Spanish market automates seafood production


Chris Dove, contributing editor, reporting from Malaga, Spain

Published on
October 19, 2010

New automated production facilities for flatfish, hake, swordfish, shark and cephalopods have been installed by Mar Fish at Mercabarna Central Fish Market in Barcelona, Spain.

The EUR 800,000 (USD 1.1 million) investment brings new technologies to the market’s automation process with the installation of a new tunnel blast freezer.

Frozen seafood represents 65 percent of Mar Fish sales, with the remaining 45 percent coming from trading in raw fish and shellfish, accounting for EUR 4.87 million (USD 6.7 million) in 2009 turnover.

Some 50 percent of the volume is supplied on contract to Spanish supermarket chain Eroski in the Balearic Islands, while the rest is channeled through Barcelona-based foodservice provider Grup Serhs.

Mar Fish is 50 percent owned by José Antonio Díaz Saavedra through Barcelona wholesalers Valles Timanfaya and 46.15 percent owned by director Domingo Navarro, a shareholder in Barcelona’s Aropesca hotel and restaurant seafood service.

Mar Fish is one of more than 50 wholesalers using Mercabarna’s processing halls for gutting and filleting fish and temperature-controlled areas for trading frozen produce.
Around 100,000 metric tons of seafood are moved through the market annually, 85 percent of which is fresh. Currently, almost 50 percent is Spanish produce, with the rest imported from the European Union or other countries.

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