ Central Union speaks here about some of the issues affecting Turkish fish farming. The aquaculture sector in Turkey is represented by many national and international institutions and organizations. What are the role and priorities of your organization? The Aquaculture Farmers’ Central Union is a non-governmental organization comprising aquaculture producers in Turkey. Farmers establish Aquaculture Farmers’ Unions in provinces and these Unions constitute the Central Union in Ankara. Currently, there are 18 provincial Farmers’ Unions established in various cities of the country connected to the Central Union, which represents almost 1,000 farmers. The Central Union is the largest organization representing aquaculture farmers in Turkey. Its priority is providing sustainable aquaculture farming and contributing to the further development of the sector by protecting its member farmers’ rights and interests. The Central Union plays a major role in the formulation and implementation of aquaculture policies by cooperating with related public institutions and organizations. In addition, it has duties such as carrying out studies on the subject of EU harmonization, conducting educational

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and promotional activities for producers, and representing its farmers in domestic and international events. As a producers’ union, does your organization have an interest in market-related subjects such as export incentives? Decisions on all kinds of incentive including export incentives are made by the government in Turkey. The Central Union does not have a duty or an activity such as direct export incentive. However, it declares its opinions to related public institutions on this issue on behalf of farmers. Regarding markets and marketing, it helps its member producers by supplying information based on the studies it carries out. What is your Union’s relation with the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock? What shape does this support take? The Central Union was established within the framework of the Law of Producers’ Unions enacted by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock. Its documents of constitution have been inspected and approved by the ministry. There exists a close relation between the ministry and the Central Union in the

Faruk Coskun, President, Aquaculture Farmers’ Central Union, an organization that represents nearly 1,000 Turkish fish farmers.

crafting of farming policies, and in discussing the problems of the sector and their potential solutions. An efficient cooperation is maintained by the exchange of technical information, and through various meetings, workshops and similar activities. Also, 0.1 of the production support given to producers by the ministry is registered to the Central Union as revenue.

Aquaculture in Turkey represents a success story by increasing from 80,000 tonnes to 212,000 tonnes within the last 10 years. What are the factors behind this success and what is needed to maintain this development? Yes, farmed fish in Turkey has shown significant development in recent years achieving a production volume of 212,000 tonnes. The most Eurofish Magazine 2/ 2014


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important reason for this success is that Turkey has sea and inland water conditions appropriate for aquaculture farming and these resources have clean water. Technical information and technical support provided by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock have played a vital role. The entrepreneurial spirit of investors, their understanding of the importance of aquaculture in the future by following the world and the food sector is an important factor. In addition, the incentives and credits provided by the government for the development of the sector have contributed to its growth. International and domestic demand, in particular from the EU, have been a propelling force, as well. Being able to secure the major portion of investment inputs from the local market and the existence of a rural labour force have also helped the development of the sector. Knowledge has accumulated with the participation of many aquaculture faculties and research institutions at universities and a qualified human resource has been created. Continuing this growth is dependent firstly on the sustainability of the sector. For this, international and domestic demand and marketing are important issues. As long as consumption is maintained, production will also accelerate. Farming new species, processing the fish, and delivering it to the market will play a role in this development by providing added value to products. Incentives for the application of quality and standards, and environmentfriendly farming technologies are important. Also, the feed conversion factor, and the costs of inputs are issues to be considered when assessing sustainability. Farmed fish production in Turkey has focused mainly on three species, trout, seabass and 64

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seabream. Do you foresee any other species reaching the same level of importance in the future? In addition to farming trout, bass and bream, an intense effort has been spent on farming other species as well and recently research and development efforts have been accelerated. Production of some new species such as common seabream, umbra, and rock bass has started and investments have also been made in sturgeon farming. In the food industry today the most important focus point is the sustainability of production. Sustainability in the aquaculture sector has concentrated mostly on the costs of energy/water and waste recycling with the reduced use of fishmeal and fish oil. Does the Turkish aquaculture sector make an effort in this direction? The aquaculture sector in Turkey is aware that the most important factor to restrict the production in the future is feed, and the availability of fishmeal and fish oil as raw materials for feed. It is a source of concern that supplies of fishmeal and fish oil can become difficult and prices could increase. Research and development has focused on finding other raw materials in order to substitute fish flour and fish oil, and developments in the world are being closely monitored. In addition to this, fish wastes and byproducts from processing plants are being recycled as raw material for the production of fishmeal. Energy cost in Turkey is very high especially with respect to EU countries. Water costs are at a relatively reasonable level. Energy and labour form the major costs in the processing industry. The EU is Turkeyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest export market for farmed fish. What are the other important markets?

The Turkish aquaculture sector comprises marine fish farms, where the main production is seabass and seabream, and freshwater farms primarily cultivating trout.

How do they differ from the EU market? Which new markets is the sector focused on? Yes, the EU market is very important for Turkey as the major portion of the exports is made to EU countries. However, the sector is not satisfied with EU market alone and has been making serious efforts to find new markets. Russia is currently the most important non-EU destination, while the Caucasian countries and the Middle East are also gaining in importance. Export have also started to the United States of America. India and China are among targeted markets. Issues such as consumption patterns, demand for fish, increase in population, closeness to the market, convenient price, transportation opportunities etc. are among the criteria that are considered when contemplating new markets. Products sent to Europe are mostly treated or frozen portion-sized fish or frozen fillets. What about products with higher added value? What are your opinions about the competition of bream and seabass with fish such as tilapia and pangasius? At present, fish sent to Europe is mostly in the form of treated and frozen fish and fillets. Trout is also exported as smoked. The goal of the sector is of course exporting products with higher

value-added. Studies are on-going regarding this and investments in new processing facilities to produce items with greater valueadded have also been made. It has been suggested that tilapia and pangasius form an alternative and offer competition to bream and seabass. However, the meat quality and taste of Turkish seabream and seabass, which are marine fish, are good and trusted and cannot to be compared with other species. What is the opinion in your Union about certification programmes such as IFS and BRC? Could it be said that they contribute to higher quality and ease the trade? Of course, certification programmes such as IFS and BRC contribute to an increase in product standards and quality, and they make a positive difference to the trade of products. In many plants in Turkey, certification programmes are applied to product and environment quality. New certification programmes are also starting to be applied, such as for social aspects. Widespread application of these programmes in the industry is demanded and supported by our Union, as well. However, implementing such programmes entails a cost and are less popular among small and medium sized enterprises doing business with local markets.

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The Netherlands and the EU Common Fisheries Policy reform

Course for change was already set years ago The reform of Common Fisheries Policy presents great challenges to all Member States of the European Union. The fish industry in the Netherlands already began years ago to prepare for the necessary changes and to fundamentally reshape their country’s fishing industry and ensure its sustainability. EFF funds were used to finance numerous projects that were to make the fish industry more viable for the future.


he reformed EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) has been in effect since 1 January 2014. This reform is to finally do away with the obvious flaws and shortcomings of the European fisheries policy of earlier years. Originally, CFP was introduced in October 1970 to better balance the interests of European fishermen and consumers between supply and demand within the Common Organisation of the Markets (CMO). All fishermen were to have equal access to EU waters and the jointly managed fish resources. Even at that time, European politicians had taken up the cause of conservation of fish stocks and their sustainable usage. However, what they lacked was the necessary staying power to implement these goals. For years the fishing quotas were set at levels that were clearly above the scientifically recommended quotas and only a few EU countries reduced fishing capacity to the extent that was necessary and had been decided. The consequences of this irresponsible treatment of resources were fatal, although fish stocks are renewable they are not inexhaustible. In the same proportion as overfishing


of numerous stocks increased and became highly visible to the outside world, protests and outrage among the public grew. It was under this bottom-up pressure that the recent CFP reform was decided. This reform, too, leaves open some wishes but – if it is implemented with the necessary energy – it could initiate the turn towards sustainability in the European fishing industry and in the long term improve its productivity and profitability. One of the countries that were most strongly behind a rigorous change in course of European fisheries policy is the Netherlands. The little country is an important hub within the European fish industry. In addition to the landings of the Dutch fishing fleet which amount to between 390,000 and 450,000 t with a total value of about 400 million euros, the Netherlands imports about 800,000 t of fish and seafood every year at a value of just under 2 billion euros. Most of this total is processed and re-exported, an export volume amounting to over 850,000 t. In good years it can sometimes be more than one million tonnes. The Dutch thus do not only import and export fish

but also increase their profits through value adding. Per capita consumption of fish in the Netherlands averages just under 20 kg and is thus below the EU average of about 22 kg. About 10,000 people, one quarter of them women, are employed in the fishery sector alone. In 2013, 840 fishing vessels with a gross tonnage of 163,754 were registered. About one third of them measured below 12 metres. The Dutch cutter fleet consists of about 430 vessels, mostly beam trawlers for catching plaice and sole, but also eurocutters and special shrimp cutters. The larger trawlers mainly fish herring, mackerel and horse mackerel. The fish is processed and frozen on board. Apart from that, the Netherlands have a wellequipped mussel fleet. The North Sea is the biggest and commercially most important fishing region for the Netherlands. It is mainly small cutters that use beam trawls to catch sole, plaice and other flatfish species that are to be found directly above the seabed. The fishery within the 12 sea mile zone is also very significant. This fishery targets blue mussels (Zeeland), oysters (in Grevelingenmeer and

Oosterschelde) and North Sea shrimp (Friesland and Groningenin). Fresh water species such as eel, pike, perch and zander are mainly caught in the Ijsselmeer, large rivers and lakes and in other inland waters. Due to the pollution of these waters with pesticides and other harmful substances these fishes can sometimes only be marketed under certain conditions. Holland also has a respectable deep see fishery which operates in European and African waters and in the Pacific. The vessels used here have processing capacities to process and freeze the catches directly on board.

