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4.1 The Present Situation of Marine Fish Hatcheries

A detailed list of all existing hatcheries or hatchery plans today in Greece is given in Appendix 4. These 21 projects can be divided into the following groups, according to their state of progress.

  1. The Operational Hatcheries (Private)

    The only hatchery operating at a commercial level in Greece is the one of Cephalonian Fisheries. A small-scale hatchery is operating in Leros Island, owned by a private individual. Both these projects were briefly discussed above.

  2. Hatcheries Under Construction

    Rhodes Aquaculture farm in Rhodes Island has a hatchery ready for operation, but due to delays in the construction of the pumping station, no water is available at the moment. The hatchery could operate from next winter 1987/88.

    Two other hatcheries, both financed by the Ministry of Agriculture, are at the initial stage of construction: Bogonitsa on Amvrakikos Gulf, and Kyparissi (Fisheries Cooperative, PASEGES). The first one will not be operational for two years, while the second one should be operating by winter 1988/89.

  3. Hatcheries for which Grants Have Been Approved

    These are four large-scale private hatcheries: one on Amvrakikos Gulf, again; one in the Peloponnese; one on Ithaki Island (close to Cephalonia); and the last one on Evia Island. These hatcheries could be operational within two years, depending on the construction starting date and time needed.

  4. Hatcheries for Which Grants Have Been Applied For

    A further six large-scale hatchery plans were presented for grant application: three of them on Evia Island (two private and 1 cooperative); two private ones in the Peloponnese and Igoumenitsa; and one in Messolonghi, which is presented by the Agricultural Bank of Greece (40%) and the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Technology (60%).

  5. Planned Hatcheries

    This group includes the three main State hatcheries for which an international bid will be announced soon (Ministry of Agriculture), located respectively in Pylos (Messinia, Peloponnese), in Pteleos (Volos), and Sagadia (Igoumenitsa). The others are the experimental hatcheries of the Institute of Marine Biology of Crete and the National Marine Research Centre (both discussed above), and another private hatchery in Preveza (Amvrakikos Gulf).

The map in Appendix 5 illustrates the geographic distribution of all these hatcheries and it can easily be seen that they cover the main important development areas for marine aquaculture:

  1. North-western Greek, including Amvrakikos Gulf and the Ionian Islands

  2. The Peloponnese, including the Gialova Lagoon (Pylos)

  3. Evia Island and the coast in front of it

  4. The eastern Aegean Islands

  5. Crete Island.

Two further areas seem to have good potential for marine aquaculture:

It would be desirable for these two areas to have local production of fry. Nevertheless, the cooperatives managing the lagoons in the Kavala area will be able to benefit from the production of the three State hatcheries of Igoumenitsa, Bogonitsa and Pteleos (Volos), as road transport of fry is feasible over such distances. For Lesvos Island the precariousness of lorry/ship transportation could justify the construction of an island hatchery at a later date.

4.2 Potential Future Production

The total production capacity of these hatcheries reaches about 30 million fry per year, which corresponds to a potential production of about 6.000 to 9.000 tons per year of market size fish. If more realistically, the following are assumed:

the expected production during the coming years could be projected as follows:

YearsExpected Fry ProductionExpected Market Size Fish Production* (t/year)
1987  1 200 000 
1988  1 900 000   240
1989  2 700 000   380
1990  9 000 000   540
199112 000 0002 250
199218 000 0003 000
199321 000 0004 500
1994 5 250

* Not including production from imported fry.

These figures are of course indicative and do not represent a precise estimation of future production insofar as:

4.3 Brief Analysis of Needs and Costs

The plans of the Ministry of Agriculture include the forecast of a total production of 4 000 tons of market size sea bass and sea bream in Greece within the next five years. The table illustrated above shows that the actual hatchery situation in Greece and the forecast for the next few years could result in total yearly production of 3 000–4 000 tons within five years.

The common sale price in Italy of 1 g sea bass fry ranges from Dr 50 to 60, and for sea bream fry from Dr 100 to 130. The market prices in Italy for fry are not influenced by levels of hatchery production, which are still very low. Prices are fixed by the market of wild fry which currently represents about 80% of the total Italian market (10–12 million sea bass/sea bream fingerlings per year). The price of sea bass fry in other countries (France, Cyprus, etc.) is about the same as in Italy, while the price of sea bream is generally lower (Dr 60–80 per fingerling)

The production cost of sea bass/sea bream fry in Italy, for a large-scale hatchery (1.5–2 million fry per year), ranges from Dr 35 to 40 per fingerling. According to the figures given by Cephalonian Fisheries, the same production costs in Greece reach about Dr 70 per fingerling. Unit production costs in Italy are increasing by about 50% for a hatchery production capacity of 1 million fry per year and by about 100% for a medium-scale hatchery (around half a million fry per year).

The necessity for Greece to become self-sufficient in production of fry through the establishment of marine hatcheries arises from:

The fry cost represents about 30% of the production costs of market size fish. This is calculated on the basis of:

The contribution of fry cost to the total production cost of sea bass and sea bream will decrease in the future with:

4.4 Summary of Main Constraints in Marine Fish Hatcheries Development

Although the basic conditions (suitable sites for cage farming, good water quality, favourable climatic conditions) exist in Greece for the development of a commercially viable mariculture industry, many constraints could drastically restrain this development. Most of these constraints, which were identified during the mission, are common to other leading countries like Italy and France, and represent, even now, a real brake on the establishment of a profitable aquaculture industry. Greece should benefit from the experience of these countries and should be able to avoid those mistakes which lead to very long starting times and high investments in terms of money and energy.

Most of the constraints reported hereafter concern not only marine hatcheries but also integrated marine farms.

Technological/Experience Gaps

Financial/Economic Constraints

A series of problems generally arise during the establishment phase of a marine hatchery/farm project, leading to a cost overrun and making this kind of investment difficult and risky with very slow return to the invested capital.

General Constraints

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