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ISSN 1868-5943

December 6 / 2012 C 44346

Croatia Campaign aims for lasting increase in fish consumption NASF: Bergen welcomes global fisheries event Aquainnova: Converting a vision into reality is the next step Technology: Hi-tech cutting for better quality and improved yields is a member of the FISH INFO network

In this issue

Investments in Croatian aquaculture and fisheries prepare sector for EU accession Croatia joins the EU from the middle of 2013, a step that the seafood sector views with enthusiasm as it will substantially ease the logistics of exporting fish and seafood to other EU countries. The fisheries and aquaculture industry has been preparing for accession as a spate of investments over the last few years shows. Money has gone into fish farms, processing factories, and cold stores for the fishing sector, to renovate or build anew. These developments convey the impression of an industry with confidence in its future. The fisheries administration has also seen changes; since the parliamentary elections held at the end of last year the administration is being led by a new assistant minister. Exporting fish is good for the Croatian economy, but the administration would also like to see more fish consumed at home. Together with the Chamber of Economy a fish promotion campaign has been launched, which hopes to achieve a culture of fish consumption among Croatians, particularly those living inland. Read more on page 23 Spain: The regions Andalucía and Catalonia have substantial fishery and aquaculture industries that are important sources of employment for many small coastal communities. While their contribution to the overall regional economy is modest, these sectors have an important role to play in keeping coastal societies economically viable. Andalucía has both an Atlantic and a Mediterranean shore with very different characteristics. Marine farming is practised on both coasts with sea cages dominating the Mediterranean. On the Atlantic coast basins in the low lying wetlands that are fed by the tides are used to rear several fish species. In Catalonia the administration has initiated a project to promote locally caught fish with a campaign that focuses on its quality and freshness. By adding value to the product the industry can to an extent compensate for the decline in volumes seen over the years. But the administration is also seeking greater fuel efficiency for vessels and is encouraging fishers to diversify by working with the tourist industry. Read more on page 37 Fisheries: The California Central Coast Groundfish Project was originally conceived to reduce fishing pressure on groundfish stocks off the Californian coast. The collapse of the fishery in 2000 had affected fishers, processors, ports, and local communities. When new measures to rehabilitate the stocks were proposed five years later the Nature Conservancy, a conservation organisation, collaborated with fishermen, local communities, government agencies and other conservation interests to protect priority conservation areas while minimising the impact on fishers. To gain the support of the fishers the Nature Conservancy actually bought permits and vessels from fishermen who wanted to leave the sector. The use of such innovative transactional and partnership strategies that create strong economic incentives for change in the fishery can help fisheries move towards economic and environmental sustainability. The Nature Conservancy is using versions of this model in other regions of the world and its presentation at the World Fisheries Congress in the UK this year drew much interest from the audience. Read more on page 53 DNA analysis is a potent tool to identify fish – the species, the marine region from which it comes, and even the stock to which it belongs. It can be used to check for fraud in cases where one fish species is suspected of being substituted with another, cheaper, variety. Similarly it can be used to ensure that genuine mistakes do not occur. The usefulness of DNA analysis has resulted in several laboratories investing in the ability to test DNA so that the costs of this investigation has dropped rapidly and is set to fall further still. But DNA testing is dependent on databases with DNA profiles that can be used to compare the samples being tested. Read Dr Manfred Klinkhardt’s article on page 57

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Table of News 6 International News

Events 9 World congress on cephalopods, Vigo, 1 October 2012 Unique opportunity to explore market trends 12 North Atlantic Seafood Forum, Bergen, 5-7 March 2013 Aquaculture gets its own session at NASF conference 15 Agroprodmash, Moscow, 8-12 October 2012 Gateway to the Russian and CIS markets 16 Seafood Barcelona, 15-17 October 2012 Barcelona’s new event has much to recommend it 18 Offshore Mariculture, Izmir, 17-19 October 2012 Offshore mariculture’s next frontier: Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction

Projects 20 The Future of European Aquaculture The hard work starts from now onwards…

Croatia 23 Croatian industry looks forward to EU accession Major investments suggest confidence and optimism 26 Orahovica invests millions of euro in freshwater fish farming Modernising a century-old practice 29 Small fish sizes are a cause for concern Fresh small pelagics for the Italian market 31 Lanterna lights the way for the Croatian fisheries sector Accession to the EU will lower costs 33 Arbacommerce has invested EUR3m in a new processing plant Ambitions to build its own brand 35 Sardina: Capture fishing, farming, and processing New factory doubles production capacity

Spain 37 Fisheries and aquaculture in Andalucía and Catalonia Securing the future of small fishing communities 41 Conxemar represents the Spanish processors Access to imported raw material at the right price is crucial Front cover picture courtesy Zoran Radan, Croatian Chamber of Economy


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Deep frozen (-60 degrees C) raw material is used for the production of retail packs of tuna steaks and other cuts (see page 51).

Contents 43 Cabomar sees research and development as a prerequisite for success Products that offer variety and convenience 45 Asia, Middle East, and Eastern Europe are new target markets Exports of canned seafood reach record levels in 2011 47 Ctaqua – research, development, and innovation in marine aquaculture New facilities enable wider spectrum of research activities 49 Cupimar diversifies away from seabass and seabream First harvest of farmed sole at year end 51 Tunamar processes tuna for a variety of clients Private label processing for the retail sector

Fisheries 52 German Fish Processors’ Association calls for more accuracy in reporting Information on fish stocks should be relevant and coherent 53 Pioneering American Experiment may hold lessons for European Fisheries Stakeholder collaboration improves fishery, livelihoods, and habitat

Technology 57 DNA analysis in the fisheries industry Precise determination of fish species and their origin 60 Valka launches a new x-ray guided cutting machine Next generation fish processing equipment

Fish Info Network News 61 Projects 61 Events 62 Publications

Worldwide Fish News Guest Pages: Mary Larkin Russia


















64 Innovative products of high quality give European seafood an edge in global trade Latin America, Africa, and West Asia are growing markets for seafood

Service 63 Diary Dates 66 Imprint, List of Advertisers

Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012


[ NEWS INTERNATIONAL ] Russia: Prodexpo is a way of getting on the domestic Russian market

The Latvian pavilion at Prodexpo 2012. In 2013 Lithuania will also have a pavilion like Latvia and Estonia.

From 11 to 15 February 2013 the Prodexpo exhibition in Moscow will once again assert its claim as Russia’s biggest event for the food industry. In 2012

the event welcomed over 2,000 exhibitors from 54 countries and almost 53,000 visitors. The fair is supported by the Moscow city government and by the fed-

eral Chamber of Commerce and Industry and is an important way for a company to promote itself and its products to the domestic market in Russia. Among the 18

thematic areas at the event is fish and seafood, which, in 2012, saw companies from Russia, Belarus, Latvia, Iceland, Estonia, Turkey, China, Korea, Chile, Spain, and Portugal exhibiting their wares. Two countries, Latvia and Estonia, were present with pavilions and in 2013 they will be joined by Lithuania. For the Baltic States Russia is an important market for their frozen sprats as well as for canned products such as sprats in oil, which are well known and highly appreciated for their taste and quality. The exhibition will also provide the backdrop to a wide ranging programme of activities that includes a conference on the development of the Russian food sector, a forum on private label, and a retail event that will bring together suppliers and up to 250 buyers from retail chains in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Mongolia.

Italy: FAO DG and EU Commissioner discuss fisheries and aquaculture issues

UK: Consensus on mackerel in North East Atlantic eludes contracting parties

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva and Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries met at FAO headquarters in Rome on 8 November to discuss key fisheries issues including joint collaboration on aquaculture policy, management of global fisheries and EU support to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Stressing the importance of the EU as a global fisheries player, the Director-General asked Ms Damanaki for her cooperation to promote global fisheries

The North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) while agreeing on management measures for some species like haddock and redfish, failed to reach a consensus on others species such as mackerel and blue whiting, reports Oceana, a conservation body. The NGO also said that management measures adopted to protect deep sea species were inefficient. Next year will be the fourth year of mackerel mismanagement where the fishing mortality rate is over the precautionary limit and the reduction in


Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012

management and governance. He also pointed out the importance of aquaculture as a source of food and economic security for small-scale farmers in many corners of the world. On her part Ms Damanaki acknowledged the role of COFI, the Committee on Fisheries, as the global fisheries policy body and stated her support for the FAO’s global record of fishing vessels. The reform of the GFCM, an FAO regional fishing body for the Mediterranean, and joint EU FAO projects in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, were also discussed.

biomass is a cause for concern. With regard to deep-sea species the prohibition of fishing for deep-sea sharks and blue ling was welcomed, but limiting management measures for other species to effort restriction rather than introducing catch limits and area closures was considered inadequate. NEAFC has also modified the boundaries of Rockall, the Edora Bank and the Hatton Bank closures in line with scientific advice in order to protect coral and sponge habitats in particular against bottom trawling.

[ NEWS INTERNATIONAL ] Denmark: Salmon ShowHow to gather industry leaders at Nørresundby For more than a decade Marel, an international supplier of advanced equipment, integrated systems, software solutions and services to the fish, meat, poultry and further processing industries, has organised Salmon ShowHow, an event for the salmon processing industry. In 2013 the 12th Salmon

ShowHow event will be held at the Marel Salmon Division in Nørresundby, Denmark on 6 February. The event gives salmon processors a unique opportunity to experience Marel’s salmon processing equipment up close. The company has a record of investing 5-7 of its income in research

and development, and of working closely with its customers to constantly refine and develop its equipment for their benefit. At the ShowHow salmon industry leaders from all over the world will gather to discuss the latest trends and hear guest speakers address some of the key issues

facing the industry. In addition there will be ongoing live demonstrations of equipment in the 500 sq. m showroom, where new machines, as well as a wide range of stand-alone machines and integrated processing systems will be presented. For more information visit

Belgium: Better training for fisheries workers could increase competitiveness The fisheries sector has been affected for several decades by factors such as, the increase in fuel prices, the stagnation of first sale fish prices, the decrease of

fishing resources and income, and the rapid increase in technological changes. To make the sector more competitive European institutions foresee an impor-

tant restructuring of the fishing industry in which the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy plays a major role. There are also other deficiencies in the sector

particularly the lack of skills in the work force, the low average level of education, the high proportion of older workers, and the fact that the sector is often little inclined

Eurofish Magazine 6/ 2012


[ NEWS INTERNATIONAL ] to innovate and to exploit technological changes. Improving the situation is dependent upon the identification, analysis, and definition of the skills needed to make workers more attractive to the sector. Better qualified workers will increase competitiveness

in the sector and improve the functioning of the labour market. The European social partners, representatives of management and labour at the European level, have studied the feasibility of creating a European

Council for skills and employment in the fisheries sector. They conclude that such a body would need to tackle several issues including the harmonisation of fishermen’s training; the absence of training centres and programmes in some Mem-

ber States; the weakness of the training system and the lack of compulsory basic training for fisherman in many Member States. Addressing these issues would increase skills, reduce unemployment, and enhance competitiveness in the sector.

Montenegro: Mareza trout farm, and smokehouse Ahileis host workshop participants

The fish farm Mareza is one of the biggest in Montenegro. Annual production amounts to about 100 tonnes all of which is sold on the domestic market.

The Ahileis smoking plant processes a variety of imported and domestic fish species. It was established by former international basketball star, Ljubo Vujacic.

Eurofish, FAO, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Montenegro coorganised a workshop for trout producers in the region addressing trade as well as food safety issues. On the final day of the workshop participants visited the trout farm Mareza, and the processing plant Ahileis.

Ahileis factory, which specializes in smoking various fish species, was founded by Mr. Ljubo Vujacic, a former basketball star in Montenegro and abroad. After living many years abroad, he returned to his home town Golubovci located 15 km from Podgorica. When Ljubo considered construction of a processing factory, he chose a fish smoking business since many local businessmen and producers dealt with meat and ham products. Today, the factory produces various fish species such as Norwegian salmon, sardines and mackerel from Italy and Spain, local and imported carp,

Established in 1975, Mareza is one of the oldest and largest farms in the country and is part of one of the biggest companies in Montenegro, 13. Jul Plantaže, which is also involved in wine and grape brandy manufacturing. The farm has 14 raceways, where trout is 8

Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012

farmed. The company has its own hatchery with broodstock (4,000 females) producing eggs, fingerlings (6-7 million/year), and grows fish for consumption (250 g average weight). The fish feed (around 100 tonnes/year) is bought from Skretting, Italy. With the fish ponds covering 6,000 sq. m, Mareza produces and sells 100 tonnes of Californian trout per year. Trout is distributed on the local market through supermarkets, the company’s own retail shops (30 stores), one open market, hotels and restaurants. The company has a restaurant Mareza in the vicinity of the farm that caters to tourists.

rainbow trout and other species. The annual production capacity is 200-300 tonnes produced in 2 shifts. Currently, the sales are for the local market, but the objective of the company is to explore export possibilities. As the first step in this direction, the factory implemented a HACCP system. This includes the analysis of food hazards, the identification of critical control points, the establishment of critical control limits and preventive measures, the establishment of correction and corrective action, the keeping of records and the systematic and regular audit of the system by independent certification bodies.

[ EVENTS ] World congress on cephalopods, Vigo, 1 October 2012

Unique opportunity to explore market trends The congress on cephalopods was organised by Conxemar, a non-profit association representing the interests of the fish processing and trade sector in Spain, and the FAO, as part of the annual Conxemar exposition dedicated to frozen fish products. It took place in Vigo, Galicia’s largest city, on 1 October. Vigo is home to the world’s largest fishing port and also hosts the headquarters of the European Fisheries Control Agency. For centuries the fishing industry has been the mainstay of the port’s economy and it is well known for its freezing and canning industry.

The World Congress on Cephalopods organised by Conxemar and FAO in Vigo brought together scientists, the industry, and policymakers for the mutual benefit of all.


artnerships with business and civil society have become important for FAO in recent years. As part of its collaboration strategy with the private sector FAO was among the co-organisers of the congress which provided a unique global venue where different

ers, administrations, organisations and institutions shared experiences and exchanged views. Many leading international and national speakers offered their experience on various topics relevant to the trade of cephalopods, such as squid, cuttlefish, and octopus. Among

the invited speakers were Guus Pastor, Chairman of the European Federation of Processors, Importers and Exporters of Fish (AIPCE), Audun Lem, FAO Globefish coordinator, Simon Funge-Smith, FAO Senior Fishery Officer of the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, José Ramón Fon-

tán Domíngez, Chairman of the Cluster of Fishing Companies in Third Countries, Erik Hempel, Director of Communications of the Nor-Fishing Foundation in Norway, Pedro Galache, Head of the Operative Coordination Unit of the European Fisheries Control Agency and many others. Eurofish Magazine 6/ 2012


[ EVENTS ] Humans and predators migrate. For example, the distri- tonnes of cephalopods a year and Western Central Pacific regions. compete for cephalopods bution of Illex argentinus moves some researchers claim that sperm In the Eastern Central Atlantic in their diets from Alaska to Chile. This is whales could eat 213-320 million Japan used to dominate, but now With the stabilisation of world finfish catches in general and the depletion of a number of fish stocks increasing attention is being paid to unconventional marine resources, which include many species of cephalopods. Graham Pierce, professor at the University of Aberdeen presented a comprehensive overview of cephalopod resources, while Simon Funge-Smith from the FAO focused on Asia. Cephalopods grow rapidly during their short life cycles and higher temperature accelerates this process even further. Cephalopods are therefore very sensitive to climate change when food availability changes and spawning grounds


Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012

affected by El NiĂąo, a climate pattern that occurs across the tropical Pacific Ocean roughly every five years. Another phenomenon can be seen when the cold Falkland current meets the warm Brazil current. This results in a favourable environment for the production of squid larvae and usually catches are higher then. Cephalopods have a dual role in the marine ecosystem. On the one hand they are active predators that feed on shrimps, crabs, fish etc, yet they are also major food items in the diets of various fish species, seabirds (petrels, albatrosses, penguins, auks, and terns), seals and cetaceans. For example, Benguela hakes may eat up to 1 million

tonnes of squid per year.

Where is global cephalopods production coming from? Cephalopod fisheries are unevenly distributed in the world’s oceans. The majority of the total catch is taken in the Northwest Pacific, which has recovered after a big decline in the 1980’s (with China and Japan being leaders); the Southwest Atlantic (Argentina is a major player) where Argentine shortfin squid dominates total cephalopod catches; the Southeast Pacific is the most recent fishery area for cephalopods, especially jumbo squid (Peru and Chile have the highest catches); and the

Morocco has taken over the leading position followed by Spain. Octopus catches are traditionally higher in this area, but cuttlefish is becoming more and more important. In the Mediterranean region Italy has the highest catches of octopus and cuttlefish. Squids (Loligo, bobtail squids) are becoming increasingly abundant in tropical trawl fisheries. It is assumed that this is a result of overfishing of other predator species (including small pelagics). However, it is scientifically proven that abundance varies between years and generally they are resilient to fishing, but they also can be overfished. In order to allow young animals to reach market

[ EVENTS ] size it is important to protect spawning areas and use selective fishing gears, as is the case in other fisheries. In general, for tropical stocks stable consecutive cooler years and warm El Niño years are very important for the recruitment of the stocks. La Niña periods permit recovery of the stocks and allow higher biomass levels to be reached. Asia has by far the leading role in cephalopod fisheries representing 73 of global cephalopod’s catches. Out of 2.32 million tonnes, squid represents 72. In Asia there is also huge domestic demand for different cephalopod species. China’s contribution to total catches has been growing since early 2000 and it became a massive player in 2004.

At the same time the role of Japan and the Republic of Korea has declined since 2006. In general cephalopod fisheries expanded dramatically since the 1950’s but in many areas the trend is now downwards. Artisanal fishing is common throughout Asia and Latin American countries (e.g., Peru). At the same time cephalopods (squid, cuttlefish and octopus) are not among the species which can be farmed. They will certainly continue to come to the market from the capture fisheries.

Demand for cephalopods increasing In the global fish and seafood trade cephalopods represent

only about 4. The Asian market is growing faster than anywhere else due to big domestic demand. Among others, China is the biggest market for cephalopods where fresh squid is popular and dried squid is part of the daily diet (even for breakfast). On the other hand, squid consumption in Japan has been falling since the 1980’s. Local production of squid is larger than imports in Japan and still remains the largest market for squid. Octopus is the most popular species in the Republic of Korea and generally popular in Japan but less popular in South East Asia. South East Asian countries, such as Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Viet Nam are quite interesting markets for cephalopods with relatively good prices. It is worth noting that per capita sea-

food consumption in these countries is high and rising. The cephalopods market in Asia is a lot more diverse than in other markets. “Squid, octopus and cuttlefish substitute each other and can not be replaced by finfish” says Erik Hempel. He also underlined that Asian market is big and it is getting bigger. Growing demand in Asia may divert supplies from European markets and Asia’s re-processing industry will focus on value added products. Squid and cuttlefish are also popular in southern European markets, such as Spain and Italy. However, in reaction to the economic crisis traders are turning to lower priced species, such as giant squid rather than the traditional Loligo squid.

The must-see event for salmon processors

6 February 2013 Do you want to know more? Visit: or write to:

Eurofish Magazine 6/ 2012


[ EVENTS ] Joaquin Fornell from Emo-Kelapk (Barcelona) informed the audience about surimi production from jumbo squid to obtain a better price for the product. The packaging also plays an important role in determining the price because the packaged product has a higher price that the bulk product.

Eco-labelling brings awareness to consumers For several years now certification in general and eco-labelling in particular is becoming an increasingly important issue to address the requirements of retailers. All in all, there are 43 private standards and certification schemes worldwide. And they all have different approaches. These schemes address issues like environment,

food safety, product quality and social issues. But the downside of this is that there are too many logos that the consumer has to recognise to make the right decision and all these labels confuse consumers. In this context, coordination between different schemes could simplify the process. “Eco-labels are a market based mechanism designed to influence the purchasing decisions of consumers and bring awareness to the consumer that a product was caught or farmed in a way that has fewer impacts on the environment than similar competing products”, said Audun Lem, FAO Globefish coordinator. Awareness of the environment, dominance of supermarkets rather than fresh fish markets, consumption based on a limited range of species, and a tradition of processed/pack-

aged seafood products are the key determinants for markets to have eco-labels. In this context, providing consumers with relevant information could ultimately increase demand for fish by increasing consumer confidence and awareness, and also improving consumer perceptions of the seafood industry. Kristján Thórarinsson from the Iceland Responsible Fisheries Technical Committee informed the audience about the certification practice in Iceland. Seeing the Marine Stewardship Council (MCS) certification initially as a threat to the industry, an alternative certification scheme was developed in Iceland, where Icelanders believe fisheries are well managed. Mr Thórarinsson said

that the benefits of this process are, among others, reasonable costs, the promotion of Icelandic seafood through certification and marketing, and to ensure that external parties do not take control of the Icelandic Fisheries Agenda. Currently fisheries of haddock, saithe and golden redfish are in the certification process, while other major fisheries will follow soon, said Kristján Thórarinsson. The first congress held in connection with the Conxemar exhibition was a fruitful partnership between FAO and Conxemar. Industry participation was excellent and interesting perspectives from both scientists and policymakers were presented and discussed. Aina Afanasjeva,

North Atlantic Seafood Forum, Bergen, 5-7 March 2013

Aquaculture gets its own session at NASF conference The North Atlantic Seafood Forum (NASF) will pull yet another rabbit out of its hat at the next edition of the event in 2013. Firstly, the venue has moved from Oslo to Bergen, a city that hosts the headquarters of several of the world’s largest seafood companies, and one that is known for its world class marine education and research. And secondly, acknowledging the increasingly important role of aquaculture in seafood production, NASF this time will dedicate the pre-conference seminar on 5 March to the global aquaculture value chain.


he main theme for the 8th NASF conference is food security in the aftermath of the Rio+20 United Nations conference this year. Espen Barth Eide, Norway`s Minister of Foreign Affairs, has been invited to open the conference and address the issue of seafood's role in the new geopolitical situation, focusing on the increasing importance of seafood in world trade and as a means for food security.


Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012

The next North Atlantic Seafood Forum to be held in 2013 marks a significant departure from its predecessors both literally and figuratively. After eight years in Oslo NASF will move to Bergen, Norway’s second largest city, and home to the headquarters of several of the world’s largest seafood companies. Bergen is also an internationally acknowledged centre of marine research and education and hosts a cluster

of seafood companies with a combined turnover of about USD6bn. The move to Bergen has been driven by the mayor Trude Drevland, and the city’s business director Gunnar Bakke, who emphasise the 1,100 seafood companies located in the region that employ some 4,500 people. The city is also a financial seafood centre, and home to FishPool the world’s only salmon products exchange. Bergen has inter-

nationally renowned fisheries research institutions including the Institute of Marine Research, the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration (NHH), Bergen University (UiB), National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research (NIFES), Nofima, the Christian Michelsen Institute (CMR), Uni Research, the Nansen Centre, and the Norway Directorate for Fisheries Management.

Bergen Tourist Board/Willy Haraldsen


The North Atlantic Seafood Forum in 2013 is expected to attract close to 600 participants from the global fishing and seafood industry to Bergen, the new site for the conference, and an internationally acknowledged centre for marine research, education, as well as host to a thriving seafood cluster.

Industry strongly backs move to Bergen The move to Bergen has been welcomed by leaders of some of the biggest seafood companies based in the region including Marine Harvest, Lerøy Seafood, the Institute of Marine Research, and Grieg Seafood, who feel that holding the event in Bergen will be mutually beneficial for the industry, the city, and the conference. Managing Director of the North Atlantic Seafood Forum, Jorgen J. Lund, is delighted with

the support NASF has received from his hometown, saying, “we at NASF are proud to be invited home to Bergen. Here, NASF will join a unique seafood cluster making the NASF business arena more significant and even larger in the years ahead.” Already the world’s largest seafood conference and meeting place for top executives, the North Atlantic Seafood Forum is expected to attract close to 600 participants from the global fishing and seafood industry in 2013. Over 30 countries

and 350 to 400 companies will be represented at this three day event that includes some 10 seminars and 100 speakers. The conference covers trade, supply and demand, pricing, sustainability, politics and finance, with a focus on business, future trends and market development. Since 2012 the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has been co-organising one of the sessions and in 2013 will be inviting seafood executives and policy makers from a number of Latin American, East Asian, and African coastal

nations. Countries in Africa in particular, including Angola, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Mozambique, have been among the fastest growing economies in the world in the decade 2001 to 2010 according to The Economist, and although the African economy is still only a small fraction of the world’s, parts of the continent are attracting increasing interest from western companies. Seafood consumption is rising strongly thanks to higher purchasing power, boosting regional aquaculture production as well as imports. Eurofish Magazine 6/ 2012



Jorgen J. Lund, Managing Director of the North Atlantic Seafood Forum, is delighted that the 2013 event will move to Bergen, where the seafood industry and marine research are both strongly represented.

Sessions on aquaculture, retail issues, and ďŹ sheries policy In 2013 the NASF will see three new sessions. The global aquaculture solutions seminar will be organised by MareLife around the theme innovative solutions to advance the aquaculture sector. Lisbeth BergHansen Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs has been invited to open the seminar, while George Chamberlain, President, Global Aquaculture Alliance, USA, will give the keynote address. Among the issues to be addressed will be sustainability in the global aquaculture industry with presentations covering temperate, tropical, and coldwater aquaculture. 14

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Oystein Lie, Executive Manager of MareLife, which is organising the global aquaculture solution seminar, calls for a series of innovative solutions to sustainably scale up production from aquaculture.

The seminar will also include the presentation of a vision paper on global aquaculture solutions by a working group lead by the Norwegian Seafood Research Fund. Considering the rapid growth in the global production of farmed fish, as well as the growing role aquaculture plays in food and economic security, it is only appropriate that the NASF has dedicated the preconference session to presenting and debating ideas that will contribute to the sustainable development of this sector. Another session that always excites interest is the European retail seminar, which this year will see a line-up of not less than 20-25 retailers from Europe, North America and Japan. Chaired by

Leendert den Hollander, CEO Young’s Seafood, the theme of the session is sustainable growth in seafood with retailers giving their perspectives on key issues and opportunities. Marks and Spencer, Coop, Norges Gruppen, and Sainsbury’s are among the chains that will be represented. A third new initiative is the NASF global fisheries management and policy seminar, a half day workshop where the status of world fisheries resources, the EU Common Fisheries Policy, and the initiative, Global Partnership for the Ocean, will be among the topics presented and discussed. The session is co-chaired by Guus Pastoor, President of the European Fish Processors' Association, and Mogens Schou, Adviser

for fisheries and aquaculture to the Danish Agriculture Minister. Apart from these initiatives the NASF 2013 will have several sessions that promise informative discussions and the latest research from fields as diverse as salmon, whitefish, pelagics, corporate finance, and sustainability. While the North Atlantic is still the core of the conference, the ambitious programme is more global in its scope than ever before, and all participants, irrespective of where they come from in the world, will find something useful to take back with them. The North Atlantic Seafood Forum is co-organised with Pareto Securities, MareLife, and the FAO. For more information about the event visit

[ EVENTS ] Agroprodmash, Moscow, 8-12 October 2012

Gateway to the Russian and CIS markets The annual Agroprodmash exhibition, held this year from 8 to 12 October, attracted 17,000 visitors and 669 exhibitors from 35 countries. It is one of the most important international events for equipment and ingredients for the international food processing industry with a special significance for Russia and the CIS countries and with a strong reputation in the European agribusiness sector.


he exhibition is organized by the Expocentre Food exhibitions division and enjoys official support from the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation and the Moscow City Government as well as professional unions and associations.

Agroprodmash brings together processing materials and technology of relevance to the entire food and beverages sector including meat, poultry, fish, dairy, fruit and vegetable, bakery, as well as oils and fats. Other areas such as ingredients, functional foods, and dietary supplements are also addressed. The equipment and services that feature at the fair can be categorised into packaging equipment and materials; control and

measuring device; refrigerating, storage and transportation equipment; sanitation; component parts and units for food processing.

Seafood processing equipment section expands again The event has seen steady growth in the fish and seafood processing equipment section for the last several years. This may be

partly due to the fact that economies in Russia and the CIS countries are growing more robustly than in Europe. Another factor may be that farmed fish and seafood production is the fastest growing animal protein sector in the world. Between 1961 and 2009 average growth rates for global production of sheep/goat, beef, pork, and chicken were 1.67, 1.74, 3.12, and 4.99 respectively while for fish it was 7.95

Eurofish Magazine 6/ 2012


[ EVENTS ] according to the Earth Policy Institute using FAO data. The event attracted manufacturers of fish processing equipment from a number of European countries – Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Russia, Latvia, Iceland, Finland, as well as China, who displayed the latest developments in engineering and technology; services including cold storage, transport and logistics; ice making machinery; packaging and transportation; and measuring and analysing systems. Of the 17,000 visitors to the event, the organisers reported that 42 attended the fish and seafood section and over 55 of them were decision-makers from the top or upper levels of their companies’ management. Several business-related events were organised in connection with the show such as the conference on

Agroprodmash, the international exhibition for food processing machinery, is of particular significance for those interested in the Russian and CIS country markets.

Russia’s membership of the WTO which addressed the subject of food production companies’ compliance with WTO rules. Exhibitors

could also compete to win awards for the best equipment, packaging, ingredients or technology in a contest organised by the Federal

Ministry of Agriculture and others. The eighteenth edition of Agroprodmash will be held 7-11 October 2013 at the Expocentre Fairgrounds.

Seafood Barcelona, 15-17 October 2012

Barcelona’s new event has much to recommend it A new show will always pique people’s curiosity and Seafood Barcelona was no exception. Would it be big and busy, or small and boring? Would it be international or local? Would it replace Conxemar, or even... the European Seafood Exposition?! Knowing that the organisers of the show were Diversified Business Communications and Barcelona-based Alimentaria Exhibitions, both highly professional and respected companies, made the news even more intriguing.


hen the day, 15 October, finally arrived, it was bright and sunny as Fira de Barcelona – Gran Via opened its doors. The organisers were glowing too and with good reason. The number of exhibitors amounted to 134 and included several top fish and seafood suppliers like Coast Seafoods, Conservas Dani, Maresmar, Marfrio, Marine Harvest, Krustagroup, Morpol, Parlevliet & Van der Plas; and equipment manufacturers such as Balzo, Multivac, AB Seac, and Strapex


Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012

among others. Argentina, Canada, Croatia, Ecuador, Norway, Peru and USA were represented with national pavilions.

International cast of exhibitors, visitors “We have a number of Canadian companies and Canadian provinces that are interested in the European market in general and in the Spanish market in particular. I think that our products fit well with what Spanish consumers are looking for,

lobster, shrimp, clams, mussels, oysters. This is the main reason why we are here”, said Julie Centini, trade commissioner, Mission of Canada to the EU. Adrienne Grosweiner, senior market development officer, Government of New Brunswick who was representing the province of New Brunswick said the Canadian pavilion also included representatives from Nova Scotia and the provinces of Newfoundland and of Quebec. “We have come with 10 companies, which is pretty good for a first show.”

Visitors from over 90 countries registered to attend the show. Valeska Weymann, GLOBALG.A.P. was very happy: “We have people from Tahiti, from the Faroe Islands, from India, Russia, and from the Mediterranean countries – Italy in particular. In the first two days we have had visitors from 28 countries! It is really international and they are mainly decision-makers so each visit is worth it”. “I was here the whole day yesterday with only one sales person and we were constantly

[ EVENTS ] busy… at least 30-40 visitors”, says Jürgen Smet, managing director of Tunamar. Attendees at Seafood Barcelona also included buyers from the retail sector such as Aldi, Bon Preu, Carrefour, Coop Italia, El Corte Ingles, La Sirena, Lidl Supermercados, Tesco and many others.

Product launches attract visitors One of the attractions of any seafood show is product tasting and Seafood Barcelona offered that as well. Lovers of Spanish cuisine in general and Catalonian in particular could participate in several Catalan fish culinary demonstrations, which were well attended and well received. SIA Salas Zivis from Latvia came to the show with a new line of products: dumplings with fish and seafood. These were cooked and served at the booth

Diversified Business Communications and Alimentaria Exhibitions are the organisers behind Seafood Barcelona, which launched in October this year.

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Eurofish Magazine 6/ 2012


[ EVENTS ] and all the curious (and the hungry) could enjoy dumplings with tuna, squid, mussels, salmon, seaweed and many other fillings. One of the most spectacular events took place at the Grupa Balfego stand. A bluefin tuna around 1.8 meters long and weighing about 130 kilo was filleted, which attracted a lot of attention from both visitors and exhibitors. Later at the same booth people sampled tuna sushi and sashimi.

Seafood bar proves popular

cold fish and seafood meals at affordable prices.

Last but not least; catering at most seafood shows is arranged in such way that after talking all morning about how healthy, delicious and nutritious fish is, one has grab a cold, plastic-wrapped, club sandwich from a café for lunch! The organisers of Seafood Barcelona had addressed this discrepancy by introducing a seafood bar, where guests could buy hot and

“Seafood Barcelona’s first year exceeded expectations,” said Liz Plizga, show director from Diversified Business Communications. “Barcelona is an ideal destination and a hub for doing business in the Spanish, southern European and Maghreb markets, and the event is poised for growth”. J. Antoni Valls, assistant general manager, Alimentaria Exhibitions agrees: “Seafood

Barcelona has been good news for the fishing industry and international trade and a great success”. That a show can succeed in the current economic climate in Spain is testimony to the need for such an event in southern Europe. The organisers’ bet on Barcelona seems to have paid off and should reward them well in the future. Aleksandra Petersen,

Offshore Mariculture, Izmir, 17-19 October 2012

Offshore mariculture’s next frontier: Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction The offshore aquaculture industry has requested that United Nations’ FAO conduct an assessment of the access and operational frameworks for open ocean mariculture in the High Seas, and make recommendations as to how to better encourage work towards mariculture in waters beyond any one nation’s EEZ. A statement to this effect was drafted at the Offshore Mariculture Conference, held in Izmir, Turkey, over three days from 17-19 October 2012 and the Turkish government offered to formally convey the request to FAO.


he statement adopted at the conclusion of the conference drew from a number of preceding declarations – including the 2010 Global Conference on Aquaculture, the Phuket Consensus of 2010, and the Colombo Declaration of 2011, all of which have emphasized the critical role for aquaculture in feeding the world, stimulating economic development, providing employment and reducing existing negative impacts on the marine environment. Most recently, the Bremerhaven Declaration of 2012 spoke specifically of the need for increased research, development, investment and policy frameworks for open ocean aquaculture. “There is growing interest from the private sector to explore the potential for aquaculture in waters 18

Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012

that are deeper and further offshore” said Conference Chairman, Neil Anthony Sims, of Kampachi Farms. “Given that many nations – such as those in the Mediterranean – still only exert national authority 12 miles offshore, there is a looming question about what happens in the “Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction” (ABNJ). We need to start to address this in anticipation of, and to encourage, these developments”.

Existing ABNJ conventions ignore aquaculture The conference heard keynote presentations from Alessandro Lovatelli, FAO Aquaculture Officer; Paul Holthus of the World Ocean Council; and Harald Rosenthal, chair of the Bremerhaven

conference. Each spoke of the opportunity and the necessity for aquaculture’s rights and responsibilities to be better defined in ABNJ. Mr Holthus described how many international conventions and agreements regarding ABNJ are either already established, or are under discussion, without any real consideration for the potential of aquaculture, and with minimal industry consultation. Organised by Mercator Media the conference was officially opened by Dr Durali Kocak, the DirectorGeneral of Fisheries and Aquaculture at the Turkish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, who described how the Turkish government had prioritised aquaculture development. The industry in Turkey is expanding at a phenomenal rate, as it indeed

must, to meet growing demand, but care is being taken to ensure that such growth is within the sea’s ecological limits, he said. Other presentations explored a range of planning and management tools from around the world – the Philippines, Australia, the Basque country, and host country Turkey – to better integrate aquaculture into coastal planning initiatives. New species development, provision of seed (fish fingerlings or bivalve spat) and feed developments for offshore mariculture were also reviewed.

Potential synergies from mariculture and offshore energy Michael Ebeling, of the Wegner Institute in Germany, and

[ EVENTS ] suppliers and feed manufacturers; and researchers into new species, new farm technologies, genetics, and fish health. Over 25 countries were represented at the event, including Chile, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Norway, UK, USA, Australia, Israel and Lebanon. The conference gala dinner on the super yacht Lamia – hosted by the Turkish government – offered a superb sampling of Turkish seafood – mostly cultured, of course! – and Turkish olives, cheeses, wines and music.

Conference Chairman, Neil Anthony Sims of Kampachi Farms (right) and other participants on the conference tour of aquaculture facilities.

Dr Amir Neori of the Israeli Oceanographic institute (together with Gamze Turan of Ege University) spoke on the potential to co-locate aquaculture and offshore energy projects such as wind farms, and the prospects and need for macroalgae culture in offshore locations. Economic analysis of the co-location plans suggests that mussels may prove profitable, but fin-fish and macroalgae culture require further engineering to achieve efficiencies of scale and valued products. On the second day of the conference, a number of presentations highlighted improvements to offshore net pen systems and brass alloy meshes. The day also included reviews of new developments in single-point mooring systems for self-submerging surface pens and for shrimp culture in Aquapods, tension leg cages, and testing of more robust surface pens and unanchored ‘drifter cages’. New advances in net pens and service vessels for exposed Norwegian salmon farm sites were also presented. Individual farm sites in Norway now have a production capacity of up

to 12,000 t, using 160 m diameter net pens, and serviced with boats over 80 m in length. On the last afternoon of sessions, Hayri Deniz of the Turkish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock gave an overview of the government’s role in supporting industry expansion, including regulations intended to foster farm growth further offshore, as part of integrated coastal management plans. Turkey now has the 3rd fastest growth rate in aquaculture globally, he stated. On the final day, conference attendees were given a first-hand look at the booming Turkish aquaculture industry, as they were hosted on a tour of fish processing facilities; a boat trip out to exposed farm sites for seabass, seabream and tuna; and a walkthrough of marine fish hatchery facilities in the Izmir area.

The dates and venue for the 2014 Offshore Mariculture Conference will be released shortly.

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Interventions reect international nature of audience Attendees at the conference included both experienced and aspiring investors and entrepreneurs; fish farm owners, Eurofish Magazine 6/ 2012


[ PROJECTS ] The Future of European Aquaculture

The hard work starts from now onwards… The European aquaculture had one of the most spectacular developments during the past sixty years. Underpinned by significant scientific advances and industrial development, it has grown from a ‘cottage industry’ to a major economic sector having a variety of actors from SMEs and family businesses to multinational companies. It is an activity that currently is one of the fastest growing industry and which according to the FAO predictions will soon overtake the capture fisheries production at a global level.


oncerning the EU as well as the European Economic Area (EEA) Member States, beyond the dimension of the sector measured by numbers, i.e. an annual volume of 2.6 million tonnes of produce from freshwater and sea valued at over € 7 billon, an estimated 100 000 people directly employed in the production and an additional 90 000 in the service, processing and other linked activities, including research, European aquaculture has a “story” to tell. The “story” starts with the official launch of the Vision of the European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform (EATiP) at the “Future of European Aquaculture” participatory event held on 30 October 2012 in Brussels at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences.

Challenges on several fronts Attended by more than 80 experts from 18 European countries, representing a high variety of stakeholders involved in the aquaculture profession, from producers, research and development, universities and NGOs, to governments, the European Commission (EC) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), the event provided ample opportunities for debate and raised key questions 20

Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012

The event “Future of European Aquaculture” provided ample opportunity for debate and raised key questions on the needs of the European aquaculture sector by 2030.

on forecasts and needs of the aquaculture sector by 2030. EATiP ( emerged because of the European aquaculture sector needs to reinforce the research and innovation processes that are required for a modern and developing Europe. Registered officially in Belgium in January 2009, EATiP has currently over 50 members, representatives of commercial companies, research,

professional associations, international and civil society organisations. EATiP is well aware of the many challenges that are vital to the aquaculture’s future growth and innovation. These include competition in the market place, access to and competition for space, maintaining health and welfare, improving resource and governance systems. Therefore it is no

coincidence that EATiP goals concern the development of measures and structures to tackle these challenges and that ultimately will improve the research and innovation conditions in order to support the sustainable development of European aquaculture. The core priorities of EATiP are to establish a stronger relationship between the aquaculture industry and the consumer, to assure a sustainable aquaculture sector

[ PROJECTS ] and to consolidate the role and importance of aquaculture in the society. Having a real practical approach and driven by the industry’s needs, EATiP activities are targeted to provide the foundations for technical and economic excellence which will be the basis of the leadership potential of European aquaculture at the global level.

The widest consultation ever made in European aquaculture The core function of aquaculture is to provide safe food of the highest quality and nutritional value providing a wide range of products customised to consumers’ preferences and lifestyles. The European aquaculture therefore adapts to the evolving

consumer and market demands, applies technological advances constantly (which over the years resulted in significant increased productivity and production outputs), maintains an extraordinary diversity and employs highly skilled personnel. Moreover, in the context of Europe 2020 Strategy key goals (i.e. growth and job creation), combined with a period of high economic uncertainty and the ongoing reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) the aquaculture profession has to build the reputation of an attractive sector to be involved in, especially for the young generation. The inclusion of aquaculture as one of the strong pillars of the CFP reform proposals is a concrete

example of how this profession is recognised at policy making level. It is also an example of how politicians acknowledge the reality of the environment in which we live: that the resources of oceans are limited, even if capture fisheries are well managed, and therefore the need to compensate the growing demand for healthy and safe seafood through fish and shellfish farming in an innovative and sustainable manner.

identified where aquaculture can contribute to European development priorities and where knowledge gaps need to be overcome. It also summarises the conclusions of four sectoral stakeholder consultations on the future of freshwater, marine cold water, Mediterranean and shellfish farming - as well as the stakeholders’ on-line feed-back after the events. “The launch of the EATiP Vision and SRIA is a milestone and the result of the widest consultation ever made in European aquaculture. We now have the elements that we need to put this into practice and I sincerely hope that the formal recognition by the Commission of EATiP as a European Technology Platform will facilitate further communication our dreams and strategic

The Vision of EATiP which has been built by consensus and in a totally transparent manner, has been “packed� into an easy-toread condensed document, the Strategic Research of Innovation Agenda (SRIA). This includes the inputs and contributions of over 400 experts from industry and other stakeholders, who have





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[ PROJECTS ] actions required to fulfil them to other important players in the value chain, notably retailers. It is important that EATiP is a trusted partner with them and with European consumer organisations, so that we can share the fabulous story that is European aquaculture and continue to build consumer belief in our activities and our products” is the opinion of Alistair Lane, Executive Director of the European Aquaculture Society (EAS) and one of the key contributors to the shaping of the current Vision.

Unlocking the potential ‘By 2030 European aquaculture will have an annual rate of growth of 3.1, will be sustainable and globally competitive and will provide 4.5 million tons of sustainable food products worth €14 billion and supporting more than 150 000 direct jobs’ is stated in the Vision. This will be the result of the combined effect of different scenarios described in the SRIA document that have been built after an in-depth review of production and marketing patterns, legislative influences, advantages, strength and challenges identified during four regional consultations, where each aquaculture sector (freshwater, marine cold, Mediterranean and shellfish) has been carefully examined from eight key perspectives: product quality, consumer safety and health; technology and systems; biological life cycle; feeds, animal health and welfare; integration with the environment; knowledge management, socio-economics and governance. For each sector priorities and strategic goals have been set, challenges have been identified and most important, action plans have been drafted.


Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012

‘Furthermore, we need therefore to create tools to translate the Vision and SRIA into a “graphical dashboard” so that it is clearly understood by the industry and consumers’ is the opinion of Bruno Guillaumie, the deputy Secretary General of the French National Committee on Shellfish (CNC). The European aquaculture has clearly a potential for growth, which is still waiting to be unlocked. The cultivation of fish has been taking place for thousands of years, but from the perspective of its technological development and applied knowledge, aquaculture is still “young” and developing, therefore for a successful growth it needs to communicate to the society what are the benefits of having a responsible aquaculture value chain. This goes beyond supplying the consumers with the required products and producing high quality, safe and nutritious food in an effective and sustainable manner. It is also about providing a safe and stable working environment, developing a passion for this profession and ultimately contributing to a better life. Moreover, “aquaculture is an important provider of jobs in rural and coastal communities, communities which are the focus of the support provided through the Axis 4 of the European Fisheries Fund (EFF)” believes Gilles van de Walle, representative of the European Fisheries Areas Network (FARNET). “Initiatives related to the development of sustainable, water-based productive systems anchored within their communities should be well placed to benefit from the support of the Axis 4 programme and its successor. “The event helped

to place the potential evolution of the sector over the coming decades into perspective. One still should not forget that any additional volume produced has to be absorbed by the market. This calls not only for technological innovation on the production side but also for market innovation to make sure the products fit the consumer needs.”

Conveying the right message “EATiP was created to provide answers to questions and solutions to problems for the European aquaculture, but it is the responsibility of all stakeholders, including EATiP, to contribute to the practical implementation of the Vision” is the opinion of Gustavo Larrazábal, the Chairman of EATiP. “The SRIA is an important milestone, but now the real work begins – mobilising the industrial and research communities to bring these proposals to life”. Ms Jane Feehan, representative of the EIB believes that “the Vision of European aquaculture is one of a sustainable, dynamic and financially robust sector. The European Investment Bank aims to play its part in supporting the realisation of this Vision, in line with the EU’s Blue Growth agenda. In particular, we are keen to help to meet the needs of SMEs in this important sector, and to assist in providing finance to research, development and innovation investments”. However, it is essential that stakeholders make sure that the “story” about the European aquaculture is spread correctly. Currently there is a lot of confusion at the consumers’ level regarding the decision of buying and eating

fish, particularly as fish becomes an expensive commodity in the context of an economic recession. It is therefore paramount to prevent misleading information which often appears in the media and to ensure that information can be trusted. The consumers need to make informed and healthy buying decisions, and to be protected from the promotion of unhealthy food, especially children and young people. One of the immediate practical steps which has been taken in this direction is the publishing of a synthesis containing the results and outputs of aquaculture research funded by the EU over the recent years. Its purpose is to inform the members of the European Consumers’ Organisation (BEUC) and other stakeholders of the key findings of EU research in the area. Further details about these projects can be consulted at

Answers are still to be given The “Future of European Aquaculture” event raised awareness of the outputs of the largest known consultation held on European aquaculture. It has provided an insight into the lengthy, all-embracing, transparent and sometimes frustrating process that has created the Vision and the SRIA. It has raised questions, identified challenges, has built growth scenarios and last but not least, it has shared its outputs with the public. The purpose is not to provide “easy solutions”, but an opportunity for reflection and thought, to stimulate innovative thinking and to contribute to finding the right answers. Anca Sfetcovici,


Croatian industry looks forward to EU accession

Major investments suggest confidence and optimism The Croatian fisheries and aquaculture sector has seen some significant investments in the last few years. Helped partly by the European IPA (Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance) programme new processing factories and cold stores for the fishing sector have been or are being built, the freshwater farming sector has seen a case of massive renovation, and even seabass and seabream farming has benefited. If tuna quotas now increase as well, it will mean good news all around.


roatian commercial fisheries are primarily small pelagic species, sardines and anchovies, which amount to over 80 of the total catch volumes. Of the total catch 96 is fish while 4 is evenly split between cephalopods and shellfish. According to the fishing vessel register, the fleet consists of 4,111 vessels of which 84 or 3,455 vessels are less than 12 m in length. They represent 10,000 GT and 165,000 kW. The remaining 656 vessels (>12 m) account for 35,000 GT and 165,000 kW.

Scrapping vessels without aid an uphill task The Adriatic is characterised by multispecies fisheries and over 45 of Croatia’s fishing vessels are registered as multipurpose vessels that use different gears during the course of the year. About 5 of the fleet consist of purse seiners and 15 of bottom trawlers. Purse seines catch the largest volumes of fish – about 89 of the total catch while towed gears are responsible for 8. The structure of the commercial fleet is set to change as a further 2,500 vessels will join this category by 1 January 2015. These 2,500 vessels are used by subsistence fishers using gillnets, and were originally not counted as part of the commercial

fleet. The average, length, tonnage, and power of these vessels is 5 m, 1.5 GT and 10 kW respectively. This will increase the number of vessels in the sub-12 m category to about 6,000. The large number of vessels is the core of a problem that other countries in the Adriatic and the Mediterranean also have to address, fleet overcapacity in relation to the available resources. Since the parliamentary elections in December 2011, Ljubomir Kucˇic´, the Assistant Minister for Fisheries in the Ministry of Agriculture, is the one to resolve this issue. He has a long history in the fisheries business, most recently in his capacity as President of the Fishing and Fish Processing Association in the Croatian Chamber of Economy. One of the biggest issues related to reducing fishing capacity is the proposal in the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy to remove aid for vessel decommissioning. Scrapping vessels without this aid is going to be very difficult, says Mr Kucˇic´. He feels that Croatia should have the same opportunities other member countries have had with regard to aid for decommissioning. The situation in the pelagic fleet is not better, but pelagic resources seem to be stable. According to the Croatian Bureau of Statistics, catches of pelagic fish have

Ljubomir Kucˇic´, Assistant Minister for Fisheries, Croatian Ministry of Agriculture

increased from 52,000 tonnes in 2006 to 78,000 in 2011. However, over the last couple of years catches of pelagic fish have included too many small fish. This has been a problem for the canning and salting industries which needs fish of a certain size. In the canning sector the preferred size for sardines is 28 to 35 pieces per kilo, while sizes of up to 40 pieces per kilo can also be used. For the salting industry the ideal size for anchovies is 40 pieces per kilo. Anything smaller than these sizes results in too much wastage when processing the fish and for fish that is 70-80 pieces per kilo there is no market. As Mr Kucˇic´ says, when fishers catch sardines at 55-60 pieces per kilo and then sell it to be used as feed for farmed tuna because the processing industry

rejects the fish as too small, “it is a problem”. A problem not only for the fishers, but also for the processors, and for the future of the stock itself. Although it is not illegal to catch this size of fish in the long run it will have a detrimental impact on the stock.

Investments in cold stores benefit fishers The lack of landing facilities where fish can be refrigerated and stored has long been a problem for the sector. This is now slowly changing with two new storage facilities coming on stream, one on the island of Kali off Zadar is managed by a producer organisation Omega 3 and the other in Pula owned by the cooperative Lanterna. The Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012



Omega 3 facility is intended exclusively for pelagic fish and has a capacity of some 10,000 tonnes, while the Lanterna facility will cater to both demersal and pelagic fishers. The building of these facilities has given the cooperatives a stronger hand when dealing with the processors who buy their fish. The pelagic fishery is not distributed evenly through the year, but peaks around October and November, when large volumes of fish are placed on the market. Before the existence of the storage facilities fishers were forced to sell to the processing industry at whatever price they could get, and because a lot of fish reached the market at the same time, prices tended to be low. The cold stores allow the fishers to stagger the release of the fish on to the market and thereby control the price.

Chamber of Economy conducts fish promotion campaign

Boosting Croatians’ fish consumption the CCE has launched a marketing effort that seeks to achieve several objectives at once.

The national campaign to increase fish consumption in Croatia initiated by the Chamber of Economy included promotion activities in Zagreb, Osijek, and Split among other cities; roundtable discussions that were broadcast on national media; and distribution of promotional material through retail chains.


er capita consumption of fish and seafood in the 27 EU countries is 23.3 kg, while in Croatia it is estimated at 9 kg. In only four EU countries, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria, is less fish consumed per person. It is important to increase this, says Zoran Radan from the Croatian Chamber of Economy, considering all the health benefits associated with seafood. Croatia’s natural resources, its long coastline and extensive inland water bodies, as

well as its long tradition of fishing and fish processing should also facilitate an increase in consumption. The Croatian Chamber of Economy (CCE) has therefore initiated a national campaign to increase Croatians’ consumption of fish. Together with the Ministry of Agriculture and in close cooperation with the Croatian Chamber of Arts and Crafts, the Ministry of Tourism, fishery cooperatives and a number of professional and scientific institutions and collaborators,

Farmed fish production increases steadily

2006 to 5,200 in 2010, though it fell back to 4,500 tonnes last year. The farming is in sea cages with most of the production being sold on the domestic market and to Italy. The other important species being farmed is tuna which is caught at 8-10 kg and then grown to market size of 30 kg and above for sale to the Japanese market. Exports in 2011 amounted to 3,200 tonnes with a value of USD62m. Mr Kucˇic´ is hopeful that the tuna quota will be increased next year as several

The fisheries sector in Croatia includes an aquaculture industry covering both marine and freshwater species. The country was one of the pioneers in the farming of seabass and seabream in the Mediterranean and although Croatia has since been overtaken by other countries, production of these two species together has increased from 3,500 tonnes in 24

Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012

The campaign is intended to create an umbrella brand for that will represent the safety, quality, and sustainability of Croatian marine and freshwater fish and seafood. It will also position fishermen, farmers and processors better on the domestic, as well as the international market. The activities and promotional materials generated by the campaign should bring about a greater awareness of the health benefits and nutritional value of seafood. And finally the campaign aims not just to increase consumption for the duration of the promotion effort, but to bring about a culture of consumption of fish and fish products.

indicators suggest that stocks of tuna could support a higher quota. Croatia also farms shellfish, mainly mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) and oysters (Ostrea edulis), using longlines to cultivate these species in specially designated areas such as the western coast of Istria and the Novigrad Sea. Total production amounts to about 3,000 tonnes of mussels and 1 million (pieces) oysters, which are sold exclusively on the domestic market.


The freshwater farming segment in Croatia produces primarily common carp and rainbow trout, with small volumes of silver carp, bighead carp, catfish, tench, pike and zander. More than 20 farms culture cyprinids and about the same number grow trout. Production volumes increased by 25 in 2011 compared with the previous year reaching 6,300 tonnes. One company, Orahovica, inspired by high-tech operations in Israel, has invested heavily in modernisation of the facilities and automation of the day to day running of the farm. This in turn may lead others to follow suit. Mr Kucˇic´ sees enormous possibilities for the freshwater farming sector as production is still a long way from what it was before the war in Yugoslavia, and at current levels even the local demand for carp cannot be met.

EU accession should reduce costs for exporters The overall picture of the fisheries and aquaculture sector in Croatia is positive with investments being made in the marine and freshwater aquaculture sectors, cooperatives putting money in to cold stores, and exporters overwhelmingly supportive of Croatia’s impending accession to the EU. For the latter this will mean a reduction in red tape, transport times for export consignments, and thereby, costs. Enthusiasm for the EU is more nuanced in the fisheries administration, where Mr Kucˇic´ is concerned about the possible implications accession might have on fish stocks in the Adriatic Sea. He also feels that any foreseen reductions in the EU budget currently under consideration in Brussels will hit agriculture and fisheries hardest, making it more difficult to initiate and maintain the changes in direction he wants to see in the Croatian fisheries and aquaculture sector.

Fish and seafood production in Croatia (tonnes) 2009



Index 2011/2010

Freshwater fish for consumption

























Silver and bighead carp





Other fish





Production of fingerlings





Area of carp farms (ha)





Number of carp farms





Area of trout ponds (ha)





Number of trout farms





Wild and farmed fish and seafood





Pelagic fish



















Wild and farmed tuna





Other fish wild and farmed

Farmed tuna





- Other wild fish





- Farmed seabass and seabream















Wild and farmed shellfish









- Farmed shellfish

Source: Croatian Bureau of Statistics

Adapting Croatian legislation to European requirements has also called for a huge effort, he says, and when the new CFP comes into effect just half a year after we join, I suspect our laws will have to be changed all over again. Any change brings both benefits and disadvantages depending on the point of view. Acceding to the EU is a huge change in many ways – politically, economically, and socially – but one that ultimately will hopefully lead to a thriving and competitive aquaculture and fisheries sector in Croatia.

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Orahovica invests millions of euro in freshwater fish farming

Modernising a century-old practice The agricultural company Orahovica is a Croatian company specialised in high quality veal, beef, and pork products, superior wines and hazelnuts, and most recently farmed fish. Inspired by fish farmers in Israel and Germany, the company is investing heavily in information technology to increase efficiency and reduce costs.


P Orahovica d.d. was established in 1963 with a core business of agriculture. Today the company has 6,800 ha of land which is used for a variety of farming activities, including growing fruit, and cereals, breeding cattle and pigs, cultivating grapes for wine, and, since the last four years, also culturing fish in ponds. Croatia has a history of farming freshwater fish that goes back over a century. The country had about 12,000 ha of fish ponds, but the war reduced this by almost half. Since the cessation of hostilities the number of productive ponds has been growing, though not as fast as in neighbouring countries, where favourable policies have enabled production to outpace Croatian output.

Four thousand hectares of ponds Today common carp (Cyprinus carpio) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) are the two main freshwater farmed species in Croatia, with small quantities of bighead carp, grass carp, silver carp, catfish, pike and pike-perch also produced. This species mix is also reflected at Orahovica, where common carp is the main species and small volumes of the other species as well as tench are produced. We do not however produce trout, says Goran Cesnovar, Export Sales Manager for freshwater fish. Fish production at Orahovica was 700 tonnes in 26

Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012

The ponds have been cleared of the undergrowth and the banks rebuilt as part of the comprehensive renovation of the farm.

the last season, which goes from August to August, and is expected to reach 1,000 tonnes in the next season. This substantial increase can be attributed to the renovation of the ponds that is starting to bear fruit. By the time the renovation is completed the company will have invested over EUR13m. The company currently has licences for three ponds and is expecting to get a license for the fourth. Each of the ponds is about 1,000 ha and so when the final license is received, the company will have roughly 4,000 ha of ponds or two thirds of the current area of productive ponds in Croatia. Before production can commence, a lot of work has to be done on the pond explains Mr Cesnovar. As they have been

lying unused and not maintained for several years they are completely silted up and overrun with weeds, the banks are crumbling and the channels that carry the water to and from the ponds are completely blocked. The first pond he saw looked in fact more like a field as it was so heavily overgrown. One of the first things to be done is to remove the silt that has accumulated in the pond. This can be several meters deep as the workers discovered. The excavator that was first sent in to remove the silt sank into it instead all the way up to the cabin and had to be dug out itself. So far two of the ponds have been cleaned and work on the third one, for which the license was received recently is ongoing. The heavy earth shifting work is only

part of the renovation process. Along the edge of the ponds another kind of modernisation is taking place, one that is possibly unique not only to Croatia, but to most other parts of Europe where carp is farmed in extensive ponds.

Fibre network for rapid data transfer This is the creation of an information highway in the form of a network of fibre cable. We have laid more than 60 km of fibre around the ponds, says Mr Cesnovar. The idea is to be able to monitor and control in real time all the parameters that affect the growth of the fish in all our ponds from one control point. In addition feed silos are planted at regular intervals along the banks. These silos


for 2.5 kg fish, which we produce in a two-year cycle, while in Bosnia and Serbia the market demands fish that are 3 kg and up. Fish of this size need three years to grow. In addition the company produces fish of 5 kg and above for angling.

Selection programme breeds fish with desirable traits Goran Cesnovar, Export Sales Manager (freshwater fish), is broadly positive about Croatia’s imminent accession to the EU.

Ksenija Vukman, Farm Manager, is responsible for the day to day running of the farming facilities.

vary in size from five to seven tonnes depending on the size of the pond. There are also smaller silos with a volume of about half a tonne. Feed from the silos is led through tubes into feeding devices that float on the surface of the pond. These feeders can be positioned anywhere on the surface and they disperse the feed over an area of the pond. The feeding system is also automated so that the fish are fed automatically at certain intervals. The ponds are fitted with multiple sensors that check oxygen, temperature, ammonia, and other indicators and send this data back to the central computer. The software running the system is designed so that the feedback from the sensors is used to calibrate the feeding schedule. If the parameters monitored by the sensors suggest that the fish will not feed, then the feeding system is not activated. This way growth can be optimised and at the same time the feed can be conserved. The software was developed in-house and will soon be available on the market for other farmers of freshwater fish.

the pond. Carps feed on this at the bottom which contributes to their sometimes having a muddy taste. At Orahovica the feed is extruded pellets that are formulated to make them sink very slowly giving the fish enough time to feed before the pellets reach the pond bed. The formulation is developed by the company based on tests carried out in small ponds. Once the optimal formula has been identified it is given to an international feed producer to be manufactured. By ensuring that it sinks slowly we can prevent the fish from acquiring this muddy taste, says Mr Cesnovar. The feed is also given only when the conditions as recorded by the sensors are appropriate for feeding. This prevents wastage of the feed and its accumulation on the pond bed. As it is an extruded feed made by international feed production companies it is one of the most expensive inputs and we cannot afford to waste it, says Mr Cesnovar. We want to produce a fish that is of really high quality – it should not taste or smell muddy, nor have excessive fat. Our market research shows us that this is the kind of product that will resonate in EU countries. The size of the fish is also taken into account when exporting. In the EU we know that the preference is

Traditionally carp farmers feed their fish a mixture of grains, such as wheat and corn. According to Mr Cesnovar this mixture tends to sink rapidly to the bottom of

The use of state-of-the-art information technology and high quality extruded feeds are not the only factors that are taken into consideration for the fish production. Another important aspect is the genetic make up of the fish. The company has a scientific programme to select broodstock with the most desirable traits in terms of size, growth rate, tolerance of a wide range of conditions, and

disease resistance. The broodstock are tagged with microchips to facilitate this selection. The selection programme draws on expertise from local universities and the company is also trying to collaborate with companies in Poland and the Czech Republic. As Mr Cesnovar points out, producing carp is not very difficult, but producing high quality carp is a challenge. At the Orahovica hatchery apart from carp, broodstock of the other species that the company produces, such as pike, pike-perch, and catfish, are also maintained. The carp produced at Orahovica is the popular scale-less variety, which grows well in Croatia thanks to the water temperature that is higher than in Poland, Hungary, or the Czech Republic, which are the major European producers of carp. Higher temperatures and longer



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Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012



Tench from the hatchery sliding from the conveying tank into a pond.

sunnier days allow the fish to be fed for a longer period and growth is faster. In fact some of the company’s production is already being exported to the Czech Republic.

in Croatia in general is very low, about 9 kg per capita per year. Of this, consumption of freshwater fish is a tiny proportion. Carp faces several prejudices that need to be addressed, such as that it has a muddy taste, is very fatty, and full of bones. By educating consumers and encouraging farmers to produce high quality fish we can alter the perception of carp farming and expand the market for everybody, he says. If a consumer buys a fish and is impressed with the taste he will buy it again, so it is important that he is not disappointed the first time. Together with the Chamber the company has been involved in a campaign for the generic promotion of carp that has conducted

Mr Cesnovar has a vision not only for his company, but for the carp farming sector in Croatia and more widely in Europe. Our goal, he says, is to have a vibrant market and a constructive partnership with other producers. As a member of the Association of Fish Ponds and Fish Producers in the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and Economy, Orahovica is participating in various activities to boost the domestic consumption of carp. Fish consumption

PP Orahovica d.d.

Company Fact File

Stjepana Mlakara 5 33515 Orahovica Croatia Tel: +385 91 66 11 688 Fax: +385 1 36 54 929 Export sales manager (freshwater fish): Goran Cesnovar Activities: Freshwater fish farming, fish processing Species: Common carp, bighead carp, grass carp, silver carp, 28

Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012

catfish, pike, pike-perch and tench Volumes: 1,000 tonnes in 2013 and 4,000 tonnes of fish for consumption in 2015 Facilities: 4,000 ha of ponds, hatchery, processing facility with freezing, smoking and modified atmosphere packaging Products: Current – gutted fish, fish steaks, whole fish on ice. Planned – portions, patés, sausages, frozen semi-prepared meals and smoked products Markets: Italy, Hungary, Czech Republic, Bosnia, and Serbia

activities in Zagreb, Osijek, and Split. Efforts are also made with retail chains, and advertising is used to distribute recipes and highlight carp’s green and sustainable credentials. The investments in the farm to clean and rebuild the ponds and modernise the production is presented at every opportunity to show that carp cultivation can be state-of-the-art and result in a very high quality products. In the long term Mr Cesnovar is interested in working together with the European carp farming sector to get funding for projects that can work for the long term benefit of the whole sector identifying and pre-empting potential problems.

EU accession will impact existing ties This will only happen once Croatia becomes a fully-fledged member of the EU, which will be in July 2013. However, Croatia is currently a member of CEFTA, the Central European Free Trade Agreement, that includes Albania, Bosnia, Moldova, Serbia, and Montenegro, which are important trading partners. Accession to the EU will result in tariffs being imposed on Croatian goods by these countries. So free access to the EU market is an advantage, but will mean unfavourable changes on existing markets. Even so accession to the EU is viewed largely positively by Mr Cesnovar. It will give us unfettered access to a huge market, where we now face logistical problems, bureaucracy, red tape, and tariffs that add substantially to our costs, he says. Once Croatia joins the EU problems will disappear and we will be freely able to export. In preparation for this moment Orahovica has ensured that all its licenses, certificates, even vehicles, conform to EU regulations, so that it can immediately start to export once the border opens. Already the farm and the processing plant are

Feed silos are places at intervals around the ponds. These can be controlled remotely to release the feed.

certified to HACCP standards and the process for ISO certification is on-going. Currently, the company exports to Italy, Hungary and the Czech Republic in the EU, as well as to Bosnia, and Serbia. But the company also sees prospects in Germany and Poland.

