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ANNEX 1 - Notes on the status of the culture and fisheries of prime species in the Mediterranean region

The following information was provided verbally by participants:


No participant


There is no aquaculture production of sea bass, sea bream, mullet or eels at present. However, there is one hatchery which is in its initial operation stages. There are severe limitations on the development of this type of aquaculture in Cyprus, including lack of space for grow-out (limited sites for cage culture and very expensive land) and a complicated licensing system for farmers. Despite this it was forecast that the production of sea bass and sea bream might reach 200 t per year by 1992.


1 Due to communication problems the participant from Egypt did not receive his invitation, or the letter asking for information until just before he left Egypt. In addition, due to travel problems he was not present during the production session. However he promised to forward the requisite information by post; this had, unfortunately, not arrived at the time of going to press.


Although the official estimates of total production from all sources were 2 500 t per year of sea bass and less than 1 000 t per year of sea bream, it was believed that these were under-estimates. Participants estimated that 3 500 t per year and 1 500 t per year of sea bass and sea bream respectively were produced in 1986. Of the sea bass, 48% is caught by trawlers in the winter and 52% by small boats in the summer. More than 70% is exported to Italy. Aquaculture produced 150 t of sea bass (including 25 t in freshwater) and 25 t of sea bream in 1985.

The total catch of mullets was 5 000 t in 1986 of which 240 t came from culture. The official catch of eels, at 1 500 t, was thought to be an under-estimate; the participants' estimate was 1 700 t. Of this, 380 t was estimated to be produced by all forms of aquaculture.

Originally it was planned to produce 1 000 t per year of sea bass alone by aquaculture by 1995 but one of the French participants thought that this had now been reduced to 500 t per year of both sea bass and sea bream in less intensive polyculture systems because of pessimistic local views of market prospects and the high investment costs of intensive culture. No forecasts were given for increased mullet production by aquaculture and farmed eel production was not expected to rise.

Another of the French participants was more optimistic and stated that five new projects for sea bass and bream culture were starting now. If these succeeded he expected that up to 400 t per year of these two species would be produced by 1988. One sea bream farm alone (in Corsica) expects to produce a maximum of 100 t per year by 1988/9. There are five operational sea bass/bream hatcheries operating currently. Finally a maximum estimate for sea bass/bream production by 1992 of 1 000 t per year was agreed. No increase in mullet or eel production was forecast for 1992.

The major problems in France for sea bass and sea bream culture are that the Atlantic is too cold in winter. Thus culture can only be practised in the Mediterranean unless heated water is available. In the Mediterranean, sites were scarce due to competition, principally from activities associated with tourism. However, this constraint might be removed if technological improvements were made, notably the successful application of cages strong enough to withstand open sea conditions.


The intensive aquaculture production of sea bass/bream was zero in 1984 and about 5 - 6 tons in 1985 (50% each species). In 1986, 22 t of sea bream and 10 t of sea bass were produced. The cultured production of sea bream was expected to rise to 270 t in 1987, 350 t in 1988 and more than 500 t in 1989. Sea bass production was expected to rise to 80 t in 1987, 100 t in 1988 and 150-160 t in 1989. Currently one hatchery was operational but, by 1989, there may be two additional private hatcheries and one public facility. If the other three hatcheries become operational, total sea bass/bream production in Greece could rise to more than 1 000 t per year by 1990. The participant from Norway felt that this was an underestimate. Potential production need not rely solely on locally produced juveniles. Juvenile imports from Cyprus and Turkey may bring Greek sea bass/bream production to 2 000 t per year by 1990.

In addition to the quantities of sea bass/bream which were estimated to have been produced by intensive aquaculture, 400 t were produced by extensive systems in 1985 while 1 400 t of mullet and 900-1 000 t of eels were also produced. Lagoon productivity averaged 72 kg/ha/year and plans exist to raise this to 100 kg/ha/year by 1991. By this time a further 250-300 t per year of eels from intensive production was anticipated.

Total aquaculture production in Greece by 1991 was therefore expected to total about 2 500 t of sea bass and sea bream, 1 900 t of mullets and


No participant


1 Two of the major participants from the private sector, who had been invited, were finally unable to come. Estimates of Italian production were given by the workshop coordinator, assisted by ESAV contributions.