EU funding used specifically for strategic projects Together with the fishermen and the fish industry the Dutch government takes care that the sector remains modern, productive and profitable and also supports it as it moves towards a more sustainable and more environmentally compatible future. The Dutch have for a long time already made good use of financial funding that the EFF programme of the EU offers them. Although the country’s Eurofish Magazine 2/ 2014


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André Nikolaus, Fachpresse Verlag


The Netherlands is an important hub within the European fisheries sector with a significant processing and trading industry.

fishery only had a small share of this funding that was provided by the EU to subsidise the European fish industry – 48.6 m EUR between 2007 and 2013 of the total of 3.55 billion – they succeeded in increasing their competitiveness. Altogether, 120 m euros were available for reorganisation, thanks to a contribution of 72 m from the Dutch government. In the EFF programme period 2007 to 2013 (which coincided with the discussion process of CFP reform) most money (44.6 m EUR) went into efforts to make adjustments within the fishing fleet. But aquaculture, processing and marketing (17.2 m EUR) and measures to achieve sustainable reorganisation of the fishery (10 m EUR) also received funding. 66

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Major focus was placed on the development of new, environmentally friendly fishing methods and on the extension and certification of sustainable farming techniques in aquaculture. Within the fishing sector, for example, a new technique was tested that is to be used when fishing plaice and sole. “Pulse trawling” does without the chains which up to now were hung at the bottom of the net opening and were dragged over the seabed with the fishing gear. Instead, weak electric impulses are to be used to rouse the fishes from the seabed. This procedure is gentle on the seabed and causes less damages to the organisms that live there. Changes are also underway in Dutch mussel farming and these are to be completed by

2020. In place of the traditional techniques for capturing seed, mussel seed capture installations (MZIs) are being used increasingly. These are complex rope or net constructions on which the young mussel larvae can settle. Experiments have so far shown that this method is promising from both economic and ecological aspects. A further focus of the funding programme is the extension of sustainable aquaculture. In contrast to developments elsewhere in the world, the number of aquaculture operations in the Netherlands is decreasing, as is production from aquaculture. The government has therefore set itself the goal of stopping this development and reversing the trend. Together with scientists an action plan was devised and

adopted which is to make it easier for potential investors to gain access to funding programmes and bank loans. As nearly everywhere in Europe, in the run-up to CFP reform discards played a central role in public discussion in the Netherlands, too. Right from the start the Dutch were committed to reducing by-catches as far as possible through technical and administrative measures and banning the unsustainable practice of throwing unwanted fishes back into the sea... even if this caused considerably higher costs for the fish industry, as a study that was commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs confirms. According to this study, the compulsory landing of all fishes caught would cost the fish industry between 6 and 28 million EUR annually depending on how high the work and transport costs were in the individual fisheries, the costs for loss of space on board and the fact that by-catches had to be booked against the fishing quota. The sales price for the by-catch was set at 0.15 to 0.30 EUR. Additional costs for monitoring cameras (about 6 million euros) and the necessary inspectors on board the fishing vessels (approx. 18 m euros) are not even taken into account in this calculation.

Innovation and cooperation create new opportunities It almost looks as if the Dutch are better prepared for the changes that will result from CFP reform than some other nations in the EU. Things looked very different, however, a few years ago. Around the year 2005 the fishing sector was suffering major

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Together with the government and scientists the fish industry searched for ways to make fishing more ecologically and economically sustainable. After the necessary investigations, a task force appointed by the government came to the conclusion that the traditional beam trawl fishery in the North Sea, a core area of the Dutch fish industry, no longer had a future due to its lack of sustainability. New fishing methods were needed. This set in motion a development process that led, among other things, to innovations like the pulse trawling described above. With the support of the EFF programme of the EU, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fisheries Innovation Platformsâ&#x20AC;? (FIP) were founded that brought together participants from all areas of the fish industry between 2007 and 2011, stimulated and funded innovations, and in this way decisively influenced the direction of the change process. The main aim was to encourage all those directly or indirectly involved, i.e. fishermen, technology suppliers, processors,


scientists, traders and NGOs, to closer cooperation. This was a huge challenge given the wellknown fact that the fish industry is very strongly rooted in traditions, and that it is fragmented and individualistic. However, in order to give the industry a perspective again, and to make it a branch of industry that could meet the demands of a changed world, fishermen, too, have to act as entrepreneurs and actively shape their own destinies. Within the FIPs five â&#x20AC;&#x153;blueportsâ&#x20AC;?, regional innovation networks, were founded in 2012 and today they push forward the development processes within the industry towards increased sustainability in fishing and aquaculture. They constitute a decisive management element in Dutch fisheries policy which aims at more innovation and cooperation. With the support of the current European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) which has replaced the previous EU support fund EFF, the Dutch fish industry plans to achieve four basic objectives by 2025: r Ç&#x201D;F DBQBDJUJFT BOE ĂŞTIJOH techniques of the fishing fleet are to be consistent with the ecological possibilities of the resources. r *OWFTUNFOUT  TQFDJĂŞD NBSLFU ing, and market-driven, more highly processed products (more value adding) should lead to a significant increase in the profitability of the fish industry. r &WFSZ ĂŞTIFSNBO IBT UP ĂŞOE new areas of activity and sources of income beyond his current fishing activities in order to make him less dependent on financial aid. r Ç&#x201D;   F VTF PG GPTTJM GVFMT JO UIF fishing sector and fish processing has to be further drastically reduced.

AndrĂŠ Nikolaus, Fachpresse Verlag

problems. The fishing quotas had been reduced, fuel costs were rising, and profitability within the industry was on a downward turn. There was outrage and vigorous discussion among the public over the increase in overfishing, allegedly destructive fishing practices, and the influence of the fishery on the marine ecosystems. During this difficult phase the fish industry turned to the Dutch parliament for help and support. It was clear to all participants that the negative development and poor image of the fishery necessitated a rigorous course change in many areas, involving a turning away from traditional techniques and methods.

Small cutters use beam trawls to catch sole, plaice and other flatfish species that are to be found directly above the seabed.

Networks help identify and develop reserves Already in 2008, six years before the reformed CFP came into effect, the Dutch began bringing together and organising interested entrepreneurs, investors, fishermen, scientists and other experts in special areas of the fishery. This method has already proved to be very effective in the agriculture sector. In the meantime there are 14 â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fisheries Knowledge Networksâ&#x20AC;? in the Netherlands that inform one another and exchange information regularly on important details and key issues of their work, for example on alternative,

environmentally friendly fishing methods, improvements that might make fishing and aquaculture more sustainable, or feasible ways of saving fuel. What it nearly always comes down to in the end is how to fish and work in a more sustainable, more environmentally friendly and more socially responsible way without having to suffer losses in income. Each network is accompanied by one or two scientists who pick up unsolved issues and problems and then search for answers. They also organise exchange between the participants. These networks give fishermen the unique chance to gain new knowledge quickly and easily, Eurofish Magazine 2/ 2014


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André Nikolaus, Fachpresse Verlag


The Netherlands has been one of the countries most strongly supporting a change in the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy.

knowledge that has already been tested and can therefore often be used directly. The success of these networks, which deal for example with the North Sea fishery, mussel farming and other aquaculture forms, is based on the willingness of their members to share acquired knowledge and new insights with colleagues who are frequently also competitors. Through these developments and in the course of time over 150 concrete innovation and cooperation projects have been initiated in the Netherlands which with the financial aid of the EU have made the country’s fish industry more fit for the future. All along the supply chain closer cooperation, technological improvements or more effective know-how are to be found. When in 2007 the fishing fleet had to be reduced in size 68

