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Spanish Aquaculture Delegates Visit Japan, Promoting High-End Farmed Fish

October 8, 2008

Spanish delegates representing nine sea bream, perch, and rainbow trout producers and importers visited Japan to make inroads into the Japanese market from October 1 thru 7, 2008.

The delegates surveyed the Japanese market, paying visits to department stores, mass retailers, Tsukiji Market, importers, and wholesalers. At the press conference held on October 6, they promoted the product safety of farmed fish in Spain. The Spanish representatives joined the promotional tour as a part of “the Spanish Aquaculture International Action Plan 2007/2008” sponsored by the Ministry of Environment, Rural, and Marine Affairs.

Exhibiting remarkable growth compared to 20,000 tons in 1985, the production volume of Spanish farmed fish in 2007 recorded 70,000 tons, accounting for roughly 25 percent of the overall aquaculture industry; mussels take up more than 70 percent. The main sea fish culture is Dorada (European flat bream; annual production of 22,300 tons), Lubina (perch; 10,000 tons), and Rodaballo (turbot; 6,000 tons). Javier Ojeda, executive director of the Asociacion Empresarial de Productores de Cultivos Marinos (APROMAR) said the production output of sea culture is demonstrating an annual growth rate of 10 to 15 percent. Additionally, the yield of onshore freshwater fish culture reached 24,200 tons in 2007, 90 percent of which was rainbow trout.

Luz Arregui of the Trout Farmers’ Association explained, “Rainbow trout culture has a long history and it's the most popular fish in the European markets. The export ratio climbed to about 50 percent in 2007 from approximately 27 percent in 2003. We export the fish to roughly 20 counties in the world, including the US and the Middle East.”

As to the strengthening of seafood product exports, “We hope to send our Mediterranean high-grade cultured fish to the Japanese market, well-known for its demand for high standard products, specially to a niche market of hotels and restaurants, “ said She.

She expressed confidence in flexibility of product forms as well as product safety control corresponding to customers’ needs. “Processing facilities in Spain possess well-established traceability and high hygiene control standards. We aim to provide Japan with the most reasonable form of products, such as sashimi fillet”

Seafood consumption per person in Spain is as high as that in Japan. One of the delegates stated, “We wish to function as a bridge between a big fish consumer, Spain and Japanese culture; simultaneously, we would like to promote sustainable farmed fish to the Japanese market. Through cultured tuna, there has been a positive bilateral relation, leaving the door wide open.”

Original article was published on October 8, 2008 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka

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