It was estimated that the total production of sea bass and sea bream totalled 2 700 t 1985, while mullet production was 2 000 t. 1 500 t of eels were produced from valli culture and another 2 500 t per year by intensive culture, totalling 4 000 t.

Aquaculture production of sea bass and sea bream is expected to more than double within 5 years to 7 000 t per year; similarly mullet production is expected to rise to 9 000 t per year due to increases in the productivity of valli culture. Eel production is expected to rise to 6 000 t per year by 1990.

Valli culture earns other revenues besides fish sales. ESAV stated that in one Veneto valli, 60% of income came from fisheries and 40% from hunting. Integrated intensive/extensive aquaculture is expected to raise productivity in some vallis to 300 kg/ha.


No participant


No participant but it was said that there is no aquaculture production there yet.


No representative was present from Morocco. However, another participant stated that a new venture there could be producing 1 000 t per year of sea bass/bream by 1988. Morocco is said to be self-sufficient in marine products (Berger, et al., 1985), so future production will be oriented at export markets, especially the Spanish market for sea bass and sea bream.


Aquaculture is still in the artisanal phase in Portugal but rapid changes are expected.

Official estimates were that 84 t of sea bass would be produced in 1986, together with 168 t of gilthead sea bream, 238 t of eels and 419 t of mullets (all from natural stocking). Official forecasts for 1992 were 500 t of mullets, 450 t of eels, 200 t of sea bass and 150 t of gilthead sea bream. The participant from Portugal believed that these were underestimates, stating that he alone had a farm producing 25 t of sea bass and 80 t of gilthead sea bream. There was no cage culture yet in Portugal and no hatchery. The participant from the Netherlands stated that there were two intensive eel farms in Portugal, each producing 35 t per year. Total current eel production must therefore be at least 308 t per year. Tank production of eels could rise to 150 t per year by 1988, bringing the total estimate to at least 600 t per year by 1992. The participant from Portugal stated that total sea bass/bream production might rise to 1 000 t per year by 1992.


Of the total production of 878 t of sea bream in 1985, 30 t was produced from two aquaculture enterprises. Aquaculture production of sea bream was expected to be 50 t in 1986, 100 t in 1987 and 250 t in 1988.

In 1985, 521 t of sea bass were produced, of which 10-15 t came from aquaculture (there were four producers who operated this as an ancillary activity). No estimates for the future were given as it was thought that Spanish producers would concentrate on sea bream; sea bass farming required greater investment. There are four sea bream/bass hatcheries in Spain at present.

Mullets are consumed only in the areas where they are fished. About 1 000 t were estimated to have been caught in 1985, none from culture. The official eel catch in 1985 was 59 t but the Spanish participant felt that this was an underestimate and it could have been as much as 700 t. Only about 5 t were produced through intensive aquaculture, as eels are not well favoured in Spain.

There are estimated to be 20 000 ha available for the aquaculture of sea bass/bream in Spain. Total production could be as high as 3 500 t per year by 1992. No increase in eel production was forecast.

It was stated that there was an ambitious venture in the Canaries, in addition to those in mainland Spain, which could contribute 100 t of sea bass/bream in 1987 and 1 000 t in 1992.


No participant. According to Berger et al., (1985) there is no coastal aquaculture production in Syria.


See Annex 2.


1982 production statistics were 605 t of sea bream, 230 t of sea bass, 4 589 t of mullet and 445 t of eels, all from lagoon culture. Total catch in 1985 from all sources was stated to be 1 553 t sea bass, 710 t sea bream, 2 748 t of mullet and 583 t of eels. The Norwegian participant stated that there was also cage production in Turkey which was expected to contribute 100 t per year of sea bass/bream in 1987 and 300-400 t per year in 1988. There are, as yet, no sea bass/bream hatcheries in Turkey.

Forecast production in 1987 was 2 200 t of sea bass and sea bream, rising to 3 000 t by 1992. Mullet production has fallen since 1982 (see text, Table 5) and was expected to be 3 500 t per year in 1987, remaining static (3 600 t per year) to 1992. Eel production, although it has risen a little since 1982, was also expected to remain fairly static (580 t in 1987; 600 t in 1992).


The participant from Yugoslavia was unable to attend but others estimated Chat sea bass aquaculture production was currently 70-140 t per year and could rise to 500 t per year by 1992.

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