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by 15 on account of the stock situation the responsible politicians concentrated on presenting potential economic perspectives to the remaining fishermen. 180 fishermen accepted the offered support and wrote – most of them presumably for the first time in their lives – detailed business plans in which they presented the chances, strategies and risks of the economic future of their operations. In doing so, a lot of them for the first time became aware of the significance of sustainable and environmentally responsible management of resources for their long-term work prospects. With the help of various projects fisheries enterprises are now trying to increase the sustainability of their trade and improve their image among the public. The

Ekofish Group, for example, is looking for new ways to catch flatfish. In the context of the project “Fish Stunning at Sea” they are examining possibilities of killing the fishes humanely with electric current immediately after the catch. CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) cameras were installed on about 20 shrimp and flatfish cutters, among them the GO-58, to keep an eye on the fishermen as they work. In this way all fishery activities on board the vessels can be monitored making it possible to identify the discard of undersized fishes straight away. Some fishermen have even made significant changes and have discovered new resources for themselves. One example of this is crabs that live directly off the coasts and can be caught live like lobsters in traps. This is particularly sustainable since

undersized creatures can be put back into the sea directly. And new nets are also being tested with escape windows and technical equipment such as the wing shaped SumWing that reduces damages to the ecosystem and also saves fuel. There are new projects and developments in the aquaculture sector, too. When collecting mussel seed, collectors are being used more and more. The company Seafarm has specialised in hatching fry for Dutch fish farms, and Hortimare is working on methods for algae and sea grass culture. These can enhance the environmental friendliness of fish farming in integrated aquaculture facilities because the aquatic plants absorb substances that are excreted by the fishes. In the project Glasaal Volendam the participating partners are trying to solve the problem of eel reproduction for the first time within a commercial enterprise. All these efforts will result in benefits not only for fishermen and companies but also for society as a whole. Everywhere in Europe the fish industries are in a state of transition. Fishing capacities have to be adapted to fish resources and the step towards sustainability has to be completed. This sometimes demands harsh cuts and new thinking, fishing communities and whole coastal regions that lived for centuries from and with fish and fishing have to diversify more strongly and look for new sources of income. The example of the Netherlands, where they already began years ago adapting to the changing situation, shows that this change which the reformed Common Fisheries Policy of the EU is now to bring about, is quite possible and promising. mk

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[ CERTIFICATION ] Growth in farmed seafood production increases the need for responsible management

Aquaculture certification benefits entire production chain The sustainability of aquaculture production is a major concern to retailers and consumers worldwide. As the demand for aquaculture products rises, all stakeholders involved are under pressure to develop sustainable aquaculture production processes and to communicate their commitment to consumers, who not only need reassurance, but also justification for the prices of aquaculture products. One tool available on the market that can fulfil both requirements is certification. Since 2003, aquaculture certification not only helps producers gain access to global markets but also supports them in adopting and implementing better management practices in their production processes.


quaculture is one of the fastest growing food production industries in the world. With a projected world population of 9.6 billion by 2050, one of the major challenges facing the industry is generating the expected volumes of proteins for human consumption from aquatic farming through a sustainable process that is based on responsible practices. Aquaculture production systems require different risk management procedures at different stages of production, each involving the implementation of specific requirements to ensure food safety. Successful implementation means these responsible practices and risk control measures have been fully integrated in all the planning and operation procedures within farming production systems.

Aquaculture certification offers the ideal solution Certification by GlobalG.A.P. applies to a diversity of aquaculture species, linked to scientific names to avoid the mislabelling of final products. It covers the entire production process, from compound feed and hatchery


seedlings, to grow-out, harvesting, and post-harvest handling. This certification also defines risk assessment requirements on: food safety, worker health and safety, hygiene, food defence, chemical storage, spillage, transport of chemicals, hazards, medicinal residues, common diseases, animal health and welfare, water quality, pathogen and disease spread, escapes, transport systems and associated equipment, pest infestation, environmental risk assessment, biodiversity, and social practices. Finally, it offers a holistic approach by helping farmers implement strong management and operation practices. What began as a standard for salmonids, and later tilapia, pangasius and shrimps, has now become a standard that applies to a diversity of finfish, crustaceans and molluscs and extends to all farmed species, whereby fry or larvae are obtained either from hatcheries or collected passively in the planktonic phase from the wild. The standard covers the entire production chain, from broodstock, seedlings and feed suppliers, to farming, harvesting, processing and

The standard covers the entire production chain, from broodstock, seedlings and feed suppliers, to farming, harvesting, processing and post-harvest handling operations.

post-harvest handling operations. Aquaculture producers can only gain certification if all production stages are checked and comply with traceability requirements. Covering the full production chain reduces the overall risk of lacking traceability. Risk management is an ongoing, daily learning process. Feedback from the field in terms of implementation of the standard as well as interpretation by third-party audits is constantly taken into consideration in order to provide improvements to the standard. This in turn promotes the continuous improvement in overall management practices, including risk management. Despite concerns that the stringency of the GlobalG.A.P. certification system in comparison to local legislation

could hinder implementation, developments have shown that producers in developing countries have been very successful in applying the responsible practices and risk management procedures requested through the standard. And the certification is commonly used as a guide for responsible production process practices. Alongside putting good aquaculture practices in place at the grow-out farming stage, certification defines criteria to ensure food safety and traceability of compound feed used at the aquatic farming and hatchery levels through the GlobalG.A.P. Compound Feed Manufacturing Standard (CFM). Certified aquaculture producers are required to source the compound feed they use from CFM-certified compound feed manufacturers or benchmarked standards.

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Almost 2 million tonnes of farmed seafood, four times the volume in 2010, have so far been certified to the GlobalG.A.P. standard in 29 countries.

Three certifiers agree to collaborate on certain topics In April 2013, GlobalG.A.P., the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding that identified a number of topics where collaborative action would create efficiencies and promote

the uptake of the respective programs. An early priority identified was to review how the standards address the sourcing of fishmeal and fish oil (FMFO). These raw materials are important for the production of feed used for the farming of fish and crustaceans. Unfortunately, when sourced from fisheries that do not follow responsible management practices, significant negative environmental

impacts occur. Common criteria identified were: – Traceability to the species and, at least, to the country of origin. – No use of material sourced from endangered species based on IUCN’s red list. – Avoidance of fish sourced from illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU). – Preference for feed manufacturers with publicly available evidence of responsible sourcing, such as third-party certified sourcing of FMFO derived from fisheries and aquaculture, including FMFO derived from fish by-products. Regardless of the certification program chosen and implemented, the aqua feed sector is expected to apply the above common criteria as a minimum set of requirements when sourcing FMFO ingredients. The GlobalG.A.P. Chain of Custody Standard gives aquaculture producers a high level of transparency and integrity by identifying the status of their products throughout the entire production and supply chain, from the farm to the retailer. The standard lays

out strict requirements for handling certified products as well as the proper segregation of certified and non-certified produce in the processing operation units.

GlobalG.A.P. Integrated Farm Assurance for Aquaculture – The Next Version The GlobalG.A.P. Standard revision process follows ISO Guide 59 - Code of Good Practice for Standardization. 2014 marks the start of the next revision process for the standards. In addition to maintaining and preserving criteria that comply with the technical guidelines on aquaculture certification set by both the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and the FAO, the aquaculture sector expects that the next version of GlobalG.A.P. Aquaculture Certification will incorporate feedback from the last 4 years of implementation, as well as a strong approach on worldwide standards harmonization to support cost reduction and efficiency at farm level. For more information on the GlobalG.A.P. standards visit www.

Species covered by GlobalG.A.P standards

GlobalG.A.P. offers a holistic approach by helping farmers implement strong management practices that cover all the aspects of an operation.


Eurofish Magazine 2 / 2014


Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch), Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei), salmon trout (Salmo trutta trutta), gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata), meagre (Argyrosomus regius), barramundi (Lates calcarifer), pangasius tra (Pangasius hypophthalmus), pangasius basa (Pangasius bocourti), European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax), red porgy (Pagrus pagrus), sharpsnout seabream (Diplodus puntazzo), turbot (Scophthalmus maximus).

