Regional synthesis of the Mediterranean marine finfish aquaculture sector


“Regional synthesis of the Mediterranean marine finfish aquaculture sector and development of a strategy for marketing and promotion of Mediterranean aquaculture (MedAquaMarket). GFCM Studies and Reviews No. 88. Rome, FAO. 2010.”.

This document is a follow-up study of the MedAquaMarket project in support to the activities of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) – Committee on Aquaculture (CAQ) – Working Group on Marketing on Aquaculture (WGMA). The MedAquaMarket project was funded by the Government of Spain. Based on fifteen national country reports and other relevant sources of information, it provides an overview of the status and trend of the marine aquaculture industry in the Mediterranean region and its markets.

The production and market data availability and data collection as well as the importance of having a common data system are indicated as relevant for assessing marine aquaculture production and for making a comparison across countries and design market trends. The market characteristics for Mediterranean aquaculture products including consumption patterns, distribution channels, the image of the industry and the organic aquaculture market are described. The information gathered and analyzed at regional and national levels on the state of the industry from a production perspective (juveniles’ production, country market share, product mix, price evolution at national and regional level analysis of industry structure and of costs of production as well as the legal and regulatory framework) permitted a quantitative and qualitative analysis and assessment of the Mediterranean finfish marine aquaculture market and production.

These were also useful in formulating a better understanding of the present situation with particular attention to the market and to the industry characterized by a strong cyclicality with uneven periods of production growth and retrenchment. Stabilizing measures are indicated as essential to help smooth out the sharp boom and bust cycles of the industry, such as the provision of timely production and market data, market studies in order to better understand the demand potential of consuming markets and the promotion tools to improve the image of Mediterranean aquaculture products. are indicated as essential.

Competition for space, simplification of the licensing procedure, simplification of legislation improving the industry’s competitiveness and productivity, competition with imports: and high costs associated with compliance to stringent regulations are considered as the main common problems addressing the future of aquaculture growth in the Mediterranean. Initiatives which facilitate the legal and spatial framework for growth and initiatives which improve cost competitiveness are indicated as the two basic priorities to ensure the future viable growth of the industry: The document reports also the results of the final workshop entitled “Development of a Strategy for Marketing and Promotion including the discussion on the main findings of the MedAquaMarket project in relation with the main strategies for promoting markets and marketing of Mediterranean aquaculture products.

Market data collection schemes, information networks, functionality of producer organizations, image of aquaculture and sustainable development were among the issues that were identified as priorities for the WGMA future activities. 

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