Mediterranean seabass. (Photo: Kefalonia Fisheries)
Over 90 pc of seabass sold in the EU is farmed
Friday, February 22, 2013, 23:30 (GMT + 9)
Over 90 per cent of the sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) which is sold in Europe comes from aquaculture, according to a study published jointly by the Spanish Aquaculture Observatory Foundation (OESA) and the National Research Council (CSIC).
According to the study, titled Seabass Culture, in 2010 around 10,000 tonnes of seabass were sold from capture fisheries, compared to 118,931 tonnes produced in aquaculture centres. These data position the seabass as the third marine fish species farmed in Europe, only behind salmon and seabream.
The study is part of the series of notebooks on Aquaculture by the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO).
Aurelio Ortega, a researcher at the IEO, explained that the biology of seabass, the farming systems used in the different phases of the breeding cycle and the particularities of its marketing in Spain and Europe were analyzed.
Greece and Turkey were the main producers of farmed seabass, with 47,000 tonnes and 35,000 tonnes respectively. Both countries contributed almost 70 per cent of total European production.
Spain stood further back, with almost 12,495 tonnes, the report said.
This species grows slightly slower than the sea bream, due to the high temperatures of the Mediterranean.
The researchers explained that the fattening of seabass is mostly performed in nurseries at sea and to a lesser extent in ponds by extensive and semi-extensive farming techniques, and through intensive tank culture.
According to statistics from the Spanish Business Association of Marine Aquaculture Producers (Apromar), seabream aquaculture production was 16,930 tonnes (95.5 per cent of Spanish production), while the species total coming from the fishing sector was 1,100 tonnes, El Progreso reported.
By Analia Murias