Glicia contribute 95 per cent of Spain's turbot production. (Photo: Juan Murias)
A bad year for turbot producers
Thursday, January 21, 2010, 16:50 (GMT + 9)
Year 2009 was a bad one for Galicia-based turbot producers. In fact, some affirm that it was the worst of the last 14 for this important sector of the aquaculture industry.
It had a lot to do with the fact that wholesale prices dropped between 30 per cent and 35 per cent as a result of the fall in demand for turbot in the category of hotels and gastronomy, in the wake of the economic crisis.
Galician producers contribute 95 per cent of the national turbot production and 85 per cent of the European production.
For Fernando Otero, manager of the Turbot Producers Association of Galicia (AROGA) and trsutee of the Corporate Association of the Spanish Marine Aquaculture Producers Association (APROMAR), 2009 was “the worst of the last 14 years.”
“Our sector is not separate from the rest of the economy, and it has yielded under the general state of the crisis for that reason,” Otero explained.
Last year, an “important fall in demand was registered particularly in the hotel trade, restaurants and catering sector, due to the general downturn in meals in restaurants, in addition to cheaper prices,” he pointed out. In addition, he noted that turbot, along with grouper, is possibly “one of the most expensive fish on the menu.”
Otero thinks that the 2009 situation is “transitory” and that they will be able to come out of it soon.
“We are already working on consumption promotion campaigns in the very sector of restaurants and among particular consumers, and they are showing good results,” he assured.
On the issue, he mentioned the good results obtained last Christmas, which allowed them to compensate in part for the total figures, Faro de Vigo reports.
The wholesale prices underwent an average fall between EUR 3 and EUR 3.5 per kilogram in the last year and a half, until they reached the current EUR 6 and EUR 6.5, AROGA‘s manager said.
In any case, the reduction in prices was not accompanied by a similar fall in production volume.
“Our sector has its particularities. The fish grow in the fish farms and it is necessary to take them to market, even by lowering prices, to avoid company’s the cost of maintenance,” Otero continued.
In Spain, Galicia leads in turbot production, as it produces practically 95 per cent of the almost 8,000 tonnes that comprise the total volume.
Cantabria produces 4 per cent of the Spanish total and Basque Country, 1 per cent.
Last year, the consumption of turbot in Spanish households soared 53.6 per cent from 2008 to 2009, climbing from 2,480 tonnes to 3,810 tonnes, according to AROGA.
- Spaniards consume more turbot
By Analia Murias