Ambitious plans for processed products To meet this foreseen demand Orahovica plans to increase production to about 4,000 tonnes of fish for consumption in 2015. From 2012 the company will be selfsufficient in the production of fingerlings and from next year will be able to sell fingerlings to other producers. In February 2012 the company opened a processing factory, where it produces gutted fish, fish steaks, and whole fish on ice for sale to retail chains, fishmongers, and other outlets that are authorised to sell fresh fish. Machinery to package in modified atmosphere is expected to be installed in the course of the next months and the company also plans to invest in smoking equipment. The product palette will expand to include portions, patés, sausages, frozen semi-prepared meals and smoked products, for which there is already a market in the EU.


Small fish sizes are a cause for concern

Fresh small pelagics for the Italian market The port of Pula in the north west of Croatia is home to Skamp d.o.o. a fishing company specialised in pelagic fish, anchovies and sardines, and owned by Silvio Licul.


ith an 1,800 km coastline along the mainland and a further 4,000 km of coast from its islands it is hardly surprising that fishing goes back a long way in Croatia. One brochure from the Croatian Chamber of Commerce mentions a 1,000 year old tradition. However, it also states that the Adriatic is relatively thinly populated with fish. Certainly the main catches in terms of volumes are of the small pelagic species sardines and anchovies, which in 2010 amounted to 86 of the total, acording to FAO statistics. These fish are either exported fresh, usually to Italy, or used by the processing industry for the production of canned, salted, or marinated fish. They are also sold to the tuna farming industry as feed. Skamp d.o.o. supplies the Italian market with fresh sardines and anchovies.

Purse seining replaces pair trawling One of the vessel owners targeting small pelagic species is Silvio Licul, whose company Skamp d.o.o. has two 25 m vessels. The vessels were built in 1993 in Romania and in 1995 Mr Licul started his fishing activities. Initially the vessels were used together to pair trawl, whereby a trawl is towed by two vessels simultaneously. The vessels have to pull the trawl at the same speed and maintain a constant distance between the

vessels in order to maintain the horizontal opening of the net. In 2002 Mr Licul switched to purse seining as catches had been poor for a period and pair trawling consumed too much fuel. Each of the boats has a crew of seven and annual catches amount to about 1,000 tonnes. Typically the boats will go out in the evening at about 20.00 fish all night and then, depending on the catch, return between 7 and 10 the next morning. Mr Licul exports most of his fish to Italy and sells the rest

to two canning companies, one in Pula and the other in Zadar.

Fish seem to be smaller and lighter Mr Licul, who has now been fishing for the last seventeen years, says it is very difficult to say whether the fish have become less abundant over this period. His catches have stayed more or less consistent, perhaps with a slight upward trend. What has gone up significantly is the price

of fuel, while the price of the fish has stayed more or less the same. However, one thing he has noticed is that over the last couple of years the fish has been getting smaller in size. And even when it has not been getting smaller in size the weight per piece is lower. Silvio Licul feels that one of the reasons could be the tuna which is preying on the sardines and anchovies. As evidence he points to the fact that the volumes of large mackerel in the Adriatic seem to have been getting lower over the last couple Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012



Silvio Licul owns two 25 m vessels with which he targets pelagic fish intended for the Italian market.

of years. This, he reasons, may be because tuna stocks are increasing and have been feeding on the on the mackerel to the point where there are no mackerel left and now they are targeting the sardines and anchovies. The best season for catching sardines is from September to December, while for anchovies the season is March to September. From mid December to mid January fishing for small pelagics is prohibited. The small size of the fish over the last couple of years has been particularly hard for the anchovy salting industry. The ideal size for anchovies for salting is 40 pieces per kilo and for sardines is 36 pieces per kilo. Today the anchovies are 42 per kilo and sometimes they can be smaller. Heading and tailing machinery is optimised for larger fish and having to process smaller fish leads to greater wastage.

Skamp d.o.o.

Will Italian vessels fish in Croatian waters? As the majority of Mr Licul’s fish is exported to Italy he is generally positive about Croatia’s accession to the EU. Currently it takes 4.5 hours for his truck to reach its destination as it has to cross at a special border check point with Slovenia and go through Slovenian customs all of which is time consuming. Once Croatia joins the journey should not take longer than 2.5 hours with less paperwork and less fuel. Other problems such as special requirements for transport from outside the EU will also become irrelevant making life much easier

Company Fact File

Creska 12 52100 Pula Croatia Tel.: +385 52 535692 Owner: Mr Silvio Licul 30

Catches often include other species as well, which are sorted out from the main catch.

Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012

Activities: Fishing Species: Sardines, anchovies Products: Fresh fish Assets: Two 25 m purse seiners Market: Italy Employees: 13

The vessels typically go out at night and return the next morning.

and cheaper for him. On the other hand he says he stands to lose by way of some subsidies that will now be phased out. Another issue to which he does not know the answer is whether Italian boats will start fishing in Croatian waters and whether that can pose a threat to his business. Zoran Radan, from the Croatian Chamber of Economy says that there is a distinction between coastal

waters and the open sea. He expects Italian vessels to fish in the open sea, but stay out of Croatian coastal waters, which are also the most important for the Croatian capture fishery. Mr Licul will wait to see whether joining the EU brings a net benefit or a net disadvantage and until this is clear he is holding back from making any major new investments for the moment.


Lanterna lights the way for the Croatian fisheries sector

Accession to the EU will lower costs With seventy-two members and thirty associates Lanterna is, according to Manager Zlatko Milovan, the biggest cooperative in Croatia. The cooperative performs a variety of functions for its members related to the processing and distribution of fish and will shortly move into new and bigger premises that will facilitate the work it does.


he fishing industry in Croatia has a long tradition, but it is only recently, over the last 7 to 8 years, that fishermen have been organising themselves into cooperatives. Even today the cooperative movement does not encompass all Croatian fishermen, but perhaps 20 of the fishers covering about 30 of the catch. Lanterna, one of the largest cooperatives, is based in Pula, a city in the Istria region in the north western part of Croatia. The first members were demersal fishers, but today the membership comprise 10 purse seiners, 50 demersal fishers and about 35 small scale coastal fishers who work near the coast primarily with small nets. Lanterna was established in 2005 and in 2007 was recognised by the government to become the precursor of the first producer organisation in the fisheries sector. The cooperative’s members fish for both pelagic and demersal species and 90 of the production is exported, most of it to Italy, which is only about 120 km away. In 2011 the cooperative caught 700 tonnes of fish in total of which about 450 tonnes were small pelagics. Of the total over 600 tonnes was exported. The price that Lanterna gets for its fish on the export market is good for the cooperative and good for its members. We are the biggest cooperative in Croatia, says Zlatko Milovan, the cooperative manager, in terms of the number of fishermen, the variety of fish, and the turnover.

Cold storage capacity increases slowly He compares his organisation with another cooperative called Omega 3 further south along the coast in Kali on the island of Ugljan, near Zadar. Omega 3 has just completed a huge new cold storage facility and in terms of volumes it dwarfs Lanterna. But Omega 3 deals only in small pelagics, anchovies and sardines, where the volumes are high, but the unit values are modest. Zoran Radan from the Croatian Chamber of Economy says that the general lack of cold stores is one of the main problems the fisheries sector is facing, and one that is only slowly being addressed. Building a cold store is financially and administratively demanding which is partly why they are only slowly being established. But they are very useful, not only to prevent waste but also to smoothen out fluctuations in demand and supply. Cold stores allow the fish to be stored and sold when the price is right and can help stagger the volumes of fish that arrive on the market. They prevent the market from being flooded with fish that has to be sold immediately causing the price to collapse. According to Mr Milovan, by building a cold store Omega 3 will now be able to export its fish rather than just selling it on the domestic market as feed for the tuna farming industry. This should benefit the fishers

Zlatko Milovan (centre), Iris Sever-Mocinik (second from right), and some of the staff from the Fishing Cooperative Lanterna.

as the price on the international market is higher than that can be obtained locally. At Lanterna, Mr Milovan says, pelagic fishers earn between EUR0.5 to EUR1 per kilo for their fish while cooperatives selling on the domestic market may only be able to pay EUR0.25. Despite the advantages of a cooperative, fishers are organising themselves only slowly. Each year there are one or two new cooperatives, says Mr Milovan. He sees this is as a positive development and together with eight or ten other cooperatives is working to form a union of cooperatives. But even in Lanterna acquiring and retaining members is uphill work. Sometimes, explains Iris SeverMocinik, the financial controller, fishers have their own problems that prevent them from becoming members. Some may be retiring, others may have financial problems that prevent transparent

transactions with an organisation like a cooperative, in some cases changing legislation may influence their decision as to whether to become members or not. Above all, says Ms Sever-Mocinik, fishers have to be prepared to respect the rules of the cooperative. They have to be ready and willing to work in ways that are decided by the cooperative, they have to bring fish back in acceptable condition, they have to have ice on board, and to use clean boxes. There are other conditions as well and sometimes the fishers find all the requirements difficult to adapt to and so they quit.

Exported fish of the highest quality At Lanterna the fishermen are taught how to fulfil the terms that the cooperative requires of its members, so that the fish comes back in the best possible Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012



condition. We have to do this says Ms Sever-Mocinik as most of our fish is exported and the quality has to be excellent. We are already exporting to Italy and Slovenia and are in discussions with a Swiss company as well. And it is only by ensuring that the fish are of very high quality that we can fulfil our commitments as a cooperative to our members as well as our customers, which is to find the markets, sell everything our members catch, and ensure the best quality. She points out that pelagic fishers sometimes have a mix of pelagic species, sardines, mackerel, anchovies and others in their nets which need to be sorted as soon as it arrives at the processing plant to prepare it for delivery. Lanterna is therefore working on a project to acquire an automatic sorting and grading line as well as thermal fish transport and storage tanks to further improve the quality and efficiency of its operations. In some cases pelagic fishers, if they have caught a single species, will sort it themselves pack it in boxes and ship directly to their customers abroad without first sending it to the Lanterna processing facility. For these transactions too Lanterna prepares all the documentation so that the shipments can be made without delay.

When the boat arrives at the harbour the fish is landed and workers from the cooperative bring it back to Lanterna’s processing facility. Demersal fish tends to be a mix of species so the fish is first sorted by species and then graded. The main demersal species include cepahalopods such as octopus, cuttlefish, and squid, red mullet, hake, dogfish, and seasonal species such as sole and turbot. Some of the sorting work is done on the vessel, but grading is usually done on shore. Since 2008 the processing facility has been equipped with freezing, and primary processing equipment as well as storage capacity thanks to funding from the Phare programme (pre-accession aid from the European Community to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe). In 2011 the processing plant was certified to the ISO22000 standard that demonstrates that it has a food safety management system in place that ensures that food is safe at the time of human consumption. The plant produces a range of products such as cleaned, skinned, ready to cook portions in modified atmosphere packaging using as raw material the fish that does not get sold. Other products include fillets, salted and smoked fish, and processed cephalopods.

Fishermen’s Cooperative Lanterna Vernalska 4 52100 Pula Croatia Tel.. +385 52 211330 Fax: +385 52 211298 Manager: Mr Zlatko Milovan Financial controller: Ms Iris Sever-Mocinik Technologist: Mr Vedran Manzin 32

Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012

A wide range of products are produced from demersal species for sale on international markets.

EU accession to bring immediate benefits As a cooperative Lanterna is looking forward to Croatia joining the EU. Today a tremendous amount of paperwork is required to ship its products to the EU. In addition there are invariably problems at the border that add hours to the delivery time. For a highly perishable product like seafood this can mean the destruction of a shipment or, even worse, the loss of a customer. While now there are specially designated points where trucks can cross the border, after accession it will be possible to cross anywhere leading to savings in both fuel and time. All in all Lanterna has

Company Fact File

Members: 72 (full) + 30 (associate) Activities: Processing, sales and marketing, logistics Facilities: 2,000 sq. m of processing area Species: Sardines, anchovies, octopus, cuttlefish, squid, red mullet, hake, dogfish, sole, turbot, seabream, seabass Products: Fresh fish; frozen fish; cleaned, skinned, ready to cook portions in modified atmosphere packaging; salted products; smoked fish. Markets: Italy, Slovenia, Croatia Volumes: 700 tonnes, of which 65% pelagics (2011) Employees: 18 Turnover: EUR2.5m

calculated the costs of shipping will be reduced on average by 7.5. Joining the EU will also encourage the cooperative to become a producer organisation. However the implications of this need to be studied more thoroughly as, according to Mr Milovan, POs do not all carry out the same functions across Europe. In some countries they only place fish on the market, in others they have a logistics function, while in others they brand and market products.

Rapid growth since inception Seven years ago Lanterna started as a group of fishers who paid 150 euros to make something of their catch. Today the organisation owns machines worth half a million euro, it has six or seven trucks, and it employs 18 people. Each year has seen growth, last year it was 40 and turnover touched EUR2.5m. In a few weeks Lanterna will be moving into a new facility, which, at 2,000 sq. m, is four times bigger than the existing space. Lanterna means lighthouse, and with its investments in product quality and customer service the cooperative is in a sense illuminating the way forward for the Croatian fisheries industry.


Arbacommerce has invested EUR3m in a new processing plant

Ambitions to build its own brand Arbacommerce specialises in processing anchovies and sardines into salted, marinated, and frozen products for the domestic and international market. Demand has been brisk so the company has expanded production, building a big new facility just five years after having completed the first one.


roatia is well known for its salted anchovies which are made from raw material procured from the Adriatic Sea. Although distributed throughout the Eastern Atlantic the fish caught in the Adriatic has a special reputation, which processors not only in Croatia, but also in Italy, and Albania have exploited. Croatian processors provide both the finished product as well as semi-finished products that might be finally processed at some other location. The anchovies may be produced under private label or branded with the producer’s own label. Two of the biggest Italian producers of salted anchovies have production facilities in Croatia. One of the domestic companies that produces its own label is Arbacommerce, which has its head office in Zadar and its processing factory in Lubin in the Istria region in the north eastern part of the country.

A crisis is a good time to invest Arbacommerce is owned by two brothers Nikica and Pavle Paunovic and their mother. The company was established in 1994 and started working in the fish trade in 1999. Initially the brothers were distributing fresh fish, but then seeing an opportunity and making use of funding that was available from the EU, the brothers decided to build a processing factory to process small pelagic

fish, mainly sardines and anchovies. The factory was completed in 2007 and very shortly afterwards Arbacommerce began to experience that the area they had constructed was inadequate. The onset of the financial and economic crisis in 2009 slowed down the economy, but according to Nikica Paunovic also provided an opportunity to expand. Credit was cheaper, construction companies had less work and were more available, so it was a good time to invest. In September 2011 construction started on a new building a few meters away from the old one on the same site. While the old building was 1,400 sq. m, the new one is 2,500 sq. m and will have additional freezing capacity. The company’s range of products includes, frozen fish, sardine fillets, marinated fish and salted fish. The company produces mainly semi-finished products such as salted anchovies in 25 kg barrels, or privately labelled salted anchovy fillets in retail packs of 100 g, 200 g, and glass jars. The raw material for the fish production comes from fishermen with whom the company has long term contracts. The fishing is roughly divided into seasons with sardines caught in the winter season from October to March and anchovies caught from the spring to the end of autumn. From the middle of December to the middle of January fishing is

Pavle Paunovic (left), Chief Operations Officer, and his brother, Nikica Paunovic, the Chief Executive Officer of Arbacommerce.

Marinated anchovy fillets in plastic trays. The plastic containers can vary in size from 75 g to 1,000 g.

prohibited. Semi-processed products are being sold on the company’s markets in France, Spain, and Italy, where local companies will carry out the final processing. This could, for example, be salted anchovies which need to be filleted and packaged, or frozen sardines to be used by the canning industry. We are also developing

our own line of products says Nikica Paunovic, but establishing a new brand on the international market is an expensive and time consuming process that demands a very long term commitment. Consumers everywhere prefer the brands they know and Spain, France, and Italy all have their own brands which have been Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012



The new processing plant was completed in 2012 and has an area of 2,500 sq. m.

on the market for years. But we are working on it and we hope to slowly increase the percentage of branded products compared with the semi-processed goods, particularly as the value-added is higher on finished goods. Already he says sales of their own brand of products are increasing and with the new facility the plan is to produce even more under the Arbacommerce brand.

Eighty percent of production sold abroad At the European Seafood Exposition in Brussels in 2011 Mr Paunovic met a buyer from Denmark who ordered two pallets of the finished salted anchovy fillets. This was a welcome order because the fillets were sold under the Arbacommerce label and could signify the first in a series of small steps towards creating an Arbacommerce brand. On the Croatian market the company is selling its production in Kaufland and Bilje Merkant, but sales on the domestic market only account for 20 of the company’s turnover. Salted anchovy fillets that the company produces are made from fish that has been stored in salt usually for a year and sometimes even for two. This gives it a stronger, fuller taste and a richer colour. For its clients however Arbacommerce only keeps the fish in salt for 3-4 months. It is up to the client to decide whether he wants to keep 34

Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012

the fish in salt for a longer period. This enables Mr Paunovic to deal with different clients who may all have different requirements. The other product that the company manufactures is frozen fish that is prepared in retail packages of 500 g, 1 kg, as well as in 10 kg bulk packages. The fish is headed and gutted by machine and then frozen. For Arbacommerce ultimately it all boils down to quality. The company ensures the quality of the final product by taking care of the quality from the time the fish arrives on the boat. All the vessels with which Arbacommerce has contracts have to fulfil certain minimum requirements including ice machines, the provision of ice water on board, and insulating

Arbacommerce d.o.o. Obala kneza Branimira 4a 23000 Zadar Croatia Tel.: +385 23 250628 Fax: +385 23 250619 Chief Executive Officer: Mr Nikica Paunovic Chief Operations Officer: Mr Pavle Paunovic Activities: Processing of small pelagic fish

tanks. When the boats arrive in the port the fish is inspected by Pavle Paunovic who decides whether it meets the standards required by the company. In the factory huge volumes of ice, some 20 tonnes, are produced on a daily basis to ensure the fish does not deteriorate for want of ice. At another level the quality of the final product rests with the staff that processes the fish. We try to engender a feeling of commitment in our staff that will reflect in their work, says Nikica Paunovic. We encourage them to attend to the small details which might be ignored in other companies. We treat them fairly and transparently, which pays dividends in the end. The fishermen, for example, are paid once they have delivered the fish. Our prices may not be the highest, but, unlike some, we pay as soon as the fish is delivered and not days or weeks later. And this attitude indicates to our customers and partners that we are professionals in our business.

Looking for new markets in Central Europe At the moment much of the fish is slightly smaller in size than usual, but because the company

Company Fact File Species: Anchovies, sardines Products: Semi-processed salted anchovies, salted anchovy fillets, marinated anchovy fillets, fresh and frozen sardines (IQF, block) Volumes: 2.5 to 3.5 thousand tonnes of raw material per year Facilities: Two processing facilities completed in 2007 and 2012. Total area is 1,400 + 2,500 sq. m Markets: 80% exports to Italy, Spain, France; 20% Croatia

maintains such good relationships with the vessels it can persuade the captains to target the bigger fish even if the volumes are a bit smaller. To compensate for the lower volumes we pay them a little more per kilo, says Pavle Paunovic, it is just one of the negotiations we do each day to find mutually acceptable solutions when a problem crops up. A bigger problem however is that on some markets the size of the fish is determined by the market at a whole and if the fish does not meet the minimum size it may not be possible to sell on that market. One issue that so far seems to have left Arbacommerce untouched in terms of its ability to sell its production is the impact of the crisis. It Italy the crisis has been particularly bad, but we still seem to be able to sell our products, says, perhaps it is the quality and that at the same time our prices are reasonable. At the same time the company is aware that it needs to expand its markets. We are looking at Central Europe and also Germany, neither of which is a traditional market for us, says Nikica Paunovic. He feels it is important that Croatia develops itself as a brand, just like Italy, Spain or France. It should be possible over time for Croatia to be associated with good climate, food, wine, and natural beauty. It will then be much easier to develop a market for and to sell Croatian food products in other countries, he feels. The brothers are looking forward to Croatia’s impending accession to the European Union as it will mean much less bureaucracy and paperwork. The situation now for Nikica Paunovic is frustrating because potential clients visibly lose interest when they realise all the hoops they have to go through to be able to import from outside the EU.


Sardina: Capture fishing, farming, and processing

New factory doubles production capacity At the Sardina factory pelagic fish has been processed for over a hundred years. In a few months, however, the processing activities will move to brand new facilities and the existing place will be sold. A wider range of products and new types of packaging are among the developments envisaged with the change in location.


roatia has an ancient tradition of fishing pelagic species in the Adriatic. It also has a long history of canning these fish. Over the years, however, partly as a result of globalisation and the need to move into products with more added value, the canning industry has been going through a process of consolidation. As a result today there are only four canneries down from about seven a decade or so ago.