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[ AQUACULTURE ] Attracting investors is a priority for Piscicola-Cehu Silvaniei

A carp farm and modern processing unit with potential With over 124 ha of ponds and a capacity of about 170 tonnes/year, as well as a state-of-the-art processing facility, Piscicola S.R.L. in Cehu Silvaniei may become one of the important medium-sized fish farming enterprise in Romania, provided it receives an injection of capital in the near future.


ocated in the north-western part of the country, close to the border with Hungary and Ukraine, this family-owned and run business is specialised for more than 30 years in the production and distribution of farmed fish, both to wholesalers and retailers – the latter are mostly hypermarket chains, as well as open markets, located in the big cities of the region. Fish is sold live or refrigerated. Cyprinid cultivation is the most popular in Romania, including Piscicola’s, representing around 80 of the total aquaculture production. At Piscicola, common carp (Cyprinus carpio), silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix), crucian carp (Carassius carassius), bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis), and grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) are the main species produced. Meanwhile, catfish (Siluris glanis), pike perch (Stizostedion lucioperca) and pike (Esox lucius) are also farmed, albeit in smaller volumes. Having invested over EUR550,000 in the construction of a modern processing unit equipped with the latest equipment including refrigeration units, the factory can process 1,000 – 3,000 kg/day of finished product (e.g. gutted fish, fillets, etc.) to the highest EU standards.

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A promising business - from fish on ice to value added products However, over the past years, a series of internal and external factors has caused the company’s production to gradually drop. Significant investments made during the last four years combined with high interest rates resulted in an unhealthy financial situation. At the same time the overall European economic recession resulted in the market shrinking making it more difficult to sell the production. “We are looking for a strategic investor from the aquaculture and/or processing industries who is willing to work together with us” says Mr Ciprian Mitre, the young and dynamic manager of the enterprise. “I am convinced of the promising future of Piscicola’s business. I inherited a passion for farming from my father, a veterinarian and aquaculturist by education, and therefore earned a degree in fish farming from the Zootechnical University in ClujNapoca, after four years of study”.

Potential to diversify into related areas Despite the current financial problems Mr Mitre is convinced that a further investments will transform the currently stagnating business into an economically viable

Piscicola S.R.L has 124 ha of ponds with a production of 170 tonnes of which 100 tonnes are carp species.

activity. This will enable the current production to increase, as well as allow a diversification of activities, for example, into the production of value added products (smoked fish fillets) and the manufacture of fish feed. A business plan that has been prepared for investors shows that the return on investment can be made in 4-5 years, at a profitability rate of about 25. Several other factors also make Piscicola an attractive investment opportunity: the knowledge of the

national and international fish market, a large pond area which allows diversification into other activities, such as leisure fishing, few competing fish farmers in the region, a state-of-the-art EU-certified processing facility where a great variety of fish species can be processed as per the customers’ needs. Last but not least, the company’s flat organisational structure – three family members are the main owners and managers – allows flexibility and rapidity in decision making and daily operations.

S.C. Piscicola S.R.L. Cehu-Silvaniei Str. Ferma piscicola nr.21 455100 Cehu Silvaniei, Jud. Salaj Romania Telephone: +40 744794424 Email: Managing Director: Ciprian Mitre Activities: Fish farming, processing, angling

Facilities: Ponds of 124 ha, processing unit, fish shop Production: Common carp, Chinese carps, pike perch, pike Volumes: 170 tonnes, of which 100 tonnes carp species Customers: Hypermarkets, individuals, open markets

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[ TRADE AND MARKETS ] Fish trade continues to expand driven by increase in aquaculture production

Imports to emerging markets climb Driven by the expansion of aquaculture, total capture and aquaculture production is showing further growth. In 2012, total production volume reached 158 million tonnes and is expected to set a new record in 2013, at 160 million tonnes. Generally, developing countries continued to be the predominant producers, with a share of 82% of world fishery and 94% of world aquaculture production. Eighty eight percent of world’s aquaculture production was produced in Asia. In the last biennium China confirmed its role as the principal producer, with 57 million tonnes in 2012, of which about 40 million tonnes originates from aquaculture.


ompared with a decade ago, the 2012 total production data show an expansion of about 30 million tonnes. This is due to an increase in aquaculture production, which has grown on average by 6 per year in the period 2002-2012. In 2012, aquaculture production reached 67 million tonnes and projections for 2013 indicate further growth to about 70 million tonnes or 44 of total fishery production. However, recently the average annual growth rate of aquaculture production has decelerated as a result of disease problems, especially of shrimp. Capture fisheries declined by more than three percent in 2012 because of lower landings of anchoveta in South America. The reduced catches also triggered a decline in fishmeal and fish oil production with a subsequent strong price increase. Estimates for 2013 show a further moderate decline of capture fisheries to about 90 million tonnes, which is in line with the patterns seen over the last two decades. The OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2012-2022 projects that these trends will continue in the next decade. It is expected that total world fisheries production will reach about 181 million tonnes by 2022, representing an 18 increase compared with the 2010-2012 base period. It is 72

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expected that this development will be driven by aquaculture, which is projected to increase by 35, while capture fisheries will grow at a moderate rate – about 5 – mainly because of the predicted recovery of some fish stocks.

Fish exports touch new record The trade in fish products has expanded considerably during the last few decades. After a period of strong increase in 2011 (16 compared with 2010) and early 2012, international trade in fish and fishery products has continued to expand, although not as rapidly. In 2012, fishery exports reached USD 129.3 billion, a modest increase over 2011 (only one percent), but the highest level ever reported. Preliminary estimates for 2013 point to a further increase to about USD 132.2 billion, a slower growth rate than in 2010-2011 and early 2012. Despite the renewed economic instability experienced in 2012-2013 in many of the world’s leading economies, the long term trend for fish trade remains positive. In the period 2011-2012 developing countries confirmed their fundamental role as suppliers to world markets with about 54 of the value and more than 60 of the volume (live weight

Although estimates for 2013 show a moderate decline of capture fisheries to about 90 million tonnes, an OECD-FAO report suggests that in the decade up to 2022 capture fisheries will grow slightly mainly because of the predicted recovery of some fish stocks.

equivalent) of total fishery exports. Since 2002 China has been the world’s largest exporter of fish and fishery products. In 2013 China’s exports reached USD 19.6 billion, followed by Norway (USD 10.4 billion) and Thailand (USD 7.0 billion). Norway, the second largest exporter, has a diverse product range – from farmed salmonids to small pelagic and traditional whitefish species. Thailand experienced a decline of its exports (about 12) due to reduced production volumes of farmed shrimp caused by disease. Thailand is largely dependent on imported raw materials. In contrast, Vietnam, the fourth largest world exporter, has a growing domestic resource base and imports only limited, albeit growing, volumes of raw material.

Dependency on fish imports is growing in emerging markets Fish imports rose by 108 from 2002 to 2012, reaching USD 129.4 billion. Developed countries accounted for about 73 of total imports in value terms. Preliminary estimates for 2013 indicate a growth to USD 137 billion. The EU is by far the largest single market for imported fish and fishery products. In 2012, EU-27 imports (including intra-EU trade) reached USD 47.1 billion, down 4 from 2011, representing 36 of total world imports. The EU’s dependency on imports for fish consumption is growing. This is a result of the positive trend in consumption and further expansion of supply.

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[ TRADE AND MARKETS ] The USA and Japan, like the EU, are highly dependent on imports for fish consumption (at about 60 and 54, respectively, of total fish supply). In 2013 Japan’s imports declined by about 15, owing partly to a weaker currency, which made imports more expensive. Since 2011, China has become an important importing country as a result of outsourcing. Chinese processors import raw material from all major regions, including South and North America and Europe, for re-processing and re-export. It also reflects China’s growing domestic consumption of species not available from local supply sources. In addition to the major importing markets, a number of emerging countries are growing in importance to the world’s exporters. Among these markets are Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Egypt, and Asia and the Middle East in general. Improved domestic distribution systems as well as growing aquaculture production have played a role in increasing regional trade. Eastern and Central Europe have also seen growing imports in response to increasing purchasing power among consumers.

