Marine fish farming figures expanded by 3.3% year-on-year in 2012. This is good news and represents a change in trend, after two years of declining sales; nevertheless, it’s still far from 2009 numbers, when production exceeded 48,400 tons.
GILT HEAD BREAM
Aquaculture production of gilt head bream in Spain amounted to 19,430 tons in 2012, up 14.8% compared with 2011 (16,930 tons). The change in trend in Spain was the same as throughout the Mediterranean: after a three-year slide, production bounced back in 2012. Annual production peaked at 23,930 tons in 2009, and reached record lows of 16,930 tons in 2011.
Cultivation of young gilt head bream in Spain totaled 54.9 million units in 2012, i.e. an increase of 3.9% year-on-year, reflecting a strong recovery in production. Still, that figure is far from the record high of 67.3 million units in 2007.
EUROPEAN SEA BASS
Aquaculture production of European sea bass in Spain totaled 14,270 tons in 2012, i.e 0.7% less than in 2011 (14,367 tons). This lower output in Spain contrasts with the notable increase in the rest of the Mediterranean.
Total aquaculture production of European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) in Europe and the rest of the world in 2012 is estimated at 136,110 tons, according to the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers (FEAP) and the Spanish Association of Marine Aquaculture Producers (APROMAR). That figure is 8.7% higher than in 2011 (125,224 tons) and represents the highest production of European sea bass in the historical series.
Aquaculture production of turbot in Spain was 7,970 tons in 2012, i.e. up 2.8% on 2011. Galicia is the main turbot producing region in Spain (99.2%), while Cantabria and the Basque Country account for a small portion. Young turbot production in Spain totaled 18,950,000 units, 10.6% higher than in 2011. Almost all young turbot comes from Galicia.
Total aquaculture production of turbot (Psetta maxima) in Spain was 12,842 tons in 2012, up 18.8% with respect to 2011. Spain is the leading producer, providing the market with 8,280 tons (64.5%).
Aquaculture production of meagre in Spain amounted to 1,640 tons in 2012, i.e. 43% less than in 2011 and almost 50% less than in 2010 (3,250 tons).This decline is due in part to commercial reasons, given the complexity of the mass introduction of a new fish into the market, and also to production issues, due to the Canary Island government’s indecision on authorization of the species, which has been confirmed as a native fish to the islands.
Meagre (Argyrosomus regius) is the most recent species to undergo large-scale aquaculture production in Europe by many companies in several countries. Meagre production in Europe totaled 2,730 tons in 2012, reflecting a decline of 27.6% compared with 2011 (3,770 tons). The main producing countries are Spain, with 1,640 tons (60.1% of the total), as well as France and Italy.