Spain tops EU mollusk production


Pilar Caride, SeafoodSourcecontributing editor, reporting from Vigo, Spain

Published on
August 26, 2014

A new report from a Spanish aquaculture association shows Spain leads the EU in mollusk production, due in large part to Spain’s mussel industry.

The report, "The aquaculture in Spain 2014," comes from the Business Association of Producers of Marine Farming in Spain (APROMAR). According to the exhaustive report, Spain produced 231,754 metric tons (MT) of mussels, Mytilus galloprovincialis, in 2012, making it the largest species produced in Spain, both for fishing and aquaculture.

The global production of mollusks in 2012 reached 15.2 million MT. Of that, 601,736 MT came from Europe, a value of EUR 1.1 million (USD 1.4 million).

Spain is also the main turbot (Psetta maxima) producer of the EU. In 2013 it produced a total of 6,814 MT out of the 7,721 MT produced in all EU. This Mediterranean country is also the pioneer in the harvest of new species like the abalone, highly regarded in Asia. This year Spain launched to the market the first harvest produced in a Galician aquaculture center.

According to the report, Spain produced 264,161 MT of aquaculture products in 2012 valued at EUR 395 million (USD 530.7 million). The Mediterranean mussel was the first species in volume produced by Spain, followed by the gilthead bream (16,795 MT in 2012), rainbow trout (16,732 MT in 2012) and European sea bass (14,707 MT).

In 2012 the total Spanish aquaculture production reached 264,161 MT, with a value of EUR 395 million. This data makes it the main producer in aquaculture of the EU, with 21 percent of the volume produced in Europe, followed by France with 205,210 MT (16.3 percent) and United Kingdom with 203,036 MT (16.1 percent).

The aquaculture industry in Spain employs 19,892 people with 5,132 aquaculture establishments, 179 of them dedicated to continental aquaculture and 5,953 to marine aquaculture.

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