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GLOBEFISH - Análisis e información comercial en pesquerias

Nile Perch - April 2012

01/04/2012

Nile perch has been a popular fish in European markets for several years, but it has become more expensive for importers because of the reduction in supply from African countries. This decline in supply may lead to changes in whitefish markets in the EU.

From January to June 2011 the EU imported 15 700 tonnes of Nile perch fillets. In 2010 Nile perch was the second most imported freshwater fish in EU, after pangasius. However, with declining supplies, tilapia producers will be looking for opportunities to enter this market segment.

In 2008 imports of Nile perch fillets to the European market reached 42 300 tonnes but in 2010 the figure dropped to 31 600 tonnes.

Nile Perch has also aroused interest in Middle East markets. They are willing to pay a higher price for frozen fillets and this has left EU importers with reduced availability of this fish.

Quality

The Spanish Association of Marine Aquaculture Producers, Apromar, says that aquaculture in Spain is increasingly affected by the pressure of pangasius and Nile perch imports. Apromar cited as unfair competition the import of animal products, including seafood, fed with feed that was banned in the EU. Recently, Imports from countries where sanitary or labour requirements are less demanding than those of the European Union have also been criticized.

In Uganda, three red alerts, resulting from the poor quality of the fish exported, have been raised. The EU threatened to ban fish from that country.

Outlook

The supply of Nile perch remains uncertain for 2012. African countries need to demonstrate sustainable and responsible practices in Nile perch fisheries to keep their presence in the key markets, as well as comply with quality standards for export.

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