Shrimp, salmonids and groundfish – main commodities traded Shrimp continues to be the most important commodity traded worldwide in value terms, accounting for about 15 of the total value. Shrimp is mainly produced in developing countries. However, growing demand in the domestic markets, as economic conditions improve, is leading to lower export volumes and increased domestic consumption. In 2012 and early 2013 farmed shrimp production volumes decreased, influenced by disease. This reduced supply and pushed shrimp prices higher worldwide. Buyers were

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influencing prices with sustained demand, as for example in the USA and China. In contrast, several European countries and Japan have experienced lower imports. The Japanese market, dependent on imported supplies of shrimp, is also suffering because of weaker yen and increased landing costs. Trade of salmon and trout, groundfish (hake, cod, haddock and Alaska Pollock), and tuna constitutes 14, 10 and 9 of the total value, respectively. Salmonids share in world trade has increased strongly over the last decades to the present 14 thanks to the expansion of salmon and trout aquaculture production in northern Europe and in North and South America. In Chile, the second major producer and exporter after Norway, the salmon industry is undergoing a transformation process that seeks to overcome the post-financial crisis and to address higher production costs resulting from stricter production regulations. The market for groundfish species seems widely diversified. Overall supply was higher in 2012 and at the beginning of 2013 thanks to the recovery of some stocks. However, there were differences depending on species, for example, abundant supply of Arctic cod and a shortage of saithe and haddock. Cod remained the most expensive groundfish. Recently farmed whitefish species, in particular less expensive tilapia and pangasius, have gained their position in the market. The main markets for pangasius are the EU, USA, Japan, Russia, Egypt, the Middle East and South America as well as Africa. However, in 2013 output in Viet Nam, the main producing and exporting country, was lower, and there are positive developments in other producing countries in Asia due to steady demand in the global market. Tilapia continues to be popular in the USA with Asian and Central American countries

In the period 2011-2012 developing countries confirmed their fundamental role as suppliers to world markets with about 54% of the value and more than 60 percent of the volume (live weight equivalent) of total fishery exports.

the main suppliers of frozen and fresh tilapia, respectively. Demand in Europe for this species continues to be limited. Tilapia production is expanding in Asia, South America and Africa targeting domestic and regional rather than international markets. With some variations, overall tuna landings have been lower in 2013 compared to 2012, with prices reaching high levels. Japan, the largest sashimi market, has become less active with lower imports. Demand for fresh and chilled sashimi remained high in the USA, which is now the second largest market for non-canned tuna products. The canned tuna market fared better with improved imports in the USA and the EU where prices remained on a high plateau. Canned tuna demand has also improved in non-conventional markets, such as Asia. During 2013, the main markets for cephalopods remained strong, in particular Japan and the EU, in spite of difficult economic situation and high prices. In first half of 2013 octopus supplies were more abundant than previous year, in particular from Morocco. Squid production also improved, while cuttlefish supplies were slightly lower. Prices of cephalopods remained relatively high and this

trend is expected to continue.

Consumption follows trends in fish trade The increasing demand for and trade in fish has triggered farming of fish, in most cases limited to a few high value species such as shrimp and salmon as well as more affordable species such as carp, tilapia and pangasius. In 2010, global per capita consumption of fish was estimated at 18.9 kg, with fish accounting for 16.7 of the global population’s intake of animal proteins and 6.5 of all proteins consumed. Fish and fishery products play a crucial role in nutrition and are a source of nutrients that cannot be found in other food products. Fish is recognized as an excellent source of protein and plays a role in providing essential fatty acids and micronutrients deficient in many diets. Preliminary estimates for 2012 indicate a further growth in per capita consumption to 19.2 kg with major growth in emerging markets. The share of aquaculture products is estimated at 49 of the total fish supply for human consumption. A significant share of this production consists of low-value freshwater species, mainly destined for domestic markets. FAO Globefish Eurofish Magazine 2 / 2014


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[ TRADE AND MARKETS ] Analysis of salmon markets does not suggest cheap prices in the offing

Demand in US, EU should increase as economies grow At the Marel Salmon ShowHow event in Copenhagen in February an analyst from Rabobank analysed developments in the salmon market to make forecasts about the next years.


orjan Nikolik suggested that in 2014 Norwegian production of salmon would grow 5-8, while the forecast for Chile was more volatile at 1-10. Looking first at Norway, he said Norwegian salmon production is affected by the maximum allowable biomass (MAB), legislation which determines the biomass in the water. The license to farm salmon specifies the MAB, which is currently 780 tonnes (900 tonnes in Troms & Finnmark). Changes in the MAB legislation, which, for various reasons, are not unlikely, would affect production in Norway. Another important factor is the water temperature. Higher than normal water temperatures as experienced in 2012 make the fish more active therefore increasing their feeding activity and the rate at which they gain weight. The forecast for 2014 is that water temperatures will be higher, so taken together, higher temperatures and changes in biomass legislation could result in higher supply. On the other hand warmer water temperatures also increase the risk of disease which could have a negative impact on the supply, though this was not the case the last time water temperatures were high, in 2011/2012. In general, the analyst felt that 2014 would be a good year to be a salmon farmer in Norway.

The salmon displayed in this Riga supermarket is from Norway, where production is likely to increase 5-8% in 2014.

Moving to Chile Mr Nikolik painted a different picture. He pointed out

On the market side Mr Nikolik said demand looked as if it was


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that Chilean farmers were suffering from mortality rates of up to 15 at the marine stage reducing the harvest. Lice is another parameter that needs to be considered when looking at supply. In Chile data on lice were sparse until last year, when they started being published more regularly and, although patchy, they show a decline in overall lice numbers. On the other hand, biomass in Chile has been growing and this, according to Mr Nikolik is a bad sign as the larger the biomass the more the pressure on the environment and the greater risk of disease outbreaks. The industry in Chile is only just recovering from an outbreak of disease in 20072010, which erupted when biomass was some 650,000 tonnes, and it is

now again approaching that figure. Mr Nikolik also referred to the prospects of new legislation in Chile which should work to the benefit of the industry as it looks at the mortality rates and the sanitary conditions and then calculates the density of production. However the impact of the legislation will not be seen until 2015 or 2016 when production is expected to contract. The combination of legislative, biological, and financial issues is likely to result in greater consolidation in the industry and a decrease in production, leaving Norway as the main source of growth after 2015 or 2016.

increasing in both the EU and the US driven by reasonable growth in the economies of the two, as well as currencies that were strengthening against the exporters’. Declines in the price of fish feed due to cheaper raw materials should reduce costs for the producers. With regard to the price Mr Nikolik was more reluctant to commit himself saying that it may be a little less expensive at best. For processors visiting the Salmon ShowHow the message was perhaps a little mixed. High salmon prices through 2013 have been hard on the industry, but improvements in overall economic growth may increase demand while new markets such as China and Russia offer exciting prospects.

05/04/14 11:27 AM

[ TECHNOLOGY ] Gentle smoking lessens the preservative effect

Drastic reduction of hazardous substances in smoke After drying and salting, smoking is one of the oldest methods of preserving foods. All three techniques remove some of the tissue fluid from the food and thereby slow down spoilage and decay processes. This mode of action is still used today when we smoke food products. However, modern technology and electronic controls ensure an optimum smoke environment to produce healthier, tasty smoked products.


f in their efforts to protect themselves from flies and other pests Fred Flintstone and his relatives used to hang leftover fishes from the ceiling of their cave – and thus in the smoke that rose from the fire – they might have been surprised to notice that the smoke rendered the fish not only drier and more firm but also more durable… and that on top of that it tasted good, too! Archaeologists believe that people were already preserving certain foods with smoke 7,000 years ago, and perhaps even earlier. Mainly meat and fish but also vegetables and anything else that was on the menu in the outgoing New Stone Age. Without having the slightest clue about what actually happened during the smoking process our ancestors discovered over the course of time more and more possibilities and ways to increase the durability of smoked foods and to influence their texture and consistency, their colouring, smell and flavour in the way they wanted. Basically, the methods used at that time were similar or even the same as those that are today decisive for determining the quality of the final smoked products. Of the three early methods of preservation smoking is undoubtedly the most sophisticated and complex technique because

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it also makes use of individual work stages from salting and drying. For fish is usually wet or dry salted prior to smoking in order to intensify the flavour and to withdraw some of the water from the product in advance. After that, the fish has to be dried on the outside before it can be hung in the smoke. Although food products are smoked more gently today the fish still loses even more moisture during the smoking process. On average, the weight loss from the raw product to the finished smoked product is about 10 to 15. An exception to this rule is products for which the salt solution is injected directly into the tissue to compensate for the weight loss during the subsequent smoking process. In classic smoked products such as bloaters or red herring which hang in smoke for days on end water loss can even be as much as 40. Right up to the start of the 20th century when smokehouses were to be found on nearly every farm, smoking mainly served as a method of preservation: it was an important part of the household and a necessity for longer storage of supplies. Today, the focus is sooner on aspects such as product flavour and appearance. The traditional kilns in which the fish is still smoked above an open flame

In some supermarkets products are today even smoked directly behind the fish counter.

are a reminder of days gone by. At first sight the fully automatic, computer controlled smoking and curing plants that are used today in both small artisanal and largescale industrial smokehouses might seem to have little in common with the archaic technique of smoking. But closer inspection will reveal that they do in fact have numerous similarities since essential core elements of smoking are basically the same as those used by the cavemen and have remained the “soul” of this technology. The most striking difference between smoking then and now is that the individual process stages have been broken up as it were, and basic structural elements have been spatially separated from each other. In the past the smoke was

usually generated directly beneath the product, and the fishes were hung over the smouldering flame, which makes the term smokehouse seem fully justified. The intensity of the smouldering process and thus the density of the smoke could be controlled via the air draft, even if only to a limited extent. Apart from the choice of wood it was practically impossible to take any influence on the composition of the smoke. And because the smoke was not distributed evenly throughout the smokehouse it could happen quite frequently that fishes from the same batch were differently smoked: some more, some less strongly. Modern smoking systems can rule out such dissimilarities. The biggest change in contrast to the smoking kilns of former times

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[ TECHNOLOGY ] is probably that smoke generation no longer takes place in the chamber in which the fish are hung but in a separate chamber. This was a revolutionary structural change which made it possible for the first time to treat the smoke in different ways prior to its use, for example to purify or modify it.

probably the best known, 16 are considered to be harmful to health, six of these carcinogenic. To protect European consumers Directive (EG) No. 1881/2006 (Annex 6) lays down maximum levels for benzo[a] pyrene (5.0 μg/kg) and total limits for four other PAHs in smoked fish and fish products.