High quality canned fish Located on the island of Brac, a short ferry ride from Split, is a processing factory that dates back to 1907. Parts of it are more recent of course as new wings have been added and others renovated, but much of the building is from the early part of the last century. This is Sardina’s facility that today produces 20m cans of fish a year. The canned fish is produced from raw material from the Adriatic Sea – sardines, anchovies, tuna, and mackerel that is fished by the company’s four vessels. This meets about 30 of the company’s requirements for raw material, for the remainder contracts are made with independent fishers for the supply of fish for the cannery. Among the canned products are several varieties of Adriatic sardines in olive oil, with vegetables, with tomato sauce, with chilli,

and also tuna fillets in oil, which, according to Davor Gabela, the executive manager, is probably the company’s best known canned product. Mackerel is also used in the production of cans as fillets combined with oil or with tomato sauce. But the canned production is not restricted to pelagic fish caught in the Adriatic; hake, for example, imported from Argentina, is also canned either in oil or as a special preparation made following a traditional Dalmatian recipe. Hake is also caught in the Adriatic, says Mr Gabela, but the quantities are insufficient to supply Sardina and it all goes to the domestic market as fresh fish. Recently, the pelagic fish that the company gets from the Adriatic has been smaller than usual, which is a cause for concern. According to Mr Gabela, for a cannery the ideal size of sardines is 28 to 35 pieces per kilo, while sizes of up to 40 can also be used. Smaller than that and the yield is reduced so that the company cannot produce enough cans. At Sardina, if we get fish of the optimal size, we produce 60 to 70 thousand cans a day, but when the fish is small the production is much less, says Mr Gabela. A discussion is currently on-going between the canneries, fishing organisations, tuna farmers, and the ministry to try and increase the minimum

Production at the Sardina plant where fish has been processed for over a century will soon be moved to a big new facility a couple of kilometres away.

size of the fish that can be caught, so that for example, fish smaller than 60 pieces per kilo are not targeted. In the long term Mr Gabela feels that a restriction will benefit the stock as it gives the small fish a chance to grow, but he is aware that restrictions on the fishery also create difficulties for the fishermen.

New facility to start processing in mid 2013 The current problems with the size of the fish are not however serious enough to disrupt the building of a big new factory to which Sardina will move its production in a few months. At 30,000 sq. m with a further 12,000 sq. m of space under the roof the new facility will dwarf the existing one. It will have a capacity of 60m cans per year and will allow the company to move

into the production of a range of new products including fish patés, salted, marinated, and frozen fish. There were several reasons behind the expansion Mr Gabela explains. Croatia is joining the European Union in a few months, which will open up a huge market; market research has shown that there is a demand for the new products that the company will manufacture; and, the terms of the loan from the bank were very favourable making it a good time to invest. The total investment is about EUR35m, of which the company and the bank provide the bulk while a small proportion comes from the EU’s Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) programme. Production will be moved completely to the new building, where there will also be new processing machinery, and the old production site will be sold. Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012



Davor Gabela, Executive Manager and one of the three partners in Sardina.

The new site is expected to commence operations in June 2013 and will be equipped with a modern Danish freezing facility with a capacity of 250 tonnes in 24 hours. This will triple Sardina’s freezing capacity from what it is currently and allow the purchase of larger quantities of fish, which can then be frozen in blocks or individually (IQF) and stored. The company had the chance to build its new facility in another part of the country, but elected to stay on Brac, just a few kilometres away from the existing plant. The workers we have now are specialists, says Mr Gabela, they know exactly how we process the fish. If we were to move we would spend a lot of time training or retraining

Sardina d.d.

Move from club to dingley cans for better visibility Sardina is confident that the investment in the new processing plant will pay off. Fish consumption is on the increase and the company has the advantage of having a reputation for producing high quality products. With

Company Fact File

The Island Of Brac HR 21410 Postira Croatia Tel.: +385 21 632244 Fax: +385 21 632236; Activities: Fishing, farming, processing Production: 20m cans per year, 900 tonnes tuna, 500 tonnes seabass and seabream, 250 tonnes fish meal


new employees, which is why we decided to stay. Once the new plant is commissioned the company plans to increase the number of employees from 280 to 380 people. Most of the new staff will come from Brac, making Sardina one of the largest employers there and cementing its already strong links to the island. Widespread among the staff, particularly among those who belong to the second generation of a family to work at the company, is a strong proprietary feeling for the firm. This feeling that we are all part of a big family is good for the working environment, emphasises Mr Gabela, as it gives us all a common purpose and a feeling of participation. With the increase in staff the number of shifts will also increase from one to two and the daily production will go up from 2,500 tonnes to 5,000 tonnes.

Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012

Markets: Cans, 70% exported to Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Hungary, Czech Republic, Russia, United States, Canada, Australia; 30% sold on domestic market. Tuna exported to Japan. Seabass seabream sold in Croatia Facilities: Four fishing vessels, new processing plant to start producing in June 2013 Employees: 280 to increase to 380 Turnover: EUR35m

the new production facilities this reputation will only be enhanced. The company’s products are already being sold by international retail chains, who should only welcome an expansion in the assortment available. Competition from Asian canned fish producers is more in the market for cheaper products, says Mr Gabela, where we cannot compete, however at the upper end of the market, such as tuna fillets, we can. The shift to the new factory will also bring about a change in the type of cans the company will produce, from club to dingley. As they are wider dingley cans are better for printing on and will look better on supermarket shelves. Changes are also envisaged for the products made from Sardina’s farmed seabass and seabream. These fish are currently sold fresh and gutted to Croatian retail chains, but with the new factory fresh and frozen fillets for the domestic hotel, restaurant, and catering sector as well as modified atmosphere packaged products are on the cards.

Tuna farmed for the Japanese market Sardina also farms tuna. The company has a quota of 150 tonnes of tuna out of the total Croatian quota of 350 tonnes. Part of the company’s quota was allocated while the rest was bought from other quota holders. Last year the company invested EUR2.5m buying up tuna quotas. A few years ago, says Mr Gabela, there were six Croatian companies farming tuna, but today there are only three left. Catching the fish is subject to several restrictions: the tuna must have a minimum weight of 8 kg when they are caught; the company’s quota may not be exceeded; the ban on fishing between 15 May and 15 June must be observed; and

The current club cans will be replaced with dingley cans to give better visibility on supermarket shelves.

only boats with quota are allowed to catch. Once the fish are caught they are transported very slowly in cages to the site where they will be kept and fattened until they reach the desired weight, a process that takes about 18 months. The fish are fed on small pelagic fish, locally caught material that is too small to be used in the production of canned fish, and herring that the company imports from Sweden. By the end of the fattening period the fish usually weigh between 40 and 50 kg. Since the company started its tuna farming activities Sardina has worked with a Japanese enterprise selling the fish to them once it was ready. The Japanese have really the only market for this fish and the farmers have to take whatever the market price is. Some companies in other parts of the Mediterranean are trying to develop other markets for farmed tuna, but for now it is still the Japanese who are the biggest players. For Sardina the tuna farming is the most important part of its business amounting to about 60 of the turnover. The company is therefore hoping that quotas will be increased by ICCAT.


Fisheries and aquaculture in Andalucía and Catalonia

Securing the future of small fishing communities The Spanish fishery industry is concentrated heavily in Galicia in the north west of the country. Not only is Galicia home to the port of Vigo, the EU’s most important in terms of volumes of fish landed, it also has important fish processing and aquaculture industries. Other regions, however, also have significant fishing and fish farming sectors with their own unique characteristics. Andalucía, the southern-most region of Spain has both a Mediterranean and an Atlantic coast, and a unique artisanal tuna fishery, while Catalonia is developing a label for its production, highlighting its quality and the benefits of buying local.


n Andalucía the fisheries sector including production and processing amounts to only 0.25 of the economy, but in several towns and villages along the coast the sector contributes up to 90 of local GDP and is therefore the mainstay of many of the small communities that populate these areas. With access to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea the size of Andalucía’s fishing fleet is second only to that of Galicia. Figures from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment show that in 2011 the Andalucian fleet comprised 1,672 vessels amounting to 16 of the Spanish fleet compared to almost 5,000 vessels in Galicia (47.5 of the fleet). The average age of vessels in the Andalucian fleet is 24 years. The majority of the Andalucian vessels (52) are small, up to 10 m in length, while about 600 vessels (36) are between 12 and 24 m in length. Since 2008 the number of vessels in the Andalucian fleet has fallen by 6.7 while the gross tonnage has decreased by 13.4. In Catalonia along the Mediterranean the fleet in 2011 comprised 955 vessels or 9 of the Spanish fleet of which almost half (427) were less than 10 m. Catalonia too has seen a 9 decrease in the size of the fleet and a 3.2 decline in tonnage since 2008.

Andalucian fishers catch a huge variety of species In 2011 catches by the Andalucian fleet amounted to 60,000 tonnes valued at EUR153m. The diversity of species is staggering – almost 300 different species were caught by the fleet. In terms of total value the most important species were European pilchard (sardine), deep-water rose shrimp and European anchovy. Pilchards and anchovies were also the species of which the highest volumes were caught. However, catches by the Andalucian fleet have been steadily declining – from 187 thousand tonnes in 1985 to 68 thousand tonnes in 2010, a fall of more than 63. The decline has been across all categories, fresh fish, frozen fish, as well as the tuna caught by the almadraba, a labyrinth of nets that traps the fish as they migrate between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. The exception to the overall trend is the marine aquaculture sector where over the same period production has grown more than 10 fold, from 698 tonnes to 7937 tonnes. The smaller vessels (less than 24 m) in the Andalucian fleet can be categorised into the artisanal sector, which constitutes some 88 of the

Margarita Pérez Martín, Director General for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Government of Andalucía.

fleet. Artisanal fishing activity provides employment to the fishers, who supply fresh fish to several small towns along the coast on a daily basis. For these towns the fishing is one of the main commercial activities and an important source of revenue for the town. If the fishing were to disappear it would have a serious impact on the local economy, says Margarita Pérez Martín, the Director General for Fisheries and Aquaculture, in

the government of Andalucía. The local administration is aware that despite the reduction in fleet size since 2008, capacity still exceeds the available resources. Further reductions depend on the outcome of ongoing studies to find out what the ideal fleet size is. The local government is keen that cuts in the fleet do not result in capacity that is too low to be able to optimally utilise the resources, and it also wants to ensure that the Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012



future of the small coastal towns that depend on fishing and fishermen is secure.

A millennia-old fishing tradition – the almadraba As mentioned above Andalucía is home to an ancient artisanal fishery for bluefin tuna and other large pelagics called almadraba. As the tuna migrate between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean through the Strait of Gibraltar they are captured in a labyrinth of nets. The method is some 3,000 years old and the gear today is much the same as it was then. It consists of vertical nets that are marked at the surface with floats and anchored on the seabed. The nets are fixed close to the coast and due to the size of the mesh and the season when the fish are caught they tend to weigh at least 70 kg. The captured tuna is either harvested or transported to tuna farms to be fattened. Andalucía has four almadrabas, one each in the cities of Barbate, Conil, Tarifa, and Zahara, that are organised into a producer organisation OPP 51. The almadrabas employ some five hundred people directly and a further 200 indirectly. The PO has created a quality label “Atún Salvaje de Almadraba del Sur de España” (A.S.A.S.E.) that distinguishes tuna caught by the almadrabas from tuna caught with other gear. In Barbate OPP 51 has a deep freezing plant where the tuna is frozen and stored at -60 degrees C. From the cold store the fish can be shipped by sea or road to destinations all around the world.

Facilitating the development of marine aquaculture The increase in output from the marine aquaculture sector is 38

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partly because Margarita Pérez Martín is keenly supporting its development. Using GIS systems her administration has analysed coastal and inland areas to identify the most suitable zones in Andalucía for aquaculture. Spatial analysis and cartographic information together with information about environmental limitations, and characteristics of the water showing which species can be cultivated, socioeconomic information is placed on a map so that all the information is available at a glance. Ms Pérez Martín feels that Andalucía has great potential for aquaculture and that now even people from the fishing sector are turning to aquaculture as they feel that it has more potential than fisheries. The government is also working with producer organisations within the aquaculture sector, developing a quality label, helping with building domestic and international networks, and assisting them in obtaining financial and technical support for projects.

Maria Merce Santmarti i Miro, Director General for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Government of Catalonia.

Fish farming in the Mediterranean is different from mariculture in the Atlantic due to the natural differences in the geography of the two coastlines. The Mediterranean coast is rich in beaches and does not have the strong tides that characterise the Atlantic coast, where wave intensity and the tidal range are considerably greater. A report on integrated coastal zone

management in Spain says that the wave energy on the Atlantic coast carries sediment from the rivers along way from the coast while on the Mediterranean side it tends to build up in the river mouths. The rivers emptying into the Atlantic include the Guadiana and the Guadalquivir and the coast is characterised by low lying wetlands. One of the oldest

Fishing fleet in selected regions No. of vessels

Gross tonnage

Engine power

Average length (m)
















Canary Islands





Other regions




Total in Spain





Source: Estadísticas Pesqueras, Abril 2012, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment

Evolution of fisheries production in AndalucÍa (tonnes) Fresh fish auctioned

Frozen fish








































Source: Producción Pesquera Andaluza. Año 2010, Junta de Andalucía. Consejería de Agricultura y Pesca


activities carried out on these wetlands has been salt production. A system of sluices and gates exploits the tides to collect water in shallow basins. As the water is brackish it can be evaporated to crystallise salt. Today many of these basins are used for the cultivation of fish like seabream, seabass, sole, and meagre. Producers maintain that fish cultured in these basins is different from that grown in sea cages as the density in the basins is less and the fish in the basins feed on a combination of extruded feed and natural prey that comes in from the sea. This, they say, results in flesh of a firmer texture.

Farmed seafood production falls in Catalonia In 2011 the volume of farmed seafood in Catalonia fell slightly from 6,113 tonnes in 2010 to 5,602 tonnes, a decrease of 8.4. The production of farmed fish declined from 2,231 to 1,829 tonnes while that of molluscs fell from 3,882 to 3,774 tonnes. According to the local government, the main reason for this decline is because production from tuna farming activities in 2011 was not included in the aquaculture data, but was added to the capture fisheries. The main farmed species are seabream, seabass, mussels, oysters, and clams, with seabream clearly dominant among the fish species, and mussels among the shellfish. Aquaculture production peaked

Evolution of fisheries production in AndalucÍa (euro) Fresh fish auctioned Frozen fish








































Source: Producción Pesquera Andaluza. Año 2010, Junta de Andalucía. Consejería de Agricultura y Pesca

at just over 7,400 tonnes in 2005. Since then it has hovered between 5,400 tonnes and 6,200 tonnes up to 2011. Farmed fin fish production has fallen continuously for the last three years from 2,485 tonnes to 1,829 tonnes in 2011, while over the same period farmed shellfish production has increased from 3,334 to 3,774 tonnes. The production of farmed fish has also been affected by developments in Greece where seabream was being produced at very low cost. Maria Merce Santmarti i Miro, the Director General for Fisheries and Aquaculture in the Catalonian government says that her department is working closely with the regional aquaculture association to expand the sector and that there already has been some diversification with two sturgeon farms and four or five trout farms being established.

was a period of restructuring in the industry and volumes fell back to average 1,465 tonnes over the next six years. Farmed shellfish have been affected by fluctuations in temperature in the bay of the Ebro delta, as well as by algal blooms and incidents of disease in the past. The government is managing the coastal zone to prepare areas where investors can start an aquaculture operation with very little red tape. These areas are being selected for their suitability for aquaculture and because the farming activities will not conflict with other users such as the tourism industry. Some projects have already begun such as sole farming in submerged cages, production of ornamentals in the Ebro Delta and the department is also working with Italian help to increase the circulation of the water in the bays.

Farmed seabream started in Catalonia in 1992. After a period of rapid expansion when the volumes increased from a mere 7 tonnes to over 2,000 tonnes in 2005 there

Developing a label for Catalonian fish Maria Merce Santmarti i Miro says that one of the biggest problems

the industry faces is the marketing of locally caught product. Only 18 of the fish and seafood sold in Catalonia is locally sourced and it tends to be more expensive than the other seafood. The main species from capture fisheries are shrimps, nephrops, sole, hake, bluefin tuna, anchovies, and sardines. Consumers need to be shown that the fish is more expensive because it is very fresh, and the quality is very high. To get this message across the department is working on a project to promote Catalonian fish under the label “Fish from the Coast”, which will be an umbrella for all Catalonian fish even if it is sold under other brands, labels or certificates. The campaign includes promotion activities in different towns and cities and Ms Santmarti is hopeful of getting some European funding to help with the promotion activities. We need to get better at adding value to the product, she says, because that is the only way we can secure the future of the fishery. If the volumes of fish are low then the

Capture fisheries in Catalonia by group (tonnes) Pelagic fish White fish Cephalopods Crustaceans


Gastropods Cartilaginous Other Total fish invertebrates



















































Source: Departament d'Agricultura, Ramaderia, Pesca, Alimentació i Medi Natural, Generalitat de Catalunya

Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012



An example of the information that the government of Andalucía has put together on coastal and inland areas that are suitable for aquaculture.

value has to increase. She would like to see more fishers joining producer organisations as they would learn how to optimise the value of the catch. Over the next two years Ms Santmarti has several priorities for her department including the development of aquaculture, increasing the energy efficiency of the fishing vessels, improving the marketing of Catalonian fish, and diversifying the sources of fishermen’s income by encouraging them for example to work with the tourist industry. These are approaches that will not be executed overnight but in the long run will contribute to securing the future of the fisheries and aquaculture sector in Catalonia. 40

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Farmed fish and seafood production in Catalonia (tonnes) Finfish























Source: Estadística de producció d’aqüicultura 2011, Direcció General de Pesca i Afers Marítims

Farmed seafood production in Catalonia selected species (tonnes) Seabream



































Source: Estadística de producció d’aqüicultura 2011, Direcció General de Pesca i Afers Marítims


Conxemar represents the Spanish processors

Access to imported raw material at the right price is crucial The Spanish association of wholesalers, importers, manufacturers, and exporters of fish products and fish farming, Conxemar, represents over 250 members covering 90% of the seafood market in Spain. The association has an office in Madrid, but its headquarters are in Vigo, the largest port in Europe in terms of fish and seafood landings and diversity of species, and well known for the quality of its products.


onxemar is also the name of the trade fair organised annually by the association, the first of its kind in southern Europe that caters to the sector and its needs. At the latest edition of the trade fair one day was dedicated to a congress co-organised with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on cephalopods. Squids, octopus, and cuttlefish today amount to 4 of the global trade in fishery products with an estimated worth of USD8.3bn. As co-organiser of the congress the FAO also had a stand at the trade fair from where it promoted and distributed its publications.

Steady rather than spectacular Broadly speaking members of the Conxemar association are either trading companies or processors of frozen fish and seafood. The processing sector for frozen fish has a 50-year old history producing, handling, and distributing fish in Spain and today has a solid network across the country and abroad, which helps maintain its position as Europe’s primary exporter of seafood. Almudena Rodríguez Sanchez-Beato, the Director General of Conxemar, feels that one of the reasons for Conxemar’s solidity now is that when the Spanish economy was

The trade fair Conxemar was the first of its kind in southern Europe and caters to the fish and seafood processing and trading sector.

booming in the 1990s and the early 2000s the seafood sector did not experience the same rates of growth as other parts of the economy. Spending on food did not increase radically, she says, as consumers cannot start to eat more. By the same token, when boom turned to bust, spending on food did not decrease drastically, and so the industry has not seen companies going out of business or filing for bankruptcy.

While there have been no drastic fluctuations in seafood consumption within Spain, there has been slight growth in consumption of frozen fish. And exports have grown by about 10 since 2008. The export trade is also what is helping the industry perform when the domestic economy has slowed down. We have noted that the number of small stands at the exhibition has reduced, which would suggest that smaller

companies that depend to a greater extent on the domestic market are more affected by the crisis, says Ms Rodríguez, while bigger companies that export and that can respond to demands for more quality, service, or better prices, are probably in a better position to weather the crisis. Most of the companies in the association fall into the medium category, with a turnover of roughly between EUR3 and 15m. Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012



Conxemar fair emphasises innovation The trade fair Conxemar each year offers something new. Seafood is a mature market and growth is slow, so if you do not innovate you end up losing market share, says José Ángel Mozos García, the President of Conxemar, and director in the company Serpeska. Innovation can take different forms, from taking better care of the raw materials, using better packaging, developing more effective methods of production, paying greater attention to the environment in the production, using less plastic, increasing the shelf life of the product, improving customer service, and also adapting to consumer expectations of prepared food with greater convenience. There are some consumers who would like to shop traditionally for fish, but just do not have the time to do it, and are therefore looking for more convenient products, which take just a few minutes to prepare. This has happened in other parts of Europe and is starting to change here too. All these developments tend to be reflected at the trade show. Like other associations Conxemar was established to defend the interests of the sector, which it has been doing since 1974. The trade fair is only one of Conxemar’s activities, and this is organised by a team within the secretariat, but over and above this the association tries to create the most favourable environment for the sector to carry out its business. This includes a lot of training and information dissemination activities, such as the recently concluded cephalopod event at the last Conxemar trade fair. We normally have 2 to 3 workshops each year, says Ms Rodríguez, for example, on how to optimise water utilisation within a factory, reduce energy 42

Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012

As co-organiser of the cephalopod conference the FAO was also present with a stand at the Conxemar trade fair. From left José Estors Carballo, Gloria Loriente, Audun Lem (all FAO), Graciela Pereira, Infopesca; Aina Afanasjeva, Eurofish.

consumption, on additives, or on developments in packaging. There are also courses on issues such as labelling, quality, certification, and language improvement. We also help individual members when they have questions or problems or need legal help. For all these activities the association has a team of 20-25 people between the two offices.

The chain in Spain José Ángel Mozos García (left), President of the association A.N.I.E., and Almudena Rodríguez Sanchez-Beato, Director General of Conxemar.

Conxemar Fact File C/Serrano 79 28006 Madrid Spain Tel.: +34 91 435 21 79 Fax: +34 91 578 12 60 Director General: Almudena Rodríguez Sanchez-Beato President: José Ángel Mozos García Conxemar includes the following associations:

ANIE – processors of frozen fish ACOMAR – processors of frozen crustaceans ALIMAR – exporters and importers, the traders’ association (frozen) Total membership: 252 Distribution by size: >250 employees, 3%; 50-249 employees, 29%; 10-49 employees, 46%; <10 employees, 22% Combined turnover of member companies: EUR6.4bn Combined employment: 13,285

The industry in Spain still carries out all the steps in the value added chain from the catch or import of raw material to the processing, packaging, marketing, sales, and distribution. We have been managing fish for centuries says Mr Mozos, and have a wealth of experience and expertise to draw on. We are innovative, flexible and responsive to our customers needs. That is why our companies are still in business. The raw material whether here or anywhere in Asia is the same, the difference is how it is processed. As long as tariffs on raw materials are not raised we can operate here, employing people in our factories, paying them a decent wage, taking care of the environment and finding markets for our products.


