Galician goose barnacles. (Photo: Lia Russo)
Canned and Paté goose barnacles launched by Galician company
Thursday, August 19, 2010, 02:20 (GMT + 9)
From October, not only will people be able to purchase fresh Galician goose barnacles from markets, but also a canned and paté version. The new products will be launched by Mar de Silleiro, a company founded five years ago in Vigo.
According to Susana Gonzalez, the manager of the company, "the cans and paté will not compete with fresh goose barnacle, nor do we want it to."
"It's another type of product after its been processed, but is still of a high market quality, achieving an excellent result and has a great taste," said Gonzalez.
Mar de Silleiro's project began in 2005 when a group of goose barnacle fishermen from Baiona sought to revive barnacles in areas with a low market value.
At that time, after many tests, the first cans of Baiona goose barnacles were born, with portions being naturally baked and canned.
Gonzalez added that the new product "is also not in competition with goose barnacles sold in markets and auctions where they are very popular, especially in the Mediterranean region and Catalonia."
Two years later, a grant from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries demonstrated the economic viability of the product and progress in industrial processing formulas, reports the newspaper El Mundo.
Between 2008 and early 2010, a study was undertaken to discover the existing biomass of barnacles extended through the areas of Baiona, Bueu and A Guarda, with funding from the former Ministry of Fisheries of Xunta de Galicia
At that time, there was an agreement within the industry to implement management measures for sustainable extraction and to begin a market study and business plan to sell the specimins at a similar value as the fresh alternative.
After that process, Mar de Silleiro S.L. was established, composed of the goose barnacles fishermen from Baiona and A Guarda.
Also covered by the Group of Task Force Costeira Ría from Vigo-A Guarda, the group presented the project to the Ministry of the Sea for approval.
According to the director general for Fisheries Development of the Ministry of the Sea, Susana Rodriguez, the initiative is one of the "more interesting" ones approved this year to be financed by the European Fisheries Fund (EFF), as it "allows the maintainance of economic prosperity in the area and also to diversify production."
Meanwhile, the manager of the firm added: "We saw that the product could be sold within a niche market and therefore consumer focus would shift to gourmet, to haute cuisine, where they first arrive in the country and with eyes set to the international markets."
The two new presentations outstrip the fresh goose barnacle, thanks to its availability and fixed price.
"You can get goose barnacles in places where it is impossible to buy it fresh and is a quality product targeted to accompany dishes and haute cuisine," he said.
By Analia Murias