The smoke used for smoking contains over 400 different substances

In “normal” smoke these limits are often exceeded, however. Smokehouses mainly use two methods to reduce the content of PAHs and other undesired substances in the smoke. On the one hand, they try to stop the substances from developing at all through using as gentle smoke generation as possible and, on the other hand, they try to filter them out of the smoke. A lot of smokehouses use both methods simultaneously. The separation of smoke generation and smoke usage as is common today in modern smoking facilities offers optimal conditions to achieve this because the externally generated smoke, which arrives in the smoking chamber via pipes, can be cleaned on its way there. Smoke washing holds back numerous harmful substances and solid particles such as soot, ash or charcoal so that they never actually reach the smoking chamber. Some smoke generation methods, such as friction or steam smoke, don’t even need an open flame today. The smouldering temperature which is regulated exactly to a degree by computer can be selected so that less harmful substances are produced.

Smoke generation is based on an incomplete combustion process (pyrolysis) of wood, wood shavings, sawdust or other plant parts. This smouldering process takes place at temperatures of between about 260 and 500°C (it can also be initiated by steam that has been superheated to 350°C). This leads to the production of a variety of gaseous, liquid and solid substances of which so far only about 350 are precisely known, however. They include, for example, phenols, organic acids, carbonyls (aldehydes, ketones), alcohols and esters, plus vast amounts of microscopically small solid particles such as soot and metal oxide particles that float in finely dispersed forms, often as aerosols, together with the smoke. Some of these substances have positive and quite desirable effects, others are undesired or are suspected of being harmful to health or even carcinogenic. Phenols, for example, slow down spoilage processes in smoked products for they have an antimicrobial and anti-oxidative effect. Aldehydes and ketones which are often grouped together as carbonyls are largely responsible for the typical smoke aroma. Solid particles such as soot, tar and resin are viewed much more critically today, particularly polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which can occur during roasting and grilling as well as during incomplete combustion of organic materials such as wood. Of the 250 PAHs, among which benzo[a]pyrene is 76

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The composition of the smoke depends strongly on the method used to produce it. Closest to traditional smoking is smouldering: wood shavings or sawdust are smouldered openly or burnt on a burning plate. During this process temperatures of between 500 and 800 °C are produced as well as relatively large amounts of PAHs which necessitates thorough

Cold smoked salmon gets its typical features from the combination with a particular pre-treatment, here for example, hand salting.

pre-treatment of the smoulder smoke. In contrast, in the case of friction smoke (i.e. without an open flame) a massive wooden block is pressed against a rotating metal wheel. The resulting friction heat at 350 to 400°C makes the wooden stick burn up slowly during which a mild smoke develops, and this is largely free from tar and benzo[a] pyrene residues particularly in the lower temperature ranges. Similar temperatures also occur with vapour smoke in which superheated steam serves as the smoke generator. Although during this process typical pyrolysis products such as tar and ash hardly occur the smoke contains relatively large quantities of PAHs that have to be eliminated prior to smoking. To save this effort more and more smokehouses are today using industrially produced standardised liquid smoke aromas that practically contain no more PAHs and always deliver the same consistently reproducible smoking results. The liquid smoke (or to put it more correctly, purified smoke condensates) is regenerated for the smoking process and finely atomized in the smoking chamber. Its use thus demands specially equipped smoking plants. Liquid smoke products are on a par with traditional smoked products not only in

their colouring and flavour but also in their durability and texture.

New EU directive could give liquid smoke an added boost Smoke aromas, also called liquid smoke, are preparations from condensed and purified smoke that can be used for all conventional smoking methods such as cold or hot smoking. For the production of liquid smoke wood shavings are first smouldered largely under the absence of oxygen. The resulting smoke is condensed in water and afterwards broken down into three components. One of them remains unused and the other two (watery smoke condensate, water insoluble tar phase) are thoroughly cleaned and freed to as large an extent as possible from substances that are harmful to health such as PAHs. The primary smoke condensate that is produced in this way and the primary tar phase are the basis for the production of smoke aromas that then demand further complicated technical steps. Like conventional smoke, smoke condensates (or liquid smoke) contain more than 400 chemical compounds, among them phenols that produce the smoke aroma and carbonyls that are responsible

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[ TECHNOLOGY ] for the brown colouring. Because, however, smoke aromas are produced from fractionated and purified smoke, their use is considered to be less hazardous to health than traditional smoking. Whereas smoke aromas are used frequently in meat processing, they are still the exception in fish processing – in spite of their undeniable advantages. One reason for this could be uncertainties about the proper declaration of products that have been treated with smoke aromas. According to the European aroma directive (EG) Nr. 1334/2008 the addition of smoke aromas has to be specifically declared if they give the food a smoky flavour. This puts a lot of consumers off buying such products because the term “aromas” generally has a negative image. Since, however, this does not do justice to the advantages of smoke condensates as a healthier and environmentally friendlier alternative to traditional smoking, the EU Commission is trying to counter this effect and has presented a draft of a further directive (Document SANCO/11298/2013 Rev.1). According to this document, smoke condensates only have to be declared as smoke aromas in the list of ingredients if they have been added directly to the food, for example to a sauce, a soup or a snack. If, on the other hand, the primary smoke condensates are used for the production of smoke, it can simply be declared as “smoke”. This directive could give liquid smoke an additional boost within the fish processing sector, too. This means that smokehouses now have a “real” additional option for smoke generation, particularly since liquid smoke is just as good as smoulder and friction smoke for the three smoking techniques that are generally used in practice. Only two of these three

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techniques, hot and cold smoking, are of significance in the fish sector, however. The term hot smoking is used for smoking techniques that take place at temperatures between 50 and 120°C, mostly at 65 to 85°C. A typical smoking phase takes about 30 to 90 minutes. Hot smoking delivers “semi-preserved products with a medium shelf-life” that have to be eaten within a few days of their production. Typical hot smoked fish products are herring, eel, dogfish, mackerel and black halibut. Cold smoked fish products, which include salmon and herring fillets (kippers), gain their characteristic features after appropriate pre-treatment (salting) through relatively long smoking times ranging from several hours to a day, in the case of a few special products even several weeks. During cold smoking the fishes remain in the smoke at temperatures of 15 to 25°C and the smoke is nearly always generated with high-quality hard wood. In combination with dehydrating pre-treatment with salt, durable products produced in the past using cold smoking remained edible for a long time. However, because today products are usually smoked more mildly and more gently, cold smoked fish products such as smoked salmon mostly only have a short shelf-life.

Climate in the smoking chamber is monitored and regulated electronically Basically, the higher the smoking temperature, the shorter the food should remain in the smoke. If a product is smoked for a longer time at a low temperature it usually has a much longer shelf-life. As already mentioned, the shelf-life of smoked fish plays only a subordinate role today and the focus is more on flavour and colouring. Behind this change are changed

taste preferences of consumers who prefer juicy smoked products that remind them of fresh products. The preservative effect of smoking has lost much of its significance because it is inevitably associated with dehydration and drying of the products. Although some components in the smoke inhibit and slow down microbiological and chemical degradation processes in the muscle flesh of the fish the actual preservative effect is achieved through drying. A measure for the degree of dryness is the reduction of the “aw” (activity of water) value which gives the content of free water in foods. An aw value of 0 is equal to absolute dryness, the value 1 to condensing moisture (pure water has an aw value of 1). Most bacteria find optimal conditions for growth at aw values of 0.98 to 1. Lower values of around 0.80 are sufficient for the development of mould fungi. Although hot and cold smoking take place under different conditions nearly all modern smoking facilities are suitable for both smoking techniques. The electronic control system that is today standard in most smoking plants ensures the right climate in the smoking chamber for the required process. The smoke produced in the smoke generator is measured precisely and mixed with fresh air, cooled or heated, dehumidified or enriched with humidifying steam before it passes into the chamber. Fans keep the smoke/ air mixture in the chamber constantly in motion. In more complex smoking systems this smoke circulation is even passed over the product from different sides which ensures particularly uniform, homogeneous results in every corner of the chamber. Sensors monitor the climate in the smoking chamber constantly. As soon as any

