13 Sep Spain is the European leader in the production of products as highly-valued as mussels, sea bass, trout or turbot
Although the fall in the production of fisheries’ catch began in 1990, the growing production through aquaculture continues. This modality is presented as the natural evolution of fishing, just a stockbreeding was for hunting, and it perhaps has a more positive future projection. Aquatic animals need fewer resources to produce the same amount of food as terrestrial animals, they are more efficient, they have a higher rate of reproduction, and they have a larger breeding area, since it is mainly seawater.
That is why the European Union, the United Nations and more and more private entities are committing to this type of hatcheries that unerringly solves all the challenges that are presented to them.
The preliminary estimates that FAO has made about the consumption of fish in the world indicate that in 2016 and 2017 it continued to increase, which opens a trade opportunity for the sector.
During the last 10 years aquaculture in Spain has grown by 0.3% on average per year.
Spain is the 21st-leading producer of aquaculture in the world and first in Europe. This high position is mainly based on the production of mussels, the main living aquatic resource in Spain, of which 215,855 tonnes were harvested in 2016. The sea bass is in second place, 23,445 t having produced, followed by rainbow trout (17,732 t) and sea bream (13,740 t).
In 2017, the total harvest figures reached a total of 345,635 t, mainly due to the harvest of the precious mollusk, which reached 273,517 t. This increase represents a growth of 21.8% compared to 2016.
Changing to terms of production value the ranking changes slightly, the mussel was still ahead, contributing some 130 million Euros, but with a minimal advantage, since the sea bass was around 120 million, a fact that shows the high value of this fish. The rainbow trout was relegated by three positions in comparison with its position by production, the gilt-head bream and turbot sneaking onto the list.
Spanish households make an annual per capita expenditure of €203.3 on aquatic products.
This means that 13.2% of expenditure on food and beverages is spent on the purchase of these products and a consumption of 24.68 kg per person. In 2017, its consumption fell by 3.4% by weight, but increased by 0.2% by value, and this decrease must be viewed within an overall decrease in food consumption of 0.6%.
Apart from the consumption of fish and shellfish at home, in Spain there is a notable wastage of these products in restaurants and the rest of the catering sector.
And fish is one of the key elements of our Mediterranean diet. All fish products represent sources of high quality protein, they contain essential amino acids such as lysine and methionine and are a source of omega-3 fatty acids, especially those oily fish. Hence, its value is much more than commercial.