Cabomar sees research and development as a prerequisite for success

Products that offer variety and convenience Cabomar Congelados, S.A. started the production of different fish and seafood products in 2002 in Marín Pontevedra, Galicia, a region in the northwest of Spain that is famous in the fishing world.

The two brothers Enrique Freire (left), General Manager and Eduardo Freire, Commercial Manager joined Cabomar, when they returned to Spain after studying in the United States.


ith cold storage capacity of 27,000 cubic m Cabomar is a company which offers a range of services involving not only production and marketing, but also storage of frozen products at minus 20oC. The company is able to offer its clients a storage capacity of 8,500 pallets

spaces. For providing these services the company has built five refrigerated loading docks. In the cold store traceability is maintained with a radio frequency information device (RFID) system. This ensures transparency by providing information to the clients on the different stages the product has been through.

Market oriented philosophy Cabomar is constantly researching market needs and trends and aims at fulfilling the specific needs of the clients at the top end of the market. The company has several strategic fish supply agreements

thanks to its wide experience and its recognized professionalism that allow it to import raw materials from around the world. Some 50 of the volumes produced are exported to well established markets in Italy, France, Germany and Portugal. At its R&D Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012



department the company is constantly developing novel products for alternative markets to adapt them to the client’s needs. Among the newest products developed by the company are healthy battered squid rings, funny fish shapes, seafood soup or mushrooms and seafood mix.

Marnatura and Marnaturavida brand products At present the company has two brands: Marnatura and Marnaturavida. Marnatura covers a wide range of pre-fried products with different packaging options that meet the requirements of the hotels, restaurant, catering, and retail sectors. Among the Marnatura products are buttered squid rings, stuffed mussels, baby squid coated on flour or breaded squid strips. Squid-based products are particularly good for children as they offer some of the benefits of seafood in a convenient and bone-free form. The Marnaturavida brand products are free of any preservatives and artificial ingredients and therefore the product maintains its original flavour. These are cleaned, cut and ready to cook products which make a consumer’s life easier and more comfortable. The products are aimed particularly at those consumers who wish to spend as little

The Marnatura range includes pre-fried products for the hotel, restaurant, and catering sector.

time as possible preparing meals, yet are interested in healthful and tasty products. Black rice seafood mix with loligo rings and tentacles, squid ink sauce and vegetables (diced raw onion, diced pepper, sliced leek, chopped raw garlic) is an ideal ingredient to cook a typical Italian/Spanish black rice. In the IQF product group monkfish and tuna steaks represent high quality wild fish that keeps all its nutritional properties and taste due to on-board freezing.

Cabomar Company Fact File Puerto de Marin s/n, 36900 Marin-Pontevedra, Spain Tel. +34 986 839 584 Fax +34 986 838 113 General Manager: Enrique Freire


Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012

Commercial Manager: Eduardo Freire Products: Frozen fish and seafood Markets: Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Portugal Employees: 250 Turnover: EUR50m

From the outset Cabomar has established a set of high standards. The ISO9001 and IFS (International Food Standard) certificates are proof that the products the company delivers conform to the highest quality and safety standards. Just recently Cabomar renewed its IFS certificate for the sixth consecutive year at the highest rating “Higher Level”. In this way the company satisfies its clients’ high quality expectations.

Conxemar and ESE have different selling points At the Conxemar Exposition the company was promoting both new and traditional products and also looking for new clients. “Participation at international trade fairs is an opportunity

to get an impression of new developments in the market”, says Enrique Freire, General Manager of Cabomar. According to him the European Seafood Exposition is a good place to meet existing and potential customers from northern Europe and from other countries around the world, while Conxemar is a place to meet customers from the southern European countries, such as Italy, France, Portugal and, of course, Spain. Being present at an event is however no guarantee of success, says Mr Freire. For that a wide range of products, continuous improvement, flexibility, and strong research and development skills are some of the prerequisites. Aina Afanasjeva,


Asia, Middle East, and Eastern Europe are new target markets

Exports of canned seafood reach record levels in 2011 ANFACO-CECOPESCA is the association of Spanish manufacturers of canned fish and seafood, one of the sectors of the Spanish economy that is doing relatively well, partly thanks to growing export markets. Juan Manuel Vieites, General Secretary of the association spoke to Eurofish Magazine about the need for competitively priced raw materials, its commitment to sustainability, and the importance of creating a permanent channel of communication between the European Commission and European processors. Spain, like some other countries, is currently going through a serious economic crisis. Has this had an impact on the canned fish sector and how has it manifested itself? Despite the current negative situation in the domestic and international economy the Spanish canned industry for fishery and aquaculture products has in the last years seen moderately positive results. Production increased by 0.1 in volume from 2010 to 2011, and by 6.1 in value which has prevented the closure of companies and maintained employment rates in general terms. In 2011, the Spanish canned industry produced 359,449 mt of canned fish and had a turnover of more than EUR2,400m. Galicia was the leader with more than 85 of the national production. Due to the slump in the domestic market companies have made serious efforts to develop markets abroad, which has generated a significant increase in canned fish exports to 40 of the production in the sector. Moreover, I must point out that the consumption of canned fish in Spain has increased by 1.65, and this is the only product group in the Spanish fishery

and aquaculture sector that has recorded an increase in national consumption in 2011. According to the Household Consumption Database of the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment Affairs the consumption of canned fish has increased by more than 4 from 2008 to 2011. How does the canned seafood sector in Spain ensure that it has access to the raw materials it needs in the quantity and quality that is necessary for a dynamic and competitive industry? We live today in a globalised world in which the supply of raw materials has a strategic value. To assure the future of the sector it is increasingly important that raw materials are available at competitive prices, especially as preferential agreements with third countries give their processing industries access to the EU market. What kind of impact do you anticipate the proposed reform of the Common Fisheries Policy will have on the canning sector? Do you see canning as a way of using species that are not traditionally used for human consumption? The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and the Common Market

Juan Manuel Vieites, General Secretary, ANFACO-CECOPESCA.

Organisation (CMO), which are currently being reformed, should contribute to the sustainable development of fisheries and aquaculture activities including, fishing, aquaculture, processing, sales and marketing, with a balance between environmental, economic and social objectives. As part of the reform I feel it is important to create an EU Advisory Committee for the Processing and Marketing Industry of Fishery Products to ensure the whole sector’s participation in the decision-making process and to create a permanent

communication channel between the EU industry and the European Commission. With regard to the new European Maritime and Fisheries Funds (EMFF), it is essential that any company can access these funds irrespective of its size. The use of species that are not traditionally used for human consumption is an interesting proposition for our industry, which is highly innovative. Spain, however, is already one of the producers with the widest range of canned products, so developing this idea may not be simple. Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012



Among the seafood canning industryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s export markets, the EU is by far the largest and most important. What steps are being taken to diversify into other markets and which markets are considered to have the most potential?

(Japan, China, India.), countries in the Middle East and Eastern Europe (such as Russia, Poland) are target markets of particular interest for Spanish companies, while in America, the USA and Brazil continue to be significant markets for Spanish products.

Exports of Spanish canned fishery and aquaculture products are increasing in importance as they compensate for the delicate situation in the domestic economy and thereby guarantee the future of the sector. In 2011, exports of canned seafood increased 8.68ď&#x2122;&#x201A; in volume and 16.89ď&#x2122;&#x201A; in value reaching a record 145,527 tonnes. Almost 90ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of the total was exported to the EU while the remainder was sold to more than 100 countries representing all the five continents.

Sustainability of stocks is one of the key features of the reform of the CFP. How does the canning industry ensure that the raw material it uses is fished sustainably? Do you foresee greater use of sustainability labels on products from the canning industry? Do you anticipate farmed finfish playing a greater role in the canning sector?

The Spanish canned fish industry aims to consolidate its presence in those countries in which it is present, as well as to seek new markets. In this sense, Asian countries

The Spanish canned fish industry is firmly committed to the sustainability of the fishery resources and their rational exploitation under the responsible management guidelines outlined by the concerned Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMO).

The long-term conservation of tuna destined for processing in each and every ocean is one of the main priorities of the Spanish tuna industry. The sector has always shown absolute willingness to collaborate with the different tuna RFMOs and other bodies to adopt the necessary measures to ensure sustainable management of the resource on which so much employment and economic activity depends. The Spanish tuna industry warmly welcomed the publication of the Council Regulation (EC) No. 1005/2008 of 29 September 2008 establishing a Community system to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. The industry openly rejected any illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activity, whether by vessels flying the flag of an EU Member State or a third-party country, and supported the adoption of coherent measures by the competent authorities to prevent such practices.

After the entry into force of this Regulation on 1 January 2010, the Spanish tuna industry considers it essential to implement effective monitoring systems for all products which come from third countries to the EU market. These systems should take into consideration the origin and traceability of the raw material to ensure that tuna imports (loins and canned tuna) that are commercialized on the EU market have been produced from raw material caught by vessels that are on European safety lists. The fishery industry is irreversibly committed to sustainable fisheries seeing this as an essential tool to assure the future both the fleet sector and the processing industry. Therefore, it is necessary to emphasise that the fishery sector is interested in collaborating with the different RFMOs, administrations, and other relevant bodies to sustainably manage fisheries resources.


Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012



Ctaqua – research, development, and innovation in marine aquaculture

New facilities enable wider spectrum of research activities Ctaqua, the aquaculture technology centre of Andalucía, was founded in 2007 in response to the research and development needs of the marine aquaculture sector in Andalucía. The institute recently moved into new facilities where it carries out a range of research activities at the request of its clients.


he aquaculture sector in Andalucía includes a wide range of species both marine and freshwater, finfish and shellfish. Marine species such as European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax) and seabream (Sparus aurata) are cultivated both in the Mediterranean in offshore cages and in the Atlantic in earthen basins. Other saltwater fish that are farmed are the sole (Solea senegalensis), greater amberjack (Seriola dumerili), meagre (Argyrosomus regio), and bluefin tuna (Thynnus thynnus). Production of marine farmed species was 7,937 tonnes in 2010.

ISO-certified for quality and environment Freshwater species that are cultivated in Andalucía include rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), sturgeon (Acipenser sturio and A. nacarii) and red crab (Procambarus clarkii). The variety of species that are commercially produced and the levels of production make Andalucía one of the most important Spanish regions in terms of its aquaculture sector. Supporting the cultivation of marine species is Ctaqua, a private, non-profit research institute, which studies a number of topics of relevance to the cultivation of marine fish and shellfish. In 2010 the institute was certified to the ISO 9001 and

One of several laboratories at Ctaqua's new premises.

ISO 14001 standards for management systems for quality and the environment respectively. In 2011 the European Commission recognised the institute as a research organisation allowing it to participate as an RTD partner in European research programmes. Ctaqua has various lines of speciality. Contract research is carried out on nutrition, animal health and welfare, and species diversification. The institute also designs

and follows up farm scale trials and carries out environmental impact assessments for fish and shellfish farming companies. A range of downstream research activities that relate to processing, sales and marketing, and food technology are also addressed. In addition the institute undertakes feasibility studies, marketing plans, market studies, and product bench marking. These activities are supported by three income streams: the first is from

companies that contract the institute to carry out research on a specific subject. These companies are subscription-paying members of Ctaqua. The second is from participation in projects that are funded by an EU programme, and finally, the regional government contributes 20 of the institute’s budget. In return, for the latter, however, Ctaqua is expected to research subjects that are of common interest to the whole mariculture sector. Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012



The Ctqua research facility is equipped with recirculation systems for growing marine species under controlled conditions.

Close collaboration with other research bodies Among the subscribers to the institute’s services are companies from the mariculture sector, their associations, and feed companies. The institute works closely together with universities, other Spanish national and regional research organisations, and administrative bodies. It has just moved into

newly built premises that include laboratories and equipment for microbiological and pathological analysis, production and study of phytoplankton and zooplankton, fish nutrition, and species diversification. Currently, Ctaqua together with the Research Institute for Integrated Coastal Zone Management from the University of Valencia, and the Association of Marine Aquaculture Producers of Spain (APROMAR), as Juan Manuel Garci de Lomas Mier, the director of Ctaqua.


Company Fact File

Muelle Comercial S/N 11500 - El Puerto de Santa María Cadiz – Spain Tel: (0034) 956.569.363 Director: Juan Manuel Garci de Lomas Mier Facilities: Laboratories for nutrition, species diversification, microbiology and pathology,


Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012

applied engineering, food processing, live feed (phytoplankton, zooplankton) Services: t Aquaculture including nutrition, health and welfare, species diversification t Business consulting including feasibility studies, market studies t Seafood including processing, sales and marketing, food technology

well as an American company, BioSonics that specialises in hydoaccoustic technology for assessing the biological and physical characteristics of the aquatic environment, is working on a project to estimate the biomass in fish cages. This will enable farmers to properly manage the fish feeding and reduce the level of over-feeding or underfeeding that is the result of inaccurate estimates of biomass. As the feed is the single biggest cost

for farmers they are always interested in ways to optimise its use. The work carried out at Ctaqua is applied research with the goal of increasing the competitiveness of the sector. The number of researchers is set to grow from 11 to 19 by the end of 2012. With its new facilities and a dedicated team the institute is fulfilling its vision of becoming a benchmark for research, development, and innovation in the marine aquaculture sector.


Cupimar diversifies away from seabass and seabream

First harvest of farmed sole at year end After Greece, Spain is the largest producer of seabream in the European Union. In Andalucía one of the pioneers in the culture of seabream and seabass is the company Cupimar, which started its activities 28 years ago. Today, while still farming these two species it has also invested in the production of sole (Solea solea), and expects the first harvest this year.


even years ago Cupimar was a substantial player in the production of seabass and seabream with a production of 6,000 tonnes per year 80 of which was seabream and the rest seabass. The company was self sufficient, producing eggs and larvae at its hatchery and growing out fish in ponds. In 2005 the hatchery had 25m fry. The company had investments in several other seabass and seabream producers all along the coast, in Catalonia, Valencia, Murcia, and Cadiz.

Drastic fall in output Today however production has fallen substantially. The other companies along the coast have closed down. In 2012 output is expected to be 600 tonnes, of which 60 is seabream and the rest seabass, while the hatchery has 10m fry, a fall of 60. The drop in performance is because of the over production in Greece, where producers desperate for market share were selling at below production coast, according to Lazaro Rosa Jordan, the president of Cuprimar. As a result producers not only in Spain, but also France and Italy collapsed unable to match the prices being offered by Greek producers. Those were unsustainable too and led ultimately to consolidation there as well, but it was too late to help the industry in Spain. We learned how

The feed dispensers (the drums in the background) function automatically with timers that release the feed at pre-set intervals.

to produce very efficiently in that period, says Mr Rosa, but we could not bring our prices low enough to compete. Today, the company is focused on sole, the first harvest of which is expected this year. Farming sole has been a long project that started almost a decade ago and is finally coming to fruition. It has called for investment of EUR2m in a hatchery and further investments in grow-out facilities. The projected output is expected to be 500 tonnes of sole a year to start with.

Fish farmed in former salt production basins Cupimar is based in San Fernando near Cadiz in Andalucía in the

south of Spain. The seabass and seabream that the company produces is not farmed in cages in the sea but in an area on the shore that is characterised by channels which are fed by water from the sea. The sea water comes in to the area through a channel and further channels distribute the water through out the farm. Salt levels in the water are about 33 g per litre (3.3). The company has 150 ha of space which has been divided into two zones. The first has 80 basins and the other has 40. The basins were originally used for the production of salt, but Cupimar bought the company that was doing this and started using the basins for its own purposes. The basins in the two zones do not differ substantially from each other

beyond that those in the second zone are smaller and are not supplied with aerators. Thanks to the brisk wind the water gets naturally aerated and the density is kept low. The fish in the ponds is 65 seabream, 20 seabass and 15 sole and corvina (Argyrosomus regius). The fish are introduced from 2 to 10 g and they stay for 2 years becoming 350-400 g.

High energy requirements According to the farm manager of the farm, fish raised in these basins have some advantages compared to cage-farmed fish. One is that the sea is constantly bringing a supply of natural feed to the basins, such as shrimps, small sprats or other Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012



kinds of fish that the seabass and seabream can feed on. This does not replace their diet of pelleted feed, but supplements it. An additional factor is that the density in the basins at 2 to 2.5 kg per cubic m is less than what is typically in sea cages. On the other hand oxygen is not a problem in the sea, while the water in the basins needs to be aerated periodically. The combination of the natural feed and low density results in greater activity, which in turn has a favourable impact on the muscle texture, growth rate, and even the form of the fish. After two years the fish are harvested, which is also an opportunity to carry out maintenance work on the basins if this is necessary. The water is drained out, the fish are removed, and the walls of the basin are cleaned and repaired, the sluices for the passage of the water are serviced, the floor of the basin is dug up and the

Lazaro Rosa Jordan, the president of Cuprimar, was one of the pioneers of the seabass and seabream farming industry in Spain.

waste removed and piled around the basin to reinforce the walls. The water in the tanks can be let out using the force of gravity which carries it through the channels

Two pumping stations pump with a total of 15 motors work almost round the clock pumping the water from the sea into the basins.

Cupimar SA Company Fact File Salina de San Juan Bautista, Crta De La Carraca 2 San Fernando, Cadiz Spain Tel.: +34 956 883447 Fax: +34 956 880708 Activities: Farming seabream, seabass, sole and corvina (Argyrosomus regius) 50

Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012

Volumes: 600 tonnes of seabream and seabass, 400 tonnes of sole, small volumes of corvina Facilities: Hatchery, 150 ha on-growing site with saltwater basins Product form: Whole fresh ďŹ sh on ice Markets: Spain, Portugal

and ultimately back to the sea, but pumps are necessary to keep the water flowing in to the farm from the sea. The pumps are therefore kept running for almost 20 hours a day, stopping only when the tide is too low. The volumes of water that are moved around the farm are significant. Each motor pumps 500 cubic metres an hour and there are five pumps at one pumping station and 10 at the other. Before it is released back into the sea the water is left in sedimentation tanks to settle. The water quality requirements are strict and a specialised company checks the water quality testing for several parameters at the entrances and exits of the basins to make sure that the quality is good enough. The water we release is invariably of better quality than that we take in, avers the farm manager.

Strong environmental credentials The fish once it reaches the minimum market size is harvested depending on the demand. This could mean harvesting from once

to three or more times a week. Another company in the Cupimar group is responsible for the grading and packaging. The product is whole fresh fish on ice which is delivered directly to the client with no further processing. The farm is certified to the ISO14000 environmental management standard and has a traceability system in place that starts from the broodstock. Despite the quality of the product and its excellent credentials, the farm has been significantly affected by the crisis. Increases in the price of feed and energy have pushed up the cost of production. Sales were down last year, though this year they have improved. Consolidation throughout the industry has helped stabilise prices, but the market is still sensitive to developments in Greece and Turkey. Today the fish is sold mainly on the domestic market, though in the past when the production volumes were larger it was also exported. Fish fry is exported to some extent to Portugal and is also sold to other parts of Spain including the Canary Islands, but for its own production the company uses only its own fry.


Tunamar processes tuna for a variety of clients

Private label processing for the retail sector At the Atunes del Maresme factory in Cadiz, huge whole frozen fish are cut up into more manageable sections. The fish is yellowfin tuna imported from Africa, Asia, or other parts of the world or is sourced locally in Spain. Much of the fish that is processed at the plant is yellowfin tuna, because that is what the Spanish market demands. At other times the factory imports and processes bigeye as well as bluefin tuna, though the volumes of the latter are very small. The fish is sold under the brand Tunamar and is distributed primarily on the market in Spain.


uring peak periods the factory processes 15 to 20 tonnes a day while off season the volumes handled are much lower. The entire product is frozen at -60 degrees as this is what the factory is equipped to deal with, and we cannot accept fish otherwise, says the production manager. When the product arrives it is immediately stored at -60 degrees until it is needed to be processed. It is then moved from the freezer to the cutting room where men completely buttoned up in protective clothing and wearing headphones and protective eye gear use band saws to cut the carcasses into pieces. Other cutting devices are used to clean the pieces so that


Band saws cut the whole frozen fish into more manageable pieces for further processing.

