Assortment of fish at a market. (Photo: Vera Kratochvil)
Brazilians consume much more fish
Monday, October 21, 2013, 00:20 (GMT + 9)
Brazilians are eating a lot more fish. This was revealed by figures released by the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture (MPA), which indicate the average fish consumption per capita was 11.17 kilograms in 2011, 14.5 per cent higher than last year.
In two years (2010 and 2011), the growth in demand for fish and seafood increased an average of 23.7 per cent.
This means that currently the Brazilians are close to the average fish consumption recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO): 12 kg per capita per year.
According to Eloy de Sousa Araújo, Secretary of Infrastructure and Development of MPA, this increase in consumption is also observed in other parts of the world.
"In recent years, Brazilians’ life condition has improved, the national currency has recovered purchasing power and the population seeks to consume healthier foods, with fish being an excellent choice," explained the official.
This growth was recorded by the MPA recently in a published Statistical Bulletin.
The secretary stressed that until a decade ago, Brazilian supermarkets did not have room for the exhibition of frozen and fresh fish - especially - whereas today it is possible to find tambaqui, snapper and cioba, among other marine resources.
In addition, sashimi consumption has been popularized and there are products that are easier to prepare and even tuna flavoured pizzas.
In 2011, production of fish in captivity in Brazil amounted to 628,700 tonnes, 31.1 per cent more than in 2010. And the total fish production reached 1.43 million tonnes, of which 42,000 were exported. Meanwhile, the country imported 37 per cent of the fish consumed.
In recent years, Brazil has advanced to become one of the largest fish producers in the world.
To achieve this goal, at the end of 2012 the MPA launched a Harvest Plan for Fisheries and Aquaculture, and created a network of official laboratories to certify the quality of fish for export, import and domestic consumption.
In addition, in June and September 2013 the Secretariat of Planning and Management of Aquaculture of MPA spent more than 700 hectares of zones under the domain of La Union to produce about 200,000 tonnes of fish, oysters and mussels per year.
These areas are located in hydroelectric reservoirs and marine environments in the states of Sao Paulo, Tocantins, Pernambuco, Goiás, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Bahia, Paraná and Rio de Janeiro.
Photo Credit: Vera Kratochvil
By Analia Murias