parameter exceeds the set limits it is corrected immediately. Today nearly all smoking plants work using permanently installed programmes that can be changed as required or programmed completely freely. This means it is possible to repeat smoking routines with high consistency which in turn leads to consistent colouring and flavour results. Reproducibility is an essential prerequisite if brand quality is to be achieved during smoking. But the free programmability of the smoking units offers users numerous creative options since nearly all the process steps can be altered and stored as desired. Important information and data, for example the selected smoking programme, the current programme phase, or the adherence to actual and target values, are visible in a display at all times. Sometimes it is even possible to make changes when the programme is already running. Some smoking units are fitted with automatic cleaning systems which makes the cleaning of the chamber after the smoking cycles considerably easier. The question remains to be answered as to what happens to the smoke after it leaves the chamber. If the smoke exhaust does not exceed the limits for critical parameters such as carbon monoxide CO and NOx it can usually be released directly into the atmosphere. However, anyone who uses smoulder smoke for smoking is committed almost everywhere in Europe to thermal afterburning of exhaust gases. In contrast, post-combustion is not generally required for friction smoke. And it’s even easier for users of smoke condensates because here the smoking process takes place within a closed system. And where there are no emissions there are understandably no requirements to keep the air clean. MK

Eurofish Magazine 2 / 2014


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The General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean

Multifaceted approach to improve stock management Fish stocks do not respect national boundaries and often occur as straddling or shared stocks between exclusive economic zones, or between these zones and the high seas, or exclusively in the high seas. Conserving and managing these stocks require international cooperation which is often in the form of a regional fishery body. These bodies provide the forum by which parties to an international agreement can work together to manage fish stocks. The General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) is one such body responsible for stocks in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Today it is led by Abdellah Srour who discusses here some of the challenges facing stock management in these water bodies. The GFCM was established in 1949 under the auspices of the FAO to promote the development, conservation, rational management and utilisation of living marine resources in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea and connecting waters, among other objectives. Has the situation in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea with regard to these priorities improved or deteriorated since then? There is a general feeling of satisfaction regarding the evolution of the GFCM, from the very first day of its establishment until now. With about 50 binding decisions adopted, the Commission has shown its ability to meet its overarching objective of protecting and managing different living resources in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Over the years, activities have been increasing at a regular pace, ranging from the first fisheries restricted area (FRA) approved in 2005 (Rec. GFCM/29/2005/1) to prohibit bottom-trawling activities in waters deeper than 1000 m and protect deep-sea benthic environment to several management measures for red coral and turbot fisheries. Then, in 2013, for the first time in the Mediterranean and Black 78

Eurofish Magazine 2 / 2014

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Sea, the Commission approved a multiannual subregional management plan for a shared fishery. These concrete recommendations have been complemented by a series of guidelines for the implementation of management plans, the reduction of fishing capacity and precautionary measures to ensure the sustainability of fisheries in the whole area. We clearly need some time to fully assess the impact of some of these measures and ensure their effective implementation. However, we are starting to witness some sustainable exploitation in recent stock assessments and we have good reasons to believe that we are achieving our goals more and more efficiently. We strongly hope that current and future measures will keep fostering interest towards more efficient scientific work and advice with respect to our main priorities. Overfishing is a significant problem in the Mediterranean. Out of 85 stocks of small pelagic and demersal species almost 90 are overfished according to a May 2013 communication from the European Commission to the European Council. In the Black Sea turbot, spiny dogfish, sprat, whiting, and anchovy are

Abdellah Srour, Executive Secretary, General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM).

in different states of overfishing according to the Black Sea Commission. What measures are being implemented by the GFCM to combat this overexploitation? It is indeed an important issue that the GFCM and its members have placed at the centre of their ongoing efforts towards more sustainable fisheries. Some of the recent decisions are directly focused on stocks affected by overfishing. In particular, a management plan for small pelagic species in the Adriatic Sea has been adopted in 2013 and a set

of harmonised management measures has been launched to reduce the mortality of turbot and minimise the undesirable effects of this fishery on other species such as cetaceans or sea birds. At the same time, the GFCM has been working in close collaboration with its members and with the FAO to further develop management tools directed at other fisheries in the Mediterranean and Black Sea and to improve fleet selectivity. Knowledge about the status of fish stocks is dependent on

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regular scientific assessments. However the data on a number of stocks in the waters under the GFCM area of competence is deficient. What can the GFCM do to encourage more consistent and coherent data collection? There is still a lot of work to be done in order to improve the collection of reliable data regarding Mediterranean and Black Sea stocks, but it is important to stress that the number of stocks assessed by the GFCM has been constantly increasing and regional databases containing scientific data are becoming more and more important. On the one hand, a growing number of stocks are subject to assessment and, on the other hand, many activities have been carried out together with the FAO and its regional projects to enhance data collection and assess the stocks exploited by southern and eastern Mediterranean countries. The GFCM has been deploying considerable efforts to improve the collection of basic data, and one of its main achievements is the first comprehensive GFCM Data Collection Reference Framework (GFCM DCRF), currently under discussion. In the long run, this tool will be instrumental in achieving the collection of more consistent and reliable data. It should help GFCM members to collect the minimum set of information required to assess the status of their main fisheries and to allow the GFCM to take action at a subregional and regional scale. The recent session of the Scientific Advisory Committee offered an opportunity to discuss it in greater detail in order to present a final document to the next annual session of the Commission (May 2014) so that we can swiftly achieve a timely, reliable and consistent data collection system.

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Aquaculture plays an important role in the Mediterranean and Black Sea region since it contributes to its economic development and represents not only an important food resource but also a source of employment for coastal communities.

Pollution from land, threats to marine and coastal habitats, pollution from oil, invasive species, and climate change are some of the issues that are negatively impacting the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. What role does the GFCM play in resolving these challenges? It is widely recognised that these threats are jeopardising the quality of Mediterranean and Black Sea environment and resources and it is our common interest to preserve it as much as possible in order to be able to keep relying on sustainably exploited fishing resources. The GFCM has indeed an important role to play and can contribute to minimise impacts that are linked to fisheries activities and biodiversity. The adoption of binding decisions, ranging from the improvement of gear selectivity to spatial restrictions, has enabled GFCM members to fish in a more responsible way, taking into account conservation

priorities and thus helping limit and prevent the overexploitation of fish stocks. Over the last years, we have started as well to pay more attention to those alien species that are affecting fishing activities in several ways. An ad hoc study on their status in the Mediterranean and Black Sea is currently in press and we are promoting stock assessments for alien fish species that have become frequent in the region (such as puffer fish in the eastern Mediterranean). Pollution is also a great concern and we are developing platform to stimulate cooperation mechanisms in order to combat the sources of pollution. The introduction of multiannual plans for different stocks, protection of sensitive habitats, and reduction of by-catch and other conservation measures are all steps intended to increase the sustainability of fishing in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Is the GFCM

also looking at independent certification of fisheries in the region? There are in fact several ways to ensure the sustainability of resources and the GFCM is promoting a series of important tools that should help improve the current situation. For some specific fisheries, the certification of fisheries products has been proposed as a possible instrument to improve the sustainability and profitability of fisheries. Initiatives that could potentially improve the situation of stocks and fisheries in the Mediterranean and Black Sea are always strongly encouraged. At the moment, the certification of fisheries in the region is a process that mainly originates from stakeholders and we are aware of several initiatives launched in the area. Now, the most important priority for us is to work together with all interested actors and stakeholders in order to promote the local Eurofish Magazine 2 / 2014


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consumption of Mediterranean and Black Sea fisheries products and to make sure that these products are sustainable, profitable for local communities and feature the best possible quality to compete with products from the rest of the world. Pelagic resources from the Black Sea are used for the production of fishmeal and fishoil. At the same time calls to use this type of fish for human consumption are increasing. Is the GFCM encouraging the use of this fish for human rather than industrial purposes? As an FAO body, our main concern is the sustainable production of safe and nutritious food for humans. The development of fisheries and aquaculture in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea should take place bearing in mind this fundamental principle. For us, it is important to ensure that local communities have access to fish products and that these fish products are used efficiently in the food chains, for the benefit of local populations. In the Black Sea, the fluctuation of small pelagic stocks, market control on catches and final uses of fish products have been identified as sources of instability for an adequate management of these resources. Ongoing attempts to improve the management of fisheries in the region should therefore take these issues in consideration. The creation of Fishing Restricted Areas (FRA) and Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea should contribute to the sustainability of fisheries if they are respected. However, as long as IUU fishing in these waters is not controlled, the creation of FRA’s and MPA’s will not have 80

