Fisheries & Aquaculture Project Experience
The marine aquaculture of sea bass and sea bream, the two primary Mediterranean species, has been well established for the past 40 years. Initial production in France, Spain and Italy in the early 1980s quickly spread to the eastern and southern Mediterranean.
In Greece, intensive production of sea bass and sea bream began in the mid-1980s, with growth in the sector quickly taking off thanks to a mix of EU subsidies and a generous government licensing policy. Today, Turkey has become a leading producer.
Aquaculture of other species, notably salmon, trout, shrimp, tilapia and shellfish, has also grown rapidly, while large-scale trials of swordfish and tuna are also underway.
In recent years, the following general trends can be described in the sector:
In contrast to earlier times, the break-even point in most EU countries today is over 300 tonnes per farm. This is due to continual rises in raw materials (food, pharmaceuticals), energy and labour costs. Many companies in the eastern and southern Mediterranean have chosen to reduce costs, e.g. by employing low-cost, immigrant labour or under-reporting production. Such an approach carries short-term financial benefits, but long-term operational risks, e.g. from diseases, algal blooms due to improper feeding, or labour and tax audits.
The profitability in most markets is increasing being driven by the consolidation of the HORECA (hotel, retail, catering) chain on the one hand, and commercial intermediaries on the other. In many countries, profit-taking is excessively concentrated among middlemen (exporters, distributors, traders) and retailers; fish-farmers are in many cases adversely affected due to lack of own cold transport vehicles and sales outlets in urban areas.
With increasing EU regulations in hygiene, food labelling and food safety, the costs of compliance are growing. Thus, each EU fish farm typically should have its own sampling and testing laboratory and should be certified for ISO and/or HACCP (hazard analysis critical control point). Traceability along the food chain is required, so that if a consumer in Germany, for instance, encounters food poisoning, the chain of responsibility can be traced back to the supermarket, trader and fish farm that supplied the fish.
Despite numerous attempts, the large majority of sea bass and sea bream today is sold as a whole fresh or whole chilled/frozen product. Processing alternatives such as filleting or development of convenience products (e.g. fish nuggets) are not well-suited to these species. As a result, there are natural limits to the profitability and shelf life options for fish farmers.
We deliver a full range of feasibility study and investment planning, product management, environmental management and trade development services to fisheries & aquaculture enterprises. In addition, we participate in applied research and technology transfer projects.
Our activities in the aquaculture sector include:
Aquaculture facility design & site selection;
Production & operations management
Hygiene and disease management
Investment feasibility studies
Training & HRM
Processing technology management
Integrated Coastal Zone Management
Navigator maintains a group of researchers to undertake field work (sampling, fishing vessels use, experimental fishing etc.) for any fisheries & aquaculture research project.
EIA and EMAS of fish farms and fish farm facilities (shrimp, sea bass, sea bream) - studies for EU funding of aquaculture farms - facility design - satellite imagery
Development of small scale, coastal and artisanal fisheries (marine fisheries, inland water fisheries) - Socio-economic development of coastal fisheries industry - population dynamics - gear selectivity - legislation - discards - mathematical/statistical modelling of fisheries
Coastal Zone Management
Multi-dimensional organisation of coastal human activities (tourism, aquaculture, fisheries, recreation, bathing, industry, urban development) - water quality monitoring - GIS - remote sensing
Design and operation of irrigation-drainage systems - 3D/mathematical/statistical modelling of drainage plumes - GIS - irrigation systems design - 3D terrain reconstruction - satellite imagery
Coastal zone management, water quality analysis (physical-chemical), trophic webs , lagoon/river delta environment mathematical/numerical analysis of ecosystems, oceanographical research, site selection and coastline zonation
We are familiar with the main standards and funding opportunities in the fisheries & aquaculture sector, including:
FAO Codex Alimentarius
Directives 4028/86 and 3699/93
Common Fisheries Policy
National Development and Structural Funds
EIA / EIS standards
We have extensive experience in Mediterranean fisheries & aquaculture, and have played a significant role in the development of aquaculture facilities in Greece.
For further information, please contact us:
Hellenic Aquaculture Firms, 1995-1999