Spain’s aquaculture industry poised to grow


Chris Dove, contributing editor, reporting from Malaga, Spain

Published on
June 3, 2009

Spain remains the European Union’s largest farmed seafood producer, according to a new report from the country's Secretary General for the Sea.

The country yielded nearly 291,000 metric tons of farmed seafood last year. Shellfish (chiefly mussels, oysters, clams and cockles) represented more than three-quarters of the total, while finfish (mainly sea bream, sea bass, turbot, trout and tuna) accounted for the remaining 22 percent.

Titled “The Evolution of Spain’s Aquaculture & Prospects for the Future,” the report also projected Spain’s aquaculture industry to grow in the short and long terms; it’s forecasted to produce an additional 69,600 metric tons of farmed seafood by 2010 and 148,400 metric tons by 2015.

To achieve its output goals, Spain’s Ministry of Agriculture, Rural and Marine Affairs implemented a strategic plan in early 2006.

The plan taps a series of financial and informational sources to fuel the industry’s growth, including the European Fisheries Fund, the Fund to Support the Diversification of the Aquatic and Fishing Sector (SEPIDES) and the Spanish Observatory of Aquaculture.

In April, EU Fisheries Commissioner Joe Borg called on the European Commission to strengthen the aquaculture industry’s competitiveness, governance and sustainability, expressing concern over its inability to increase production in recent years, even though the EU leads the world in aquaculture research and development.

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