FARMED fish production in the European Union bloc is bounding back at an impressive rate, figures from the European Market of Fisheries and Aquaculture (EUMOFA) show.
The latest available data is for 2014 which discloses that output that year increased by eight per cent, marking a reversal of the trends in the previous five years.
The value of that production also increased by two per cent over 2013 (75 million euros) to a total of 3.96 billion euros.
The value growth of salmon led the overall five per cent or 79 million euro increase of salmonids between 2013 and 2014, but down on the previous two years.
The value of other marine fish also grew by five per cent during 2013-2014, thanks to a 25 million euro increase registered for gilthead seabream. Bivalves and freshwater fish reported minor declines between 2013 and 2014.
The report says the production of bivalves in 2013-14 rose by 75,400 tonnes. This increase was mainly due to an increase in mussels farmed in Spain, which marked a recovery from a 2013 production shrinkage caused by ‘red tide’ or algae blooms.
Salmonid production also increased from 2013 to 2014, mainly attributable to increased farming of salmon (plus 16,500 tonnes) and trout (plus 7,700 tonnes).
Spain and the UK, the main EU producers of farmed products in volume, saw an overall upward trend in 2014, with both reaching 10-year value peaks for farmed production.
Spain’s 2014 volume of 285,000 tonnes with a value of 472 million euros represented an increase of 58,700 tonnes and 42 million euros over 2013, due to the major increase in the value of its mussel production.
The UK’s aquaculture products totalled 214,000 tonnes worth 953 million euros, an increase of 11,300 tonnes or 56 million euros over 2013, mostly driven by farmed salmon.
France’s farmed products were worth 730 million euros, an increase of 17 million euros over 2013. This was due to rising values of trout and mussels, which reached 115 million euros and 139 million euros respectively in 2014.
The total volumes of France’s farmed products of 204,300 tonnes represented a 3,000-tonne increase.
The other major producers, Italy and Greece, reported 148,700 and 104,400 tonnes each, with values of 366 million euros and 444 million euros respectively.
For Italy, this represented a 7,800-tonne increase but a 27 million euro loss, mostly due to falling values of clams.