Eurofish Magazine 2 / 2014

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the desired effect. What tools does the GFCM have at its disposal to press for closer monitoring of fisheries? As a regional fisheries management organization, the GFCM has competence to set binding recommendations to ensure the sustainable management of fisheries and the conservation of resources and habitats. We are in a position to provide an institutional framework to integrate fisheries and conservation governance, especially in areas beyond national jurisdiction. The GFCM is progressively developing fisheries management plans based on an ecosystem approach and taking into account interactions among ecological and socioeconomic services provided by marine ecosystems. Some measures are area-based and aimed at protecting sensitive zones and a particular attention is devoted to the small-scale fisheries sector which develops its activity within coastal zones. Not to mention the momentous efforts we have deployed to fight illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, as witness the two recent roadmaps adopted for the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. As it happens in other seas and oceans all over the world, IUU fishing is a major scourge for the sustainability of fish stocks and beyond. Several aspects relating to IUU fishing are in fact to be dealt with swiftly if we want to get the better hand. It is a great challenge and we are aware of that. Small scale fisheries in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea provide thousands with a livelihood. How can the GFCM ensure that these fisheries are sustainable and can co-exist with other types of commercial fishing? Small-scale fisheries have been the focus of several actions

within the GFCM recently. We are supporting the work of FAO towards the implementation in Mediterranean and Black Sea countries of the Voluntary Guidelines for securing sustainable fisheries in the context of food security and poverty eradication. Within this framework, the First Regional Symposium on Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Mediterranean and Black Sea (Malta, 27–30 November 2013) organised by the GFCM and other partners (CIHEAM Bari, the FAO Fisheries Department and FAO regional projects, MedPAN, WWF Mediterranean Programme) is already a success story. Over 170 participants from all fisheries actors of the Mediterranean and Black Sea have had the opportunity to share experiences and make steps towards a sustainable future for small-scale fisheries in the region. Discussions have laid the groundwork for a regional project where all the components linked to small-scale fisheries should be addressed with interested stakeholders. The objective is to foster a better knowledge of the sector, to facilitate its integration in marine protected areas, to support comanagement and participation processes and promote a strategy to valorise small-scale fisheries opportunities and products. The Symposium has also been marked by the signature of a collaboration agreement signed between fishers from the Northern and Southern Mediterranean shores. It is the first time ever that such a platform is created to enable cooperation between fishers from both sides of the Mediterranean. Active dialogue has been established and all the actors are confident that this is the way forward to enable a smooth coexistence of all sectors linked to fisheries.

The mandate of the GFCM includes promoting the sustainable development of aquaculture in the region. While fish farming in the Mediterranean has expanded many fold over the last decades the industry in different countries is now competing for market share. How can the GFCM contribute to expanding the market for farmed fish? Aquaculture plays an important role in the Mediterranean and Black Sea region since it contributes to its economic development and represents not only an important food resource but also a source of employment for coastal communities. As a matter of fact, marine and brackish water aquaculture has been growing steadily over the last decades and has substantially helped meet the rising demand for fishery products. Within the MedAquaMarket project, many marketing aspects connected to aquaculture products have been analysed and key challenges and priorities have been identified. In today’s world, trade competition for aquaculture products requires shifting from a production-oriented approach to a market-oriented production strategy and addressing critical concepts such as product quality and safety, economic efficiency and market promotion. However, the aquaculture sector is quite heterogeneous in the different countries and subregions of the GFCM area: it consists of various production segments showing different levels of maturity and it therefore requires tailored approaches. Within the newly established GFCM Aquaculture Multi-Stakeholders Platform (AMShP), it has been foreseen to give a special focus to market-related challenges and a strategic area has been dedicated to quality and safety of products,

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markets and consumers. In this way, we will strive to improve the understanding of regional seafood markets dynamics and to promote strategies aiming increasing competitiveness and fostering a level playing field for an equal access to markets. The GFCM has issued guidelines for Allocated Zones for Aquaculture in the GFCM member countries. How do these zones work together with EU initiatives such as the one on integrated coastal zone management? Spatial planning issues linked to aquaculture are sparking considerable discussions worldwide. Through its Resolution GFCM/36/2012/1, the GFCM has adopted guidelines on allocated zones for aquaculture (AZA) as a potential management tool to prevent conflicts with other uses of coastal zones while enabling aquaculture planning. This is perceived as an effective approach to sound coastal zone management. In this context, there is an ongoing collaboration between the GFCM and the FP7 EU-funded PEGASO project, which aims in particular at creating an integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) governance platform to support the development of integrated policies for the coastal, marine and maritime realms of the Mediterranean and Black Sea basins. In this respect, enhanced synergies among other regional projects and working groups within the GFCM Committee on Aquaculture (CAQ) would be beneficial for the sustainable development of aquaculture and its integration within an ICZM approach. The recently launched GFCM Aquaculture Multi-Stakeholder Platform is intended to provide a forum for the sharing of

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experiences between the different stakeholders, producers, authorities, research organisations, NGOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, etc. What are your hopes for this platform and what are the issues it should focus on in the first instance? We hope that this platform will position itself as a regional aquaculture hub and help enhance dialogue and consultation among aquaculture actors so that common solutions for sustainable aquaculture strategies can be proposed and implemented in the whole region. The aim is to foster a better governance of the sector, better compliance to regulations, strengthened capacity in research and development, as well as minimised space competition in coastal zones. Several issues will be tackled in parallel and work will be articulated around four forums dealing with regulatory frameworks, environment and disease management, quality and market of aquaculture products, technology and feed production. The GFCM has initiated agreements to strengthen institutional cooperation with several other inter-governmental organisations, for example, the Black Sea Commission, Eurofish, ACCOBAMS, and UNEP/MAP. How do these links facilitate the work of the GFCM and help it to achieve its objectives? It is very important to build synergies with other partner orga-nisations operating in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea in order to harmonise our work and achieve more efficiently our common aims. Our collaborations focuses for instance on harmonising criteria for the establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs, SPAMIs) and fisheries restricted

areas (FRA), developing capacitybuilding initiatives and jointly promoting measures to ensure the conservation of resources and vulnerable species. Carrying out joint research is also very important to raise awareness on the importance of fisheries and aquaculture in the region and on the means to ensure their sustainable development, to exploit interactions in data collection activities and to ensure their proper dissemination in the whole region. The number of cooperation agreements signed with other partners and the successful results achieved show that we are working in the right direction. Both the Mediterranean and the Black Sea are bordered by widely disparate countries in terms of their economics, politics, and stage of development of their fisheries and aquaculture sectors. How can these differences be reconciled so that the GFCM can achieve its objectives? As Executive Secretary of the GFCM, what are your personal priorities for what the organization achieves while you are leading it? First of all, let me illustrate one our most important endeavours over the last years. Recently, the GFCM has made substantial steps forward to support its reform process, launched in 2009 with the aim of modernising its institutional framework and ensuring a more efficient functioning. Thanks to the work carried out by an ad hoc task force, and capitalising on the efforts deployed by all GFCM members, this process should lay the foundations for strengthened compliance to GFCM decisions, enhanced subregional cooperation and more efficient decision-making mechanisms for a better management of fisheries and aquaculture in the

region. To support this process, a dedicated financial mechanism should be set up thus contributing to strengthen the capacities of GFCM members from the social, economic and management point of views. Within this framework, each of the different bordering countries of the Mediterranean and Black Sea will have a role to play and more opportunities to address particular needs. Thanks to the subregional approach that is being developed, disparities between the different subregions should be reduced and our goal is to create a level playing field. A special focus will be placed on Black Sea riparian countries with a view to strengthening ongoing dialogue and promoting institutional cooperation in this region. Our objective is to achieve a more effective and efficient management of fisheries and aquaculture and to make sure that the necessary conditions exist so that all Black Sea riparian countries become members of the GFCM. As the Executive Secretary, I will do my best to make sure that all these needs are properly addressed and that regional and national policies can duly factor in fisheries and aquaculture to guarantee their long-term sustainability of fisheries and aquaculture in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Finally, I take this opportunity to underline the extremely fruitful cooperation launched between the GFCM and Eurofish and to express my satisfaction regarding the results obtained. It is my hope and my wish that we can maintain this momentum and keep working together to find more and more synergies and achieve our common goals. Eurofish Magazine 2 / 2014


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Eurofish magazine 2 2014  

Featuring Turkey and the Netherlands this issue also looks at the technology behind smoking and our fisheries section reinvents the small sc...

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