Company Fact File

Mr. Jürgen Smet Tunamar Muelle de Ribera sn Recinto Zona Franca S 11011 Cadiz Spain Tel.: +34 95 62  00 971 Fax: +34 95 62 00 972

Activities: Processing of frozen tuna Volumes: 15-20 tonnes per day in peak periods Products: Tuna portions for retail and food service Packaging: Modified atmosphere, vacuum packed, in plastic wrapping Brands: Tunamar, private label Market: Spain

the net result is a large chunk of tuna that is ready to be thawed and cut up into portions. The tuna is placed in defrosters which thaw the pieces over about 12 hours. Once defrosted the pieces are cut up into portions depending on the requirements of the client. In some cases it is packed in trays and sealed with modified atmosphere, while in other cases it

is kept as a large piece of loin packed in plastic, and in yet other cases it may be vacuum packaged. The factory packages both under its own label Tunamar as well as for private label. The ready products are freighted by truck to Barcelona or Madrid where the markets are for this kind of product. Tunamar has its own vehicles, but the product may also be carried with the clients’ trucks. Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012


[ FISHERIES ] German Fish Processors’ Association calls for more accuracy in reporting

Information on fish stocks should be relevant and coherent Is a glass half full or half empty? That depends on the individual’s point of view and what he or she chooses to emphasise. Data on fisheries faces the same issue – it can be read in different ways depending on who is doing the reading.


n 26 September the European Commission hosted a seminar in Brussels on the state of fish stocks in European waters, where the latest research on EU fisheries was presented. Scientists gave overviews of stock in the Northeast Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and the Black Seas, as well as on the economic performance of the EU fleet. Following the presentations a panel comprising representatives from the Regional Advisory Councils, the Advisory Committee for Fisheries Management, the catching and processing sectors, NGOs, and the European Commission discussed the issues raised by the presentations. The seminar was chaired by Ms Lowri Evans, Director General of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

Information presented misleadingly Matthias Keller, secretary of the German Fish Processors’ Association, and chair of the Working Group on market and trade policy of the Advisory Committee for Fisheries and Aquaculture (ACFA) pointed out in his presentation that data on the status of stocks used by NGOs painted a more alarming picture of the stocks than was warranted. This interpretation, says Dr Keller, is then picked up by the media and used by consumers as a basis for their purchasing decisions. He 52

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Data on fish stocks should be communicated accurately to allow consumers to make properly informed decisions.

therefore appealed for better communication that provided reliable and understandable information to the media and the NGOs on the state of fish stocks. As an example Dr Keller quoted the following line from a Communication of the European Commission on fishing opportunities in 2013 (COM(2012) 278 final), “In the Baltic Sea, 5 out of 7 known stocks remain overfished. Only cod in the Eastern Baltic and herring in the Bothnian Sea are fished at maximum sustainable yield rates.” This information, says Dr Keller, “is not only misleading media and consumers, it does not represent the latest status quo of the scientific knowledge because

the Communication only refers to the numbers of stocks without taking into account the potential of each stock.” To demonstrate the outcome of a classification by two different approaches he chose 14 stocks in the Baltic (mainly cod, herring, sprat, flounder, plaice, turbot and two other flatfishes). Classifying the stocks by fishing mortality (F, the proportion of fish in the stock that are taken by the fisheries) against FMSY (the F associated with the longterm sustainable exploitation of the stock), Dr Keller showed that four stocks were unsustainably fished i.e. F > FMSY, four stocks were sustainably fished i.e. F < FMSY, while six stocks were deficient in data and could not be analysed.

Consumers need accurate information This information can be interpreted in different ways. NGOs emphasise that only 29 (4 out of 14) of the stocks in the Baltic Sea are sustainably exploited, which Dr Keller says is true, but irrelevant for consumers seeking to make informed buying decisions. It is far more important for consumers to understand that 69 of the landings are derived from the 29 of the stocks that are sustainably fished. This approach to communication gives consumers a completely different impression, which is why the industry calls for the dissemination of reliable and understandable information. Ultimately, the way the facts are presented is important for the image of the fishing sector.

[ FISHERIES ] Pioneering American experiment may hold lessons for European fisheries

Stakeholder collaboration improves fishery, livelihoods, and habitat Originally conceived as a one-time fisheries buy-out to reduce fishing pressure, the California Central Coast Groundfish project in the United States has evolved into a long-term fisheries ‘buy-in’ for an environmental organisation that has invested considerable funds, time, and staff to help struggling fishermen and local communities while simultaneously improving a fishery and habitat. The project story presented here provides insights for possible engagement strategies in Europe.

Collapsing fishery had widespread economic, social impacts From 1983 to 1999 the groundfish fishery experienced a 47 reduction in ex-vessel value of catches. The ensuing decline in landings and revenue through the 1990s was exacerbated by increasingly strict regulations aimed at curtailing the overfishing of vulnerable species, such as canary rockfish, which is not predicted to recover until 2063. The collapse came to a head in 2000 when the federal government declared the fishery a national disaster. During this

period, the size of these vulnerable or weak stock species fell below prescribed sustainable levels. Harvest rates for vulnerable or weak stock species were subsequently limited due to a legal obligation under federal law. The collapse of the fishery was experienced intensely in the central California coast, where the cost of conducting fishery related business was high. Many individual fishermen had invested heavily in bottom trawl gear. Also, many local ports and processors had become economically dependent on large volumes of fish delivered by trawlers. As landings declined, many of the processing and port businesses started to close, which had social and economic impacts on local communities and fishers. While significant fishery policy reforms had been made to the groundfish fishery, these changes had not been effective in making local fishing communities environmentally and economically sustainable.

Understanding the science In the early 2000s studies by the National Academy of Sciences and The Nature Conservancy, a

© Bridget Besaw 2008


roundfish have been successfully harvested in the waters off the west coast of the U.S. since the early 1900s, contributing significantly to local economies. The groundfish fishery included over 90 species of flatfish, rockfish, roundfish and others and was managed under complex and overlapping institutional arrangements involving federal, state, and tribal authorities. Landings in the groundfish fishery peaked in the early 1980s, but soon thereafter fisheries managers and scientists documented large declines in the populations of several vulnerable groundfish species.

Figure 1 Central California Coast fishing vessel at port.

global conservation organisation working in 33 countries throughout the world including the United States, identified bottom trawling as the greatest threat to benthic biodiversity and offshore marine ecology in general and in particular to the Californian Central Coast region. When federal authorities announced bottom trawling closures the organisation agreed to buy federal trawl permits and fishing vessels from fishermen who wanted to exit the fishery. Some years later when fishers and others decided to experiment with switching to non-trawl gear the organisation leased the vessels back to the fishers under certain conditions. These required fishermen

to: 1) collaborate on the iterative development of a harvest plan; 2) use alternative gear that was more selective and did less damage to seafloor habitats, such as traps, pots, hook-and-line, or set long-line gear; 3) harvest a defined allocation of fish following geographic restrictions (much like a quota, including by catch); 4) retain all rockfish (e.g. not discard at sea); and 5) carryon-board observers on every trip. To oversee the implementation of the gear-switching experiment, a new community-based fishing association was created which brought together the local fishing communities, fishing industry participants, Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012


© Bridget Besaw 2008

© Bridget Besaw 2008


Figure 2 Central California Coast fisherman sorting catch.

Figure 3 Central California Coast fisherman bringing in catch.

and conservation organisations. The concept behind the fishing association was to test whether a cooperatively managed local entity could meet harvest objectives and conservation standards while improving economic output, basically by leasing and managing The Nature Conservancy’s fishing permits as well as incorporating community, conservation, and industry in its fishery decision making. This project simulated conditions that would follow implementation of an individual fishing quota system in the groundfish trawl fishery and provided guidance for fishing communities on how to take best advantage of that system to secure access to the resource.

development to solidify changes in the fishery and empower local fishermen and communities to help manage the fishery.

The fishery management transition In 2011, after 40 years of a limitedentry and total allowable catch management system, the west coast groundfish fishery in the U.S. transitioned from a permit structure to an Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) system. Under the new IFQ system, fishermen own shares of the overall allowable catch for the fishery. The 54

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individual quota shares can be bought and sold, but the share that any single fishing entity can own is capped to discourage the accumulation of fishing rights in the hands of any one enterprise. As an owner of 13 fishing permits, The Nature Conservancy was allocated approximately seven percent of the overall quota share. Because of its rights-based standing within the fishery, The Nature Conservancy is now helping initiate three types of co-management institutions in the West Coast groundfish fishery.

Establishing co-management institutions Co-management institutions are locally organized groups of diverse fishery stakeholders who work to advance the scientific understanding of their surrounding marine resources and develop effective solutions to local fishery problems, essentially using innovative approaches to “co-manage” the fishery. Different types of co-management institutions – including community quota funds, risk pools, and marketing cooperatives – are now under

Community quota funds (CQFs) are being established to combat the threat of the consolidation of fishing quota and fishery access in large commercial enterprises and larger ports—to the detriment of smaller ports and their fishing businesses — and create durable co-management institutions that can play a role in achieving sustainable management of the marine resources. The CQFs hold and manage quota and create incentives for local fishermen to advance both best management practices and stable local fishery landings. As The Nature Conservancy must divest itself of approximately half of its quota share by the end of 2014 in order to comply with the regulatory cap on the total amount of catch share that one entity can own or control, the CQFs are an essential part of The Nature Conservancy’s long-term fishery reform strategy. As part of this effort, CQF operational plans have been developed, which define their functions and responsibilities, structure,

governance, budgets, and necessary financing to secure and manage quotas. Risk pools are also being created to reduce bycatch of overfished species. Under the new IFQ system, fishery managers release only small amounts of overfished species quota in an effort to rebuild these species’ stocks. To harvest more abundant groundfish stocks, fishermen must manage their incidental catch of overfished species and once they exceed quota for any species they must stop fishing, tie up their vessel and acquire more quota on the open market. Because overfished species quota is in such low supply it can be quite difficult and even unaffordable for many fishermen to obtain. The limited amounts of overfished species quota thus represent a serious challenge facing west coast groundfish fishermen. Borrowing a concept from the insurance industry, The Nature Conservancy and fishermen from central California ports pursued an innovative solution to the overfished species problem by creating a voluntary risk pool (or joint pool of the limited quota). Members of the risk pool who catch overfished species

[ FISHERIES ] marketplace thereby ensuring the viability and durability of the fishery reforms. The Nature Conservancy’s involvement with comanagement institutions in the fishery has resulted in fishermen harvesting high-quality seafood using best management practices. Market success will reward fishermen and community partners with higher fish prices for their products and possibly lead to more consistent demand. Demonstrating a viable, functioning model of market rewards will reinforce the fishery reforms achieved and inspire other fishing industries and communities to undertake similar reforms.

Promising results

Figure 4 Example map of fishing areas in the Central Coast region of California that depicts high, medium and low risk zoned areas, as well as existing trawl closures (EFH Trawl Closure and Trawl RCA). Each zone would have specific fishing prescriptions.

are covered by the pool’s quota (made up of the combined quotas of individual fishermen and The Nature Conservancy), in return for adhering to a suite of best management practices designed with local fishermen knowledge and science to reduce the risk of encountering overfished species. The best management practices employed during the 2011 fishing season included zoned fishing areas (see Figure 4), voluntary closure areas, gear switching, having 100 observer coverage and sharing of information on the location of overfished species. Sharing of location data was made possible via a web-based application called eCatch developed by The Nature Conservancy that enables fishermen at sea to use iPads to

upload their catch data to a central database and map and share that information with other fishermen in near-real time (see Figure 5).The Nature Conservancy catalyzed the risk pool by committing its substantial overfished species quota to the pool and by providing the science and technology needed to help fishermen identify high risk areas and practices and capture information to improve the performance of the pool over time. The novel concept of risk pools for overfished species has caught on across the fishery as three additional risk pools have been established along the West Coast. Lastly, Marketing Cooperatives are being established to help fishermen succeed in the

This risk pool operated throughout the 2011 fishing season and thus far all of 2012. In 2011, the entire west coast fleet utilized almost 40 percent of its annual quota for overfished species, yet the members of the risk pool utilized only two percent of their quota, helping rebuild these important species’ populations (see Figure 6). During this period, compared to the total fleet, members of the risk pool collectively utilized more of their target species quota for seven economically important species (see Figure 7). These results are representative of the first year of fishing under the new IFQ system and thus may not be entirely representative of future performance. Nonetheless, the 2012 performance of the risk pool appears to be on a similar positive trajectory.

through innovative transactional and partnership strategies that create strong economic incentives for change in the fishery through the leveraging of trawl permits and quota share assets. The Nature Conservancy oversees and assists with the implementation of rights-based incentive agreements such as these (collectively referred to as Marine Conservation Agreements; see: in several countries and in a variety of ocean and coastal conservation interventions. Other projects in which The Nature Conservancy is actively ‘buying into a fishery’ through agreements with fishermen include a permit banking project in Maine of the United States, a territorial user rights project in Chile, and a publicprivate sustainable fisheries initiative in Indonesia. The Nature Conservancy is currently working with partners to assess if and how similar strategies can be applied in other regions.

The need and potential for fishery buy-ins throughout Europe After 60 years of operation, The Nature Conservancy attended the World Fisheries Congress in Edinburgh in 2012, where they presented their experiences. While much was learned and gained from the Congress, the private buy-in approach to fisheries engagement as demonstrated by The Nature Conservancy was well received, but

Other Conservancy fishery buy-in projects The Nature Conservancy’s California Sustainable Fisheries Initiative is helping the groundfish fishery move toward economic and environmental sustainability

Figure 5 eCatch interface. Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012


[ FISHERIES ] was largely a new concept for many attendees. Considerable interest was expressed in understanding more about how The Nature Conservancy functions and how private conservationminded buy-ins to fisheries reform might work throughout Europe. Some important lessons in regards to fishery buy-ins that practitioners should consider as opportunities in Europe include: — Fishery buy-ins are not a quick-fix solution to fisheries reform. On the contrary, a fishery buy-in represents a long-term commitment to fishermen, local communities, the fishing industry and regulatory agencies to work collaboratively to ensure economic and environmental sustainability can be achieved. — There is no road map to fishery buy-ins. Each fishery and the coastal communities they support are unique. As such, general guidance regarding buy-ins should be considered, but each project must be designed and adapted over time based on the specifics of the fishery. — Fishery buy-ins are not appropriate for every fishery. A universal set of enabling conditions (including the desire and ability on behalf of conservationists to engage communities over the long term) should be considered prior to launching a fishery buy-in. If most of the enabling conditions are not present or otherwise cannot be addressed, a fishery buy-in may not be appropriate. — Fishery buy-ins are not necessarily required to employ many of the tools and methods used in this example to achieve real fishery reform. There is potential to incentivize reform without ownership status within a 56

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Figure 6 Total unused overfished species quota (clear bars) and harvested overfished species quota (red bars) by risk pool compared to the total west coast groundfish fleet. The risk pool harvested 2.1% of available quota, while the total fleet harvested 39.1% of available quota (less the risk pool quota).

Figure 7 Select target species (based on high economic value) quota utilization rates (shown in percentage) compared between the total groundfish fleet (black bars) and the risk pool (grey bars).

fishery. For example, capacity building assistance for co-management institutions need not come from a quota or permit owner, but can come in the form of scientific collaboration, technology development, or business development consulting.

K. Labrum, M. Bell, J. Udelhoven, A. Moreno, C. Revenga, B. Gilmer For more information contact: Global Marine Initiative, The Nature Conservancy URI Narragansett Campus, South Ferry Road Narragansett, RI 02882, United States Phone: +1 401 8746871

[ TECHNOLOGY ] DNA analysis in the fisheries industry

Precise determination of fish species and their origin Every living creature, and thus every species of fish and aquatic animal, has a natural “signature” which is encoded in its genetic material. The sequence of molecular building blocks (nucleotides) in the genetic molecule, the DNA, is unique for every individual. Being able to read this nucleotide sequence enables conclusions to be drawn about the species in question – not only in the case of raw fishes but often also of cooked, smoked, marinated or sterilised products.


t was allegedly by chance that Alec Jeffreys on 10 September 1984 discovered a phenomenon that is today known as “genetic fingerprinting”. The British geneticist was at that time working on “minisatellites”, or tiny areas in the human DNA that stand out for their extremely high variability. The images of minisatellites from blood samples taken from members of one family could on the one hand be assigned to each family member and so were – like a fingerprint – individually specific for every single person. On the other hand, however, they also had some characteristics in common which made it possible to see family relationships between the individual persons. Jeffreys immediately recognised the practical significance of his discovery for with this tool it is possible to assign even a hair or skin particle with high accuracy to a person, or prove (or disprove) paternity. As in all organisms the genetic information of fish and seafood is encoded in nucleic acids. This genetic code constitutes the blueprint and the rules for nearly all biological processes in a living organism. During fertilisation when the sperm cell fuses with the nucleus of the female egg cell

With DNA sequencing the processed state of the product is not important. Species classification is possible even with smoked eel.

it is newly combined and varied, and prior to every cell division duplicated and passed on to both daughter cells. About 99 of genetic information is concentrated in the chromosomal DNA of the cell nucleus; the remainder is in the mitochondria. These are tiny cell organelles in whose membranes important physiological processes such as the breakdown of fatty acids, parts of the

urea cycle, but most importantly ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) synthase are located. ATP is the “fuel” behind a lot of life processes which is why the mitochondria are also called the cells’ “power plants”. Mitochondria are only passed on to offspring by the mother (maternal inheritance) and new mitochondria can only be produced by the division of existing mitochondria. These

properties make the usually circular DNA contained in the mitochondria (mtDNA) – which accounts for less than 1 of the cell’s DNA – particularly interesting for genetic analyses.

Counterfeiters can be tracked down faster Considerable progress has been made with regard to Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012



Two out of four sushi restaurants and six out of ten ďŹ sh shops that were investigated in New York had made false statements about the species they used.

differentiation of various species. Within the species it is even possible to distinguish between very precise individuals. A decisive advantage of DNA analysis is its very high individual-specific significance. Today, if a DNA test has been performed correctly hardly anyone will doubt the results because this method has achieved worldwide recognition. Another advantage is that only extremely small amounts of the sample are necessary for DNA analyses, often just a drop of blood, a few cells from the body tissue, or a scale is sufficient. However, this only works because suitable sequences from the DNA strand can be cut out and reproduced millions of times using a special technique called Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) in order to have enough material for the subsequent analyses. The analysis of the PCR products can be done in various ways using different methods. One is the sequencing of the nucleotide sequence in the DNA strand that can subsequently be compared with other sequences in a gene database to identify the appropriate fish species. Another method of analysis is called Single Strand 58

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Conformation Polymorphism (SSCP). Here several techniques are combined with one another. After the DNA fragments have been amplified with the help of PCR they are dotted onto a gel and subjected to an electric field. Due to their different electric charges the fragments move at different rates which leads to characteristic DNA banding patterns that can be made visible using special dyes. Often, the replacement of a single nucleotide in a strand with 100 bases can lead to an altered DNA banding pattern. The network of certified test labs that can carry out such analyses has grown considerably in recent years and the costs of DNA analyses have fallen noticeably. Despite this, the question remains of course as to when such efforts and expense are useful and helpful, or what we can actually gain from such information, i.e. when a company should make use of this possibility. In brief it can be said to be useful when there is any doubt about whether a delivered product is exactly what was ordered, or whether it is worth the money paid. The variety of fish species and seafood that is traded on the global market has

increased dramatically and the product in the pack is not always what was promised on the label. Minor and major frauds are to be found especially where expensive fish species and seafood products are concerned, particularly since these are often imported and are largely unknown elsewhere. And because these very popular fish species are often overfished the temptation is high to replace scarce supply with cheaper products. It is a fact that the control authorities are increasingly discovering falsely declared goods, particularly fillets that cannot be assigned to an individual fish species at a glance. At the top of this list of frauds is sole, one of the most expensive and popular fishes: some customers were in the past foisted off with tropical sole, witch or even pangasius fillets. Buyers are also sometimes deceived in deliveries of anglerfish, red snapper or some tuna species. Frauds of this kind could be proved undoubtedly using DNA analysis, the species identified, and the deception prevented. In 2009, for example, a number of fish stores and sushi restaurants in New York were investigated: samples of the used fish were taken and subjected to genetic analysis. When the resulting DNA profiles were compared with information from a gene bank it became apparent that two of the four restaurants and six of the ten stores had given false information. The snappers and white tuna were in fact completely different fish species. DNA analyses are even more important, however, in the case of fish products that are subject to international trade restrictions such as sturgeon caviar. Without the instrument of DNA analysis which can be used in cases of doubt it would presumably be impossible for the

customs authorities to control adherence to the CITES regulations. Even experts have difficulty identifying all caviar types on optical appearance only, particularly since the product range is today not only limited to Beluga, Osietra or Sevruga but there are also caviar from numerous other sturgeon species circulating in the markets. With the help of DNA analysis it can be clearly verified from which sturgeon species the caviar comes and whether it was caught in the wild or was produced in aquaculture.

DNA sequencing enables traceability right back to the ďŹ sh stock With DNA analysis it does not usually matter in which processing state a product is. For example, it is possible to determine an eel species in both raw and smoked condition. Using PCR and SSCP, suspicious products can be tested quickly to find out whether the eels hanging in the smoker are Anguilla anguilla or A. japonica or perhaps A. rostrata, A. bicolor or A. australis. DNA analyses also offer reliable results for canned products. In June 2010 Greenpeace published the results of a study which the Spanish molecular lab ATZI-Tecnalia had carried out on behalf of the environmentalists. The study of 165 cans of tuna from 50 different brands showed that in 30ď&#x2122;&#x201A; of the examined cases the contents of the cans did not match the information on the labels. Some of the disputed cans contained completely different tuna species than marked and in some cans the different tuna species were mixed. To ensure that they do not sell their customers low-quality fish for a higher price some companies

[ TECHNOLOGY ] have already taken DNA analyses into their routine screening programmes. The German frozen foods supplier Eismann has highvalue species such as sole, turbot or John Dory tested in cases of doubt by specialised laboratories using DNA analysis. State authorities also make use of this possibility to track down counterfeiters and forgers. The US food agency FDA is currently in the process of installing a national DNA fish testing programme. DNA tests are also already under discussion as an additional means of ensuring certification programmes such as MSC. This seems to be necessary for researchers at Clemson University have with the help of DNA analyses determined that some of the fish coming onto the market with the MSC label are not from sustainable fishing. The study had looked at Patagonian toothfish. The only fishery for this species that has so far been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council operates off the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia. DNA analysis revealed that 8 of the traded fishes were not Patagonian toothfish at all and 15 of the genuine Patagonian toothfishes came from other not yet certified stocks. MSC is now increasingly using DNA analyses in order to ensure the traceability of the fish from the counter right back to the catch. The EU Commission, too, plans to use DNA analysis for examining fish and fishery products in the future. The Joint Research Centre of the EU Commission presented analytical possibilities in May 2011 with which fish species and their origin can be determined more accurately than up to now. Already now it is clear that the tests will not only be limited to better monitoring and controls within the import and export business. The

modern scientific methods can also contribute towards combating illegal fishing. In the project FishPopTrace which the EU is financing with 3.9 m EUR an international team of researchers is already investigating new tests with which the origin of a fish can be traced right back to the original stock and marine region. The results so far have been very encouraging. The most promising test uses single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNP for short. These are certain mutations in the genetic make-up which occur in all living creatures and, among other things, depend on where the stocks of a species live. The FishPopTrace team has analysed the DNA of four important fish species of the European fishing sector (herring, cod, sole, and European hake) to find out which SNP is characteristic of the stocks in the different regions. With only 20 SNPs they were able to distinguish reliably between cod from the Atlantic and cod from the Baltic. One SNP alone was sufficient to distinguish sole from the North Sea from sole from the Mediterranean. And differentiation was also possible for herring and hake. There is still some way to go, however, for the methods and data should be so precise that they could serve as evidence in court cases. Strangely, it is the very accuracy of the method that is causing concern among critics. On the one hand it is very good for proving false labelling of products by irresponsible traders. On the other hand it could lead to false suspicions because it cannot be fully ruled out that fishes sometimes end up in the fishermen’s nets whose origin is not clear to them. No one can rule out, for example, that the various stocks do not mix at the boundaries of their natural range.

More and more DNA profiles of fish species being stored in data bases

defined area for species identification r Alignment – Comparison of several DNA sequences.

One essential prerequisite for the use of DNA analyses are data bases in which a maximum number of DNA profiles including in particular the profiles of common commercial fish and seafood species is stored. This is necessary in order to be able to compare the found nucleotide sequences with other profiles for species identification. The DNA profiles of as many fish species as possible are collected, for example as part of the big Fish Barcode of Life Project in Guelph, Ontario. The GenBank of the National Center of Biotechnology (http:// also has a considerable data collection. In the EU the “Fishtrace” data base ( is available to laboratories for comparing data. This offers comprehensive reference data as well as other information for analysing fish and fishery products. Independent of this, some member states are compiling their own internet data bases with the aim of improving the control of fishery products with the help of protein and DNA analysis. In Germany, for example, a catalogue with all the available data for molecular biological differentiation of fish and fishery products has been compiled for the Federal Office for Foods and Nutrition (http://www.fischdb. de). This data base, which is freely accessible, contains data of nearly all the standard commercial fish, mollusc and crustacean species for the following analysis methods: r IEF – Iso-Electric Focusing r SSCP – Single Strand Conformational Polymorphism r RFLP – Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism r DNA – DNA-sequence of a

With the discovery of small and larger frauds the possibilities offered by DNA analysis are far from being exhausted, however. The methods can be put to good use in basic research and many other biological investigations, for example to clarify the genetic relationship or evolutionary biology of species or to enable systematic classification of certain species. In the case of some cyprinid species, for example, natural crosses sometimes occur if fish spawn at the same time in the same waters. Using traditional methods it is difficult to prove whether a fish belongs to a “pure” species or whether it is a “hybrid species”. Unambiguous classification is mostly only possible on the basis of DNA analyses. Even the nutritional condition of tiny fish larvae can be examined with the help of DNA. Here the volume ratio of the nucleic acids DNA and RNA in the body cells is used. To be able to grow, copies of the universal blueprint which is encoded in the DNA first have to be generated in the cells. This copy that in the cell serves as the matrix for the synthesis of new proteins is the RNA. The RNA molecules are not, however, only copied once but in a large number. Exactly how many copies are produced depends on the nutritional status and the metabolism of the animal. And this is reflected in the RNA/ DNA ratio. In the case of starved fish RNA/DNA values are low. The more the fish eat, the higher the RNA content becomes. Using fluorescence photometric techniques it is possible to represent the volume ratio of the two nucleic acids and thereby assess the nutritional status of the larvae. mk Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012


[ TECHNOLOGY ] Valka launches a new x-ray guided cutting machine

Next generation fish processing equipment Founded in 2003 and based in Kopavogur Iceland, Valka specializes in the development and marketing of equipment and automation solutions for the fish processing industry. Although a relatively young company, Valka has already built a reputation for manufacturing high quality products. The company designs high technology hardware and software aimed at enhancing productivity and increasing profitability


he company offers hightech innovative weighing and grading applications as well as advanced trimming and packing lines with easy to use production and order handling software. Valka’s primary objective is to improve the quality and yield of the raw material, resulting in a higher selling price for the processed fish products.

Innovative cutting machine improves productivity Valka has formally released a new x-ray guided cutting machine that can greatly increase throughput and yield with fewer workers when trimming and portioning white fish fillets. The machine, that has been in development for some time allows fish processors to substantially improve throughput and yield using fewer workers when trimming and portioning fish fillets. A combination of an x-ray and 3D image processing system together with robot controlled water jets locate and cut out pin bones and divide the fillet into portions with exceptionally high accuracy. The first machine has already been built and installed for HB Grandi, one of Iceland’s largest fishing companies, in Reykjavik. 60

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Effective processing of even small fillets The machine is being used to cut out pin bones in redfish fillets. The fillets are 80-250 grams and 150-300 cm in length. When running the belt at 415 mm per second the machine can process from 500 kg/hour to over 1,200 kg/hour depending on the size of the fillets. Compared to manual cutting, the capacity is at least double and that too with a single lane. It is also possible to install a machine with a double lane and increase the capacity accordingly. In a recent interview Torfi Þorsteinsson, HB Grandi’s production manager, said. “we use the machine to cut out pin bones from redfish fillets. The fillets are small and until now the majority has been sold with bones as it has been too expensive to manually cut out the pin bone. It requires too much manual labour per kilo and the chances are the yield is not good enough due to the small size. With the new cutting machine we get much more accurate cutting, better yield and the throughput is increased. Furthermore we now have the possibility of marketing bone free redfish fillets that are a much more valuable product. We started about one and a half year ago to prepare the market by offering bone free fillets

The new x-ray guided cutting machine from Valka can greatly increase throughput and yield with fewer workers when trimming and portioning white fish fillets.

and the response has been so good that we are optimistic that the machine payback period will be short.” HB Grandi is now interested in having the machine adapted for other species such as saithe and cod.

More models already on the cards The x-ray cutting machine is exceptionally sensitive, capable of detecting fish bone down to 0.2 mm in size. The cutting proximity and throughput can

be tuned to match the objective of yield and boneless fillets. The vision system can furthermore measure the density of the fillet and cut portions to the desired weight, for instance 150 gram loins. This first version of the cutting machine is best suited to fillets with a relatively straight bone structure, where direct cutting can be applied. Valka however is already working on the next version with the potential of cutting with a degree parallel to the bones.

Valka Company Fact File Víkurhvarf 8 IS 203 Kópavogur Iceland Tel.: +354 534 9309 Fax: +354 534 9301 Sales manager: Mr Agust Sigurdarson Products: High-tech hardware and software Area: Fish processing and trading




Good aquaculture practices facilitate access to markets Over the last year six national workshops have been held under the FAO Technical Cooperation Programme on sustainable development of the aquaculture sector from a post-harvest persepective in Croatia, Turkey, Albania and Montenegro. To summarise the experiences gained at these events a regional workshop was organised by the FAO, Eurofish and

the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock in Bodrum (Mugla region of Turkey) from 31 October to 2 November, 2012. At the workshop Dr Nazif Ekici, the Director of the Mugla department of the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, informed the participants of the importance of Mugla for the Turkish aquaculture sector.


The region is responsible for 37 of the total national aquaculture production (total output is 189,000 tonnes) and 32 of Turkish fishery products exports. The Turkish industry is responding to the growing demand for processed fish and seafood products, both on national and international markets. Ensuring food quality and safety, proper labelling, and full traceability are of great importance for Turkish producers, otherwise their access to the market is likely to face serious difficulties, said Dr Ekici. The regional workshop focused on good aquaculture practices

to improve product quality and safety, to support product innovation, and to improve marketing of aquaculture products. The workshop also addressed various aspects of farmed fish labelling as well as other topics. The core of the workshop was presentations from Turkey, Albania, Croatia and Montenegro showing their achievements and experiences in the framework of the project. In total, the three-day workshop was attended by 35 participants, who, on the last day, went on field visits to the off-shore farms of Kilic Holding, and the processing facilities of Mare Nostro and Nordzee.

Participants at the regional workshop organised by the FAO, Eurofish and the Turkish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock in Bodrum at the end of October.


Senior representatives from Latin American fisheries sector meet at Conxemar The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations together with the Spanish Association of Wholesalers, Importers, Manufactures and Exporters of Fish Products and Fish Farming

(Conxemar) organised the World Congress of Cephalopods as part of the XIV International Frozen Seafood Products Exhibition Conxemar. The events took place between 1 and 4 October, in Vigo, Spain. The

main topics at the congress were: Cephalopod resources and fisheries outlook; cooperation in the fisheries sector; trade issues in a global market; sustainability and ecolabelling; cephalopods market and innovation to satisfy consumer demands; corporate social responsibility and responsible fisheries. The lecture on cephalopods resources and fisheries outlook in South America was delivered by Mr Ulises Munaylla, former scientific director of SPPC (South

Pacific Permanent Commission). Leading figures from the Latin American fisheries sector attended the events, including, Mr Nestor Miguel Bustamante, Undersecretary of Fisheries of Argentina; Ms Elisa Calvo, Director of Fisheries Economics in the Undersecretariat of Fisheries of Argentina; Mr Jimmy Martinez Ortiz, Undersecretary of Fisheries of Ecuador; and Dr Daniel Gilardoni, Director of the National Directorate of Aquatic Resources (DINARA), Uruguay. Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012




The Fish Infonetwork (FIN)


Globefish releases new commodity update on eel The report includes data on imports, exports and production of eel globally as well as in the EU, and in selected European countries. The latest figures are from 2011. The publication can be purchased for EUR20 from

is written by Gemba Seafood Consulting and is available for EUR30 from

Regional review of status and trends in aquaculture development in Europe 2010 European aquaculture is considered a world leader in the production of some high value species (salmonids, seabass, seabream, turbot) and contributes significantly to global aquaculture development through knowledge and technology transfer. Europe is an important and growing market for fish and seafood with “new” aquaculture species being imported. Collaborative networking in European aquaculture is being strengthened, for example by the European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform established to improve communications between aquaculturists, researchers, consumers and policy makers. The EU strategy for the sustainable development of European aquaculture 62

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The FIN consists of 7 independent partner organizations. They cover all aspects of post-harvest fisheries and aquaculture. With more than 50 governments supporting the network, which also has strong links to the private sector, the activities are truly international. The FIN pages, which are a regular feature in the four network magazines – Infofish International, Infopesca Internacional, Eurofish Magazine, and Infosamak Magazine – present the FIN-wide spectrum of activities, showing actions and results. The FIN has more than 80 full-time staff and works with more than one hundred international experts in all fields of fisheries. Through its link from FAO Globefish to the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, it also has access to the latest information and knowledge on fisheries policy and management issues worldwide. FIN executes donor projects, prepares market research for private companies, and organizes training courses on marketing and quality assurance. All seven services offer different possibilities for co-operation with the private sector, institutes, government offices and donors.

The European Market for Shrimp This report presents an analysis of the major shrimp markets in Europe with a special emphasis on the competitive situation of coldwater shrimp (Pandalus borealis). Both supply and demand factors are presented as well as main drivers and challenges on the European shrimp market. Part of the Globefish Research Programme series the report


aims to make the sector more competitive, ensure sustainable growth, and improve the sector’s image and governance. The report is published by the FAO and the European Aquaculture Society in both English and Russian and can be downloaded from the FAO Corporate Document Repository.

Globefish Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy and Economics Division, FAO Viale delle Terme di Caracalla I 00100 Rome, Italy Tel.: (+39) 06 5705 2692 Fax: (+39) 06 5705 5188 Partners: Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Copenhagen, Denmark; National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS/NOAA), Maryland, USA; European Commission (DG MARE) Brussels, Belgium; ASMI, Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute; Norwegian Seafood Council, Tromsoe, Norway; AGRIMER, France - Division Observatoire Economique Etudes; Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación, Madrid, Spain Infopesca Casilla de Correo 7086 Julio Herrea y Obes 1296 11200 Montevideo, Uruguay Tel.: (+598) 2 9028701/2 Fax: (+598) 2 9030501 Member Countries: Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Columbia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Uruguay, Venezuela Infofish 1st Floor, Wisma LKIM Jalan Desaria Pulau Meranti 47120 Puchong, Selangor DE Malaysia Member Countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Maldives, Malaysia, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand Infopeche Tour C -19éme étage, Cité Administrative, Abidjan 01, Cote d‘Ivoire Tel.: (+225) 228980 / 215775 Fax: (+225) 218054 Member Countries: Benin, Cameroon, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo Infosa Southern African suboffice of Infopeche P.O. Box 23523, Kenya House Robert Mugabe Avenue, 4th Floor Windhoek, Namibia Tel: (+264) 61 279430 Fax: (+264) 61 279434 Member Countries: Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe Eurofish H.C. Andersens Boulevard 44 - 46 DK-1553 Copenhagen V, Denmark Tel: (+45) 333 777 55 Fax: (+45) 333 777 56, Member Countries: Albania, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Turkey Infoyu Room 203, Bldg 18, Maizidian Street, Chaoyang District Beijing 100026, P.R. China Tel.: (+86) 10 64195140 Fax: (+86) 10 64195141 Member Countries: China Infosamak 71 Boulevard Rahal Meskini B.P. 16243 Casablanca, Morocco Tel.: (+212) 22540856 Fax: (+212) 22540855 Member Countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Mauritania, Morocco, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Yemen


7-9 December 2012 Shanghai International Fisheries and Seafood Exposition Shanghai, China Tel.: +86 21 3414 0187 6 February, 2013 Marel Salmon Showhow Nørresundby, Denmark Tel.: +45 98921511 Fax: +45 98921101

18-20 April, 2013 Seoul Seafood Show 2013 Seoul, Korea Tel.: +82 2 6000 2800 Fax: +82 2 6000 2805

22-26 May 2013 World of Seafood Bangkok, Thailand Tel.: +65 6500 6712 Fax: +65 6294 8403

22 April, 2013 4th European Tuna Conference Brussels, Belgium Tel.: +31 162 714044 Fax: +31 162 430525

9-12 August 2013 Aquaculture Europe Trondheim, Norway Tel.: +32 9 233 4912

11-15 February 2013 PRODEXPO Moscow, Russia Tel.: +7 499 795 3799

5-7 March, 2013 North Atlantic Seafood Forum Bergen, Norway

23-25 April 2013 European Seafood Exposition Brussels, Belgium Tel.: +1 207 842 5504

22-24 May 2013 Polfish Gdansk, Poland Tel.: +48 58 554 93 62

10-12 March, 2013 Boston Seafood Show Boston, USA Tel.: +1 207 842 5504 9-11 April, 2013 North Atlantic Fish Fair Klaksvik, Faroe Islands Tel.: +298 58 29 10

13-16 August 2013 Aqua Nor Trondheim, Norway Tel.: +47 73 56 86

3-5 September 2013 Asian Seafood Show Wanchai, Hong Kong Tel.: +1 207 842 5504 9-11 October 2013 DanFish Aalborg, Denmark Tel.: +45 99 35 55 55

10-13 May 2013 Slow Fish Genova, Italy Tel.: +39 0172 419653 Fax: +39 0172 413640

22-24 October 2013 Seafood Barcelona Barcelona, Spain Tel.: +1 207 842 5504

A d d y o u r e v e n t t o w w w. E u r o f i s h M a g a z i n e . c o m


Innovative products of high quality give European seafood an edge in global trade

Latin America, Africa, and West Asia are growing markets for seafood Diversified Business Communications is a global media company producing international trade and consumer events, conferences, publications and eMedia. In the international seafood sector arguably the best known Diversified event is the European Seafood Exposition in Brussels organised each year in spring. This year, Mary Larkin, Group Vice President/Publisher oversaw the launch of a new event, Seafood Barcelona, which seeks to target the southern European market. Eurofish spoke to Ms Larkin as someone with experience in the world’s three most important seafood regions, Europe, the US, and East Asia. Diversified has been in the seafood trade fair business for 30 years. But what brought the company into the sector in the first instance? And how important is the seafood side of the business compared with other divisions in terms of turnover and number of people employed? Diversified first entered into the tradeshow and publishing business in 1970 with the purchase of National Fisherman magazine and Fish Expo which served the commercial fishing business. In 1986, we purchased the International Boston Seafood Show and then in 1993, launched the European Seafood Exposition when both exhibitors and visitors requested an event similar to the Boston show in Europe. The seafood portfolio also includes SeaFood Business magazine which, for the past thirty years, has been the leading source for news and analysis for the seafood industry in the US. The magazine is now a global publication and is the daily news and resource website. Diversified is involved in many industries globally such as food, medical, education and 64

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commercial marine events. Food events in general are a large part of the overall portfolio and seafood is the largest within the food group. Around 500 people are employed globally. We have offices in Australia, Canada, UK, India, Hong Kong and the US. The company has seafood events in North America, Europe, and Asia. What are the differences in these markets in terms of tastes and product preferences, and what, in particular, should traders looking to export successfully to these regions be aware of? The seafood events globally serve different markets so the variety of species on display differs from event to event. High end, “luxury” seafood such as lobster and abalone is very prominent in Hong Kong at Asian Seafood Exposition. Many varieties of seafood are available in both the European Seafood Exposition and the International Boston Seafood Show but Europe tends to attract a lot of value added seafood products for the retail market. Both Boston and Brussels are really representative of the entire seafood world with trading at the importer/ exporter level right through to

Mary Larkin, Group Vice President/Publisher, Diversified Business Communications.


retail and foodservice purchasing. Companies seeking to export to a new region should first be familiar with the preferences of the market. Learning the process of getting into a new market takes time and investment.

has been severely hit by the economic crisis. How, if at all, did this influence your latest event, Seafood Barcelona? Were you satisfied with the outcome? What would you say is the secret of a successful show?

In Europe labels for sustainability as well as environmental and social responsibility are becoming increasingly widespread. Do you see this as a global trend? And what will it mean for the fisheries sector in general?

The European Seafood Exposition in Brussels is the world’s biggest event dedicated to seafood. Over the last decade of its existence what are the developments in the seafood industry that have made the most impression and what changes do you foresee over the next five years?

We were very satisfied with the successful launch of Seafood Barcelona. We have been looking at the Spanish and Southern European market for almost fifteen years. Customers have been asking Diversified to organize an event specifically for the Southern European market. Our goal is to delve deeper into this market, targeting buyers who would not normally attend the European Seafood Exposition. The tone of the event was positive and upbeat despite the current economic climate. For 2013, 100 of pavilions have renewed space and over 50 increased exhibit space with some even doubling. For a first year in a weak European economy, Seafood Barcelona exceeded our expectations.

This is certainly a global trend and focus for seafood companies who are working hard to audit their suppliers and processors in both the environmental and social responsibility areas. Suppliers in Asia are calling on their governments to step in and stop any breaches in social responsibility. It is in the best interest for the future of the seafood industry to promote sustainable practices, take care of the environment in which we all work and live and take care of the people who process the seafood we all enjoy.

The European Seafood Exposition was launched in 1993 with only half of one hall at the Brussels Exhibition Centre. The growth has been incredible and the expansion from an event that served the European market to what is now truly the world’s largest gathering of seafood professionals. The products have changed from a European focus to a global focus and many products on display are focused on convenience and the promotion of seafood as part of a healthy diet. There is room for a lot more innovation in the seafood industry but Europe is further ahead on innovative products than elsewhere in the world. The global participation during the past decade has seen an increase in the types of species on display and that are now available throughout Europe. The challenge over the next five years will be to have a supply of seafood that can meet the demand as the health benefits and the quality of value added products continues to improve. Spain is a leading country in Europe in terms of its seafood sector. It is also a nation that

I would not say there is a particular secret to a successful show but all the stars have to align on opening morning! There are many aspects to an event and the planning for each event happens where future event cycles crossover the current year. From marketing to the logistics around an event, there is never a dull moment. The best part of organizing an event is hearing how busy both exhibitors and visitors are during the show. For an exhibitor the key to a successful event is quite simple: follow up on the sales leads received at your stand. The most frustrating part for an organizer is hearing from buyers that exhibiting companies have not followed up on their leads from the show.

Which regions in the world do you see the greatest potential for growth in the seafood market and what are the kinds of products that will make their mark in these places? Where, potentially, are the places to which Diversified could consider expanding its portfolio of seafood events? The fast growing Asian middle class and overall market is putting pressure on the seafood supply markets. It is well known that China, as an example, was a net exporter of shrimp and is now a net importer. As these economies and middle class populations grow, the demand for seafood is growing and will be challenging to fulfill. And it is not just China, the same applies for other Asian countries like Indonesia. There are many opportunities for seafood companies to sell their products to these new regions. South

America, Africa and the Middle East present future opportunities. For Diversified, we look at regions, partnerships and opportunities every day. With China and other Asian as well as Latin American countries manufacturing seafood products to the same standards that prevail in Europe at a fraction of the cost, how do you see the future of the European processing industry? Where are its strengths and where should it focus to remain competitive? All businesses are facing the same issue with regard to manufacturing. I see the European seafood processing industry as having a competitive advantage as it is well developed, has high quality standards and products and has a culture of seafood. Europe’s focus on sustainability and innovation sets it apart from the other regions. Europe can compete by keeping ahead in innovation as well as maintaining high quality products. Keeping in close contact with customers, seeking to partner with buyers and cultivating new leads for business is key to success. Finally, on a more personal note, do you enjoy seafood? Do you have a favourite species or dish that you prepare yourself that you would be willing to share with our readers? Yes, I enjoy seafood and eat it most days. There is variety, it’s healthy, tasty, easy to prepare and given how much I travel, it is recognizable! My favourite seafood includes seabass, halibut, razor clams, octopus, and the list goes on and on… Living in Maine, USA, I tend to cook local lobster and look forward to the local shrimp season. Eurofish Magazine 6 / 2012



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Eurofish Magazine 6 2012  

In this issue the fisheries sector in Croatia and Spain are profiled. We also look at DNA analysis